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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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Promo shots surface from the John Wayne World War II movie "The Fighting Seabees" ... and we go deep!

Promo still for "The Fighting Seabees" (1944) — Garden of the Gods in background

I recently rounded up a nice batch of promotional stills from the John Wayne movie "The Fighting Seabees," showing the production filming on the Iverson Movie Ranch.

Iverson's rocky Upper Gorge, with Cactus Hill in the background

Most of the rocks seen in this shot can still be found on the site of the former Lower Iverson, just off Redmesa Road in Chatsworth, Calif.

The spot where the fuel tank stood is now filled with condos

The World War II movie is right near the top of just about any list of Iverson productions — one of the most important movies to shoot at Iverson, and one that's loaded with great Iverson content.

The Seabees work on the airstrip on the Iverson Ranch

"The Fighting Seabees" came out in January 1944, and the production occupied much of the Iverson Movie Ranch — both the Upper Iverson and the Lower Iverson — for several weeks in late 1943.

An inferno in the Iverson Gorge, on the Lower Iverson

The producers of "Fighting Seabees" set a number of fires and blew up plenty of explosives during the location shoot — something I blogged about last year.

Let's take a closer look at the portion of the photo highlighted here in red. Also note that you can click on any of these photos to see additional details in a larger view.

Closeup of a portion of the previous photo

The closeup reveals a number of details hidden in the background. In this zoomed-in version of the photo, you may be able to spot a windmill toward the left.

I believe this windmill is part of the Iverson family's farm operation. It is rare for it to appear in movies, and I don't know that it turns up in "The Fighting Seabees" — only that it did make it into this promo shot.

A few other items in the closeup from the promo shot are also interesting. The palm tree is fake, one of many brought in to turn the Iverson Ranch into a Pacific island for "The Fighting Seabees."

This section of the photo also caught my attention. Seen here are an old car and a large tank, along with a piece of equipment that I first thought might be a plow, again part of the farming operation.

Zooming in further on the photo, however, it becomes evident that a person can be seen near the equipment — and he (or she) appears to be wearing a fire suit. Also, the old car looks like a 1938 or 1939 Ford delivery van.

Given that the photo is taken during a massive fire sequence, it makes sense that the equipment seen in the shot might be a part of either the fire-making operation or safety efforts. However, I'm only speculating.

I still think the piece of equipment in front of the tank looks like a plow. Either way, it's surprising what sometimes turns up on a close examination of these old promo shots.

For more about "The Fighting Seabees," please click here to see my detailed post from last year. If you'd like to see the movie for yourself, you can click on the link below to go to to buy the DVD.

This DVD set is a John Wayne double feature that also includes the movie "Wake of the Red Witch." It's the same DVD I have, and the picture quality on "The Fighting Seabees" is really nice. ("Wake of the Red Witch" is not filmed on the Iverson Ranch.)


Steve Wilson said...

Thank you!

Mark Sherman said...

You've done it again! Thanks so much for your labor of love. Mark Sherman