Mysterious set in the Iverson Gorge
Photos surfaced a while back of an idyllic film set in the Iverson Movie Ranch's Upper Gorge, complete with a small adobe building and a serene pond.
"Flight Into Nowhere" (Columbia, 1938)
The set turned up in a 1938 Jack Holt movie called "Flight Into Nowhere" — not to be confused with the 1946 movie "Flight to Nowhere." Based on my Internet searches, the two movies are commonly mixed up.
"Flight Into Nowhere": The Iverson Gorge set, as it appears in the movie
This is what the set looks like in the movie — virtually identical to how it looks in the behind-the-scenes photos. The set plays a native village where a U.S. pilot is stranded after a crash landing in the South American jungle.
Native women use the pond set to do laundry in "Flight Into Nowhere"
Only a few scenes in the movie are filmed on the Iverson Ranch, making it kind of surprising that they would have built such an elaborate set. But they do feature every part of the set in the movie.
The Americans arrive at the pond in "Flight Into Nowhere"
In this scene a group of Americans and their jungle guides arrive to rescue the stranded pilot. The camera looks east, providing a view in the background of the farthest reach of the Upper Gorge.
A crowd of extras gathers on the set
A fairly large group of cast members and extras took part in the shoot. Here everyone crowds onto the Gorge set during a climactic meeting between the Americans and the natives.
Bing aerial (2018) showing the location of the set, east of Redmesa Road
The good news is we can approximate where the set was located. Unfortunately, due to the construction of the condos in the 1980s — and the tons of dirt hauled in during grading — the site is no longer recognizable.
"The Pit": What's left of the site where the "Flight Into Nowhere" set once stood
Today the area is unrecognizable, as the original terrain was buried under dirt, which then spawned a diverse array of foliage. I call this area "the Pit," due in part to its tendency to harbor poison oak and rattlesnakes.
Below is a link to the "Flight Into Nowhere" DVD on Amazon.