Three neighboring rocks with remarkably similar silhouettes
These screen shots show three different rocks that were situated near each other on the Iverson Movie Ranch. Similarities in their shapes have posed a number of research challenges.
"Man From Sonora" (Johnny Mack Brown, 1951)
Remarkably, all three rocks are positioned in the same direction, with their matching edges found at the northwest corner of each rock. Two of these edges can be seen in this screen shot from the B-Western "Man From Sonora."
"Atom Man vs. Superman" (Columbia serial, 1950)
The shot of Range Rider Rock comes from "Atom Man vs. Superman." The image of the corner of the rock looming along the right edge of the frame is typical of how all three rocks at times appeared in the movies.
"When the Daltons Rode" (Universal, 1940)
Another interesting use of that "S"-curve edge of Range Rider Rock can be found in the Randolph Scott Western "When the Daltons Rode," where a bushwhacker atop the rock awaits his prey.
"Man From Sonora" — Range Rider Rock
Range Rider Rock had a number of other profiles that were also often seen in productions. This shot from "Man From Sonora" shows the full length of the rock, and is probably its most common angle.
you can see that post by clicking here.
"Shut My Big Mouth" — Joe E. Brown (1942)
Range Rider Rock is featured in colorized form in this lobby card for the Joe E. Brown movie "Shut My Big Mouth."
"The Roy Rogers Show": "The Scavenger" (Nov. 27, 1955) — "Brainiac"
Viewed from this angle, the north end of Range Rider Rock presents a profile I've always found amusing, which I call "Brainiac." I broke down the elements of Brainiac in a post back in 2010 that you can see by clicking here.
Range Rider Rock/Brainiac in modern times
Range Rider Rock survives today as part of the mobile home park, but the rock is hard to access and I have been unable to replicate the "Brainiac" angle. The above shot is about as close as I could get, but it clearly has none of the original Brainiac charisma.
Range Rider Rock's contemporary setting
Another partial view of Range Rider Rock can be seen by looking over the roof of a mobile home. This angle, with the camera pointed southeast, doesn't quite match any productions I've seen.
"The Lone Rider in Ghost Town" (PRC, 1941)
Range Rider Rock was frequently filmed from the north, as in this example from the George Houston B-Western "The Lone Rider in Ghost Town." Range Rider Rock appears on the left, with a portion of the Lash LaRue's Arch formation visible in the background, above the riders.
"Gold Raiders" (1951)
It can be a challenge to find these bumps in productions, but they're visible in this shot from the Three Stooges movie "Gold Raiders."
"The Virginian": "The Mountain of the Sun" (April 17, 1963)
The bumps can be found again in this unusual shot from the TV show "The Virginian." Unfortunately, that side of the rock is in shadow, once again making the bumps a little hard to see.
"The Fighting Seabees" (1944)
An interesting shot of Range Rider Rock appears in the John Wayne war movie "The Fighting Seabees," with the rock filling much of the bottom left corner of the frame. The rocks near the top of the frame are still in place as well, and today decorate the area around the swimming pool in the Indian Hills Mobile Home Village.
"The Rawhide Trail" (1958)
The relationship between Range Rider Rock and Fireplace Rock can be seen in this shot from the Allied Artists B-Western "The Rawhide Trail," which starred Rex Reason.
"Lawless Cowboys" (Monogram, 1951)
In the Whip Wilson movie "Lawless Cowboys," we get a better look at Bugeye and Trapezoid atop Fireplace Rock. The shot is taken from Sheep Flats looking southeast.
"Overland Trail" TV series: "Westbound Stage" (March 6, 1960)
The Ottoman can be seen in the top left corner of this shot from the TV show "Overland Trail." The one-hour Western series, which starred Doug McClure and William Bendix, lasted just one season on NBC.
Example of an actual ottoman
It may go without saying, but to illustrate why I've been calling the rock the Ottoman, here's a picture of an actual Ottoman. While the name is related mainly to the ottoman-like shape of the rock, I also like the suggestion of a cushy rock that one could put one's feet up on.
"Man From Sonora"
The rock feature the Ottoman is on the obscure side, as famous Iverson Movie Ranch rocks go. "Man From Sonora" includes one of the better looks at the rock, but even here it tends to blend in.
"The Virginian" — "Mountain of the Sun"
This is probably the most striking appearance by the Ottoman, from the same "Virginian" sequence noted above. The sequence marks one of the few times the east side of the rock was filmed.
Indian Hills Mobile Home Village — swimming pool area
Some of the same rocks can be seen in this recent shot of the swimming pool area. The original location of the fake cave would have been near the left of the frame, in the dark area above the white table.
"Atom Man vs. Superman" — the Ottoman
The Ottoman can be seen at the far left of the frame in this screen shot from "Atom Man vs. Superman."
"Motorcycle Gang" (American International, 1957)
On a rare occasion when horses and old gangster sedans gave way to motorcycles on the Iverson Ranch, the Ottoman lurked in the background during filming of the oddity "Motorcycle Gang."
Indian Hills Mobile Home Village (Bing bird's-eye view)
A recent overview of the Indian Hills Mobile Home Village, at Topanga and the 118 in Chatsworth, Calif., notes the location of two of the main rock features highlighted in this post — Fireplace Rock and Range Rider Rock.