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.
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• 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, February 17, 2015

The Iverson Movie Ranch Western street, one building at a time ... Part VII: The Sheriff's Office

"The Hills of Utah" (1951): The Sheriff's Office

This small, square structure on the east side of the Iverson Movie Ranch Western street, seen here in the Gene Autry B-Western "The Hills of Utah," was all about law enforcement, typically appearing in movies and on TV as a Sheriff's Office or County Jail.

"Night Raiders" (1952)

Whip Wilson holds court outside the Bitter Springs County Jail in the Monogram Western "Night Raiders." Once again playing a law enforcement role is the Iverson Sheriff's Office.

This shot of Fuzzy Knight outside the building in "Night Raiders" gives the impression that it's the evening, but the shadow of the west-facing building hints that it would have been filmed in the morning.

"The Caravan Trail" (1946) — Lash LaRue, left, and Eddie Dean

Lash LaRue and Eddie Dean collaborate in the PRC B-Western "The Caravan Trail" while the Sheriff's Office, in the background, makes one of its earliest color appearances.

"Oklahoma Justice" (1952)

The sign over the door reads "Sheriff's Office" in the Johnny Mack Brown B-Western "Oklahoma Justice," from Monogram. The movie was filmed by master B-movie cinematographer Ernest Miller, who was behind the camera on some of the greatest Iverson showcases.

"El Paso" (1949)

The Sheriff's Office did tackle other roles from time to time, including appearing as "Joe's Cafe" in the Paramount Western "El Paso." That's the Sheriff's Office on the left, lined up next to the two distinctive "towers" that marked the east side of the street. Another name for the Iverson Western street is El Paso Street.

"The Range Rider" (1953)

The Sheriff's Office made a number of appearances in the TV show "The Range Rider." This one comes from the episode "The Black Terror."

"The Cisco Kid" TV series

Another non-law enforcement role came up in the TV show "The Cisco Kid," where the Sheriff's Office plays a mining supply store. I found this behind-the-scenes shot in the book "Quiet on the Set," with the Sheriff's Office seen on the left.

"The Lone Ranger" TV series (1954)

The Sheriff's Office may not have been the most interesting building on the Iverson Western street, but one fun feature it did have was this gate area out back that it shared with the Barn. The gate opened into a large corral occupying much of the space to the east of the town set.

This shot comes from an episode of the TV show "The Lone Ranger" called "The Frightened Woman." The episode premiered Sept. 30, 1954, early in season four of the show's five-season run.

"Ghost Town Renegades" (1947)

The gate behind the Sheriff's Office was usually open, and the gateway at times provided a "window onto the world," looking toward the south and southeast. This shot from the Lash LaRue movie "Ghost Town Renegades" reveals a portion of the Eucalyptus Grove along with Cooper Rock.

Cooper Rock is named after Gary Cooper, the man responsible for building the town in 1945, for his Western "Along Came Jones." This shot also highlights the Eucalyptus Grove, usually referred to as just "The Grove."

That's Lash LaRue on the right, along with his frequent sidekick Al "Fuzzy" St. John, eyeing the situation in front of Cooper Rock in PRC's "Ghost Town Renegades." Some readers may have noticed that this blog post has now mentioned both of the two main "Fuzzys" of B-Westerns.

"Silver Canyon" (1951)

Here's a shot taken from a similar angle, but from farther back, with the General Store entering the picture, on the left. The shot comes from the Gene Autry movie "Silver Canyon."

Cooper Rock can again be seen in the background, with the camera lens making it appear larger and closer than it actually is.

"Night Raiders" (1952)

Either that gate was mighty tall, or Whip Wilson was mighty short — a conclusion that's hard to miss based on this shot of Wilson at the gate in "Night Raiders."

"Calamity Jane and the Texan" (1950)

Dominating the frame in this photo from "Calamity Jane and the Texan" is the General Store, on the left. But the shot provides additional context for the gate, which can be seen in the right half of the frame.

The gate was set back from the street as part of a dirt plaza area shared by the General Store, the Barn and the Sheriff's Office. I'm surprised this plaza area didn't get used more than it did, as it would have been a great place to stage a shootout.

"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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