"Batman and Robin" (1949)
David recognized the scene and pinpointed it as the same location seen in this shot from the Columbia serial "Batman and Robin." Readers should be able to spot the same leaning rock, with its upside-down L-shaped crack, toward the left in both shots.
The leaning rock is just around the corner from Crouching Cat, which I've blogged about in the past. This was not a high-traffic area for filming, even though back in the day Crouching Cat was situated near the end of a dirt road that climbed toward the top of Nyoka Cliff. Please click here to read my earlier post about Crouching Cat.
"Montana Desperado" (1951)
To add some context to the new find, this shot of Johnny Mack Brown in the Iverson Gorge captures the leaning rock — along with the walkway next to it where the characters are seen in "Batman and Robin."
"Batman and Robin"
Crouching Cat Tree is the same tree seen in the "Batman and Robin" shot back in 1949, although it has filled in quite a bit since then.
"Trailin' West" (1936)
The sparseness of foliage on the tree in "Batman and Robin" is an anomaly. Back in 1936 the tree was far more leafy when it appeared in the Warner Bros. B-Western "Trailin' West," starring Dick Foran.
"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1959)
Here's a typically low-key appearance by Crouching Cat Tree in the background of an episode of the "Wyatt Earp" TV series where Nyoka Cliff is prominently featured. The shot appears in the episode "Last Stand at Smoky Hill."
"Trailin' West" — Crouching Cat Tree's topknot already visible
The topknot could already be seen in 1936 in "Trailin' West," almost 80 years ago.
"Fighting Seabees" (1944) — Bulldozer vs. tank in a fight to the death
You may already know that the main tree at the top of Nyoka Cliff — I suppose we can call it the Nyoka Tree — moves around from time to time. In this shot of a famous sequence in John Wayne's "Fighting Seabees," the position of the tree is pinpointed between two of the main boulders near the top of the cliff.
"Man in the Saddle" (1951)
In this color shot several years later from the Randolph Scott Western "Man in the Saddle," Nyoka Tree remains in the same spot where it was seen in "Fighting Seabees." The tree was positioned here throughout the bulk of the filming era.
I want to congratulate David King and give him a well-deserved thumb's-up on his great detective work in the Crouching Cat area. Thanks a lot, David, for sharing your cool find!
Speaking of Dick Foran and "Trailin' West," check out the above link to a cool new DVD set on Amazon — "Dick Foran Western Collection," part of the Warner Bros. Archive Collection. These are remastered versions of 12 Dick Foran Westerns in great picture quality. Besides "Trailin' West," the set includes the Iverson movies "Land Beyond the Law," "Blazing Sixes," "California Mail" and "Guns of the Pecos," and a bunch more.