Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave comments on any of the posts.
• To find specific rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "LABELS" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
• To join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Iverson Movie Ranch Western street, one building at a time ... Part II: The Livery Stable

"Along Came Jones" (1945): The Livery Stable

The Livery Stable announced the arrival of Iverson's Western street with this appearance in 1945 introducing the newly minted set as the town of "Payneville," and the stable itself as Payneville Hay & Grain, in the Gary Cooper movie "Along Came Jones."

The building slowly comes into view as Cooper, in the title role of "slow-talkin', slow-walkin'" Melody Jones, and his sidekick, George Fury, played by William Demarest, first ride into town.

Gary Cooper and William Demarest ride into Iverson Village in "Along Came Jones"

The film luxuriates in its slow-paced introduction to the town set, allowing the hero and sidekick — and along with them, the viewer — to soak in the ambiance of the place. It adds up to a fittingly reverent first look at a town that would go on to be seen hundreds of times in movies and early TV shows.

A few features in this shot of the arrival sequence are worth noting, and are highlighted above. You can click here to see better photos of the Pirate Ship — a large and imposing rock feature located east of the Iverson town set and often visible in the background in shots of the town. For a recent post about the Livery Rocks — and more about the Pirate Ship — please click here.

"My Three Sons"

TV fans who go back far enough will remember William Demarest as Uncle Charley on "My Three Sons."

Gary Cooper in "Along Came Jones"

Cooper was responsible for the construction of the Western street in 1945, having it built for the only movie on which the two-time Oscar-winning actor had a producer's credit, "Along Came Jones." In this shot from the movie, the star and producer appears to be sizing up the end result of his labor of love. Behind him are the Livery Stable, on the right, and a smaller building on the left that would undergo extensive remodeling soon after appearing as a "ladies' and gentlemen's furnishings" shop in Cooper's movie.

"The Millerson Case" (1947)

Situated in a strategically important position at the south end of town, the Livery Stable went on to a long and productive career in movies and television. In this shot from the Crime Doctor movie "The Millerson Case," a catfight takes place right in the middle of the street, with the Livery Stable as its backdrop.

"The Millerson Case"

The same movie also features this unusual view of the town set, with the southern face of the Livery Stable holding down the right half of the shot.

A few of the town's main structures are identified in this version of the shot. The town is seen almost directly from the south, which was not a commonly used angle.

"Check Your Guns" (1948)

Another unusual view of the Livery Stable, from the Eddie Dean B-Western "Check Your Guns," shows the full expanse of the building as it appeared from the west.

"Gold Raiders" (1951)

For the Three Stooges movie "Gold Raiders," a sign was placed on the building identifying it as the "Harry Temple Livery." I believe this may have been meant as a humorous allusion to Moe's trademark haircut.

"Arrow in the Dust" (1954)

I haven't run across nearly as many good shots of the Livery Stable in color as I have in black-and-white, but here's a pretty good one, from the Sterling Hayden Western "Arrow in the Dust."

"Sky King" TV show (1955)

Aerial footage of the Western street from the TV series "Sky King" shows the location of the Livery Stable at the south end of town — the opposite end of the street from Casa Grande, the subject of the previous entry in this series.

"Whirlybirds" TV show (1957)

Two years after the "Sky King" footage, a bird's-eye view from the TV series "Whirlybirds" captures the corral area behind the Livery Stable, with a little bit of the building visible in the top right corner. This shot was taken around the time the Western town was beginning to be dismantled.

The shot appears in an episode of "Whirlybirds" titled "Fury Canyon," which premiered July 25, 1957. A number of the features that can be seen in the photo are identified above. The flat space in the bottom center of the shot, below where the vehicle is parked, is where the mobile home park's swimming pool area is now located.

"Man in the Saddle" (1951)

Drama plays out around the southern steps of the Livery Stable in the Randolph Scott Western "Man in the Saddle" from Columbia. The photo features Cooper Rock, in the middle of the shot, along with a view of Iverson's Eucalyptus Grove in the background. Cooper Rock is named after the man who built the town, Gary Cooper.

"Sky King" (1957): The Western street partially dismantled

By late 1957 the town was beginning to be torn down, with Casa Grande no longer in place at the north end of the street and other buildings in various stages of demolition. The above shot from the "Sky King" episode "Dead Man's Will" shows the Western street as a ghost town, a frequent role in the town's later years.

Taking a close look at the "Sky King" shot, the roof of the Livery Stable is little more than a frame at this point — and across the street, the Saloon is in even worse shape. The episode premiered Feb. 22, 1958.

"The Iverson Movie Ranch Western street, one building at a time" is a series of posts on the movie and TV history of each of the major structures making up Iverson's town set, which stood from 1945 to 1957 and appeared in hundreds of productions.

To see all of the posts in the series on the Iverson Western street, please click on the following links:

Part I: Casa Grande
Part II: The Livery Stable
Part III: The Saloon
Part IV: The Hotel
Part V: The General Store 
Part VI: The Barn
Part VII: The Sheriff's Office
Part VIII: The North and South Adobes
Part IX: The Lost Dutchman
Part X: The original north end of town
Part XI: The North and South Towers
Part XII: The Harness Maker
Part XIII: Rainbow Mine Co. 
Part XIV: The Church/Schoolhouse  
Part XV: The Corral Rocks Shack
Part XVI: The decline and fall of the Western street

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