"Wagon Team" (Columbia, 1952)
I've been intrigued by a rock formation that reminds me of a giant dinosaur claw since I first spotted it a few years ago in the Gene Autry movie "Wagon Team."
"Fast on the Draw" (Lippert, 1950): The front "toe" of "Dinosaur Claw"
It did pop up in a promo shot for "Fast on the Draw," one of the "Lippert Six" Westerns discussed in a recent blog post. The angle is rotated about 90 degrees from the "Wagon Team" shot, with the camera aimed west here.
"Dinosaur Claw" in 2018 — minus the dead guy
The giant claw turned out to be pretty easy to find in the real world. However, it's hard to get a decent photo of it because these days a tree is blocking a lot of its light.
Dinosaur Claw in 2018: Letdown-osaurus
This is probably the formation's most "Dinosaur Claw-like" angle. I was disappointed when I finally saw it because the feature doesn't look nearly as much like a dinosaur claw in person as it did in the movies.
Hidden Valley — on the former Upper Iverson's South Rim
The rock formation is located on the former Upper Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., in an area known as Hidden Valley, on private property in the fringes of a gated community of high-end estates.
"West of the Brazos" (Lippert, 1950): Tom Tyler with a fallen "co-henchman"
Those Lippert Westerns tend to have a lot of dead guys lying around among the rocks. This shot was taken not far from the Dinosaur Claw dead guy, about a stone's throw to the west down a dusty old movie road.
"West of the Brazos": Tom Tyler and his ill-fated co-star
Another shot from the movie offers a slightly different angle on these rarely filmed rocks. In the background we get a glimpse of the much more prominent Totem Rocks or Totem Pole Rocks.
Pulling back for a wider shot from an expedition a few years ago, we get a better look at the Totem Rocks. I've also referred to these rocks in the past as Easter Island or the Easter Island Committee.
"The Tomb" (1986): Camels on the Upper Iverson, below the Totem Rocks
The Totem Rocks turn up all the time in movies and TV shows. Here's a shot of them in "The Tomb," one of the later movies to film on the Upper Iverson — and quite possibly the last time anyone brought camels there.
Joe Iverson rides a camel in the Iverson Gorge in 1934
There's a long tradition of camels on the Iverson Movie Ranch, something we touched on last month in a post about Colonial India movies and "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer." (Click here to see that post.)
"Tarzan and the Slave Girl" (1950): Lex Barker on Notch Rock
You may have seen this shot on the blog before. It's Tarzan — played in this case by Lex Barker — not fooling anyone into thinking he's in Africa as he stands on top of Notch Rock.
"Seminole Uprising" (1955): Hard to miss Notch Rock
Notch Rock may be TOO instantly recognizable. Almost anytime it's in the picture, the eye is drawn to it.
"Cripple Creek" (1952): The Reflecting Pool, Wrench Rock ... and oh yeah, Notch Rock
Even with a lot of other interesting stuff in the shot, Notch Rock commands attention.
click here to see a really old and confusing post about Wrench Rock and the Reflecting Pool.
"Wild Horse Ambush" (Republic, 1952)
Even from halfway across the Upper Iverson, we can still pick out Notch Rock. This shot provides a look at the rocks of "Bobby's Bend" from the north.