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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• 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.
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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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Monday, November 6, 2017

Is this the weirdest rock on the Iverson Movie Ranch?

"Doglips," on the Lower Iverson in Chatsworth, Calif.

I've had a long-running fixation with this sandstone monstrosity, one of the heavily filmed "Classic Rocks" on the former Iverson Movie Ranch.

Doglips in its "Chinless Wonder" persona

The rock takes on a multitude of identities from various angles, including standing upright and puffing its chest out in cartoonlike bravado when viewed from just the right angle from the north. Your mileage may vary.

Doglips' eastern profile

Each of the rock's many profiles is at least as weird as the last — and in some cases even weirder. Viewed from the east, Doglips even flashes what might be interpreted as "dog tongue."

While Doglips' "tongue" is tragically small for a dog, it makes up for it by being a bit too far back in its "mouth." When a dog has its tongue flapping out like this, it suggests to me that the animal is happy and tired (and also hot).

Doglips and its neighbor, Lone Ranger Rock

Pulling back the camera a bit, we see Doglips along with its much smaller — and much more famous — neighbor to the south, Lone Ranger Rock. The Santa Susana Mountains to the west can be seen in the background.

Doglips does not enjoy the the level of adulation Lone Ranger Rock earned by being featured in the opening of "The Lone Ranger," but Doglips has the advantage — if it is an advantage — of being weirder than its neighbor.

Doglips' cameo in the opening to the TV show "The Lone Ranger"

A little-known secret is that Doglips, too, appears in the opening sequence for "The Lone Ranger" — albeit in a supporting role, hiding in the background as Clayton Moore, Silver and Lone Ranger Rock take their bows.

Doglips, right, with Lone Ranger Rock to its left

The close bond between Doglips and Lone Ranger Rock is evident again in this recent shot from yet another angle, with the camera capturing the two rocks from the northeast.

One thing about rocks is that when they mate, they mate for life.

Are you on board yet with the suggestion that Doglips might be the weirdest rock on the Iverson Ranch?

"Unknown Valley" (Columbia, 1933): Doglips threatens to get weird

Doglips makes countless appearances in movies and TV shows, but rarely does it unleash anything like the full fury of its weirdness on the screen — there's really no substitute for seeing the rock up close and in person.

This shot from the old Buck Jones Western "Unknown Valley" captures the upper section of Doglips from almost the same angle seen in photos just above this one, with the camera again shooting from the northeast.

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" TV series

A more common angle for Doglips in productions is this one showing the rock's distinctive Western profile. It's about the same thing you see today when you drive past the rock on Redmesa Road.

The shot comes from the "Wyatt Earp" episode "The Gatling Gun," which premiered Oct. 21, 1958.

Doglips in 2016 (photo by Jerry Condit)

I love this photo capturing the rock's Dali-esque Western profile in all its black and white glory. This contemporary view of the rock was taken in early 2016 by photographer and film location historian Jerry Condit.

"Jungle Girl" (Republic serial, 1941)

Notice the dark rock in the left half of the screen, with its shape reminiscent of the head of a monkey.

By now it's unlikely to come as a surprise, but this is another appearance by Doglips — and still another persona for the complex movie rock. Here the rock is again filmed from the north ... "-ish."

"Perils of Nyoka" (Republic serial, 1942)

The following year the seminal Republic serial "Perils of Nyoka" came to Iverson for an extensive shoot. This shot from the production includes Doglips and a number of other interesting rocks, filmed from the top of Nyoka Cliff.

You may have already spotted Doglips, but just to make sure — that's it on the right.

The sequence also provides a long-distance view of the incredible Rock Island. If you'd like to get the full rundown on this major rock feature, please click here to see my in-depth Rock Island "viewer's guide" from 2015.

A couple of other rock features seen in the background may also be of interest to fans of the Iverson Movie Ranch. Click here to see a post about Bald Knob, and here to read about Batman Corner.

One of the stars of "Perils of Nyoka" is Clayton Moore, who would return to Iverson in 1949 as TV's "Lone Ranger." In a mildly ironic twist, Clayton happens to be blocking our view of the rock he would soon make famous.

"Perils of Nyoka": The view from on high, near the Nyoka Summit

When Clayton steps aside later in the sequence, we see revealed the rock he was inadvertently hiding from us: Lone Ranger Rock, today the most famous rock feature on the Iverson Ranch.

Doglips and Lone Ranger Rock in modern times

This contemporary shot offers a similar high angle on Lone Ranger Rock and Doglips.

The Upper Gorge today: Movie rocks and condos

Pulling back for a wider view of the same area, we see the rocks' proximity to Redmesa Road, along with the expanse of condos that now fills much of the former Lower Iverson.

How to find Doglips, just east of Redmesa Road

It's easy to visit Doglips. First make your way to Chatsworth, Calif. Take the 118 Freeway to Topanga headed south, turn right on Santa Susana Pass Road, then right on Redmesa. You won't even have to get out of the car.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for another great and interesting blog entry.
The aerial map is particularly helpful.

Anonymous said...

Great piece of investigation. Thank you.


Brenda Negri said...

As always, another great post!

Mark Sherman said...

I always enjoy the labor of love! You never fail to find something I've never seen before! Thanks

Jerry Waite said...

As always, excellent work, sahib.