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.
• Readers can email the webmaster at

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Binders full of women: Fondly remembering a time when Hollywood hotties roamed the Iverson Movie Ranch

Virginia Mayo

Some of the hottest actresses of the 1930s, '40s and '50s — and please feel free to interpret the word "hottest" however it suits you — appeared in movies and TV shows filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch.

Rita Hayworth

The tantalizing Rita Hayworth was one of a number of top actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age to pay her dues at the Chatsworth filming location.

"The Renegade Ranger" (1938): Rita Hayworth and George O'Brien on the Iverson Ranch

Hayworth's Iverson Movie Ranch portfolio includes starring opposite George O'Brien in the 1938 RKO Western "The Renegade Ranger." Here the two stars are seen in a publicity still taken north of Garden of the Gods.

Rita Hayworth

When it comes to picking great photos of Rita Hayworth, a gorgeous movie star who moonlighted as one of the top pinups of World War II, it's hard to narrow it down to just a few.

Rhonda Fleming

Rhonda Fleming had a busy Iverson Movie Ranch career, including appearing in the Iverson movies "Tennessee's Partner," "Alias Jesse James" and "Yankee Pasha."

Rhonda Fleming

Rhonda cleaned up nicely.

In fact, here's a shot of Rhonda cleaning up — nicely.

Gene Tierney with Randolph Scott on the Iverson Ranch in "Belle Starr," 1941

Gene Tierney worked the Iverson Ranch as the title character in 20th Century-Fox's "Belle Starr." She dressed down for the part of the none-too-glamorous outlaw — and if you've ever seen a photo of the real Belle Starr, you know the role would have been a stretch for Tierney, considered one of the most beautiful actresses of her era.

Gene Tierney: Hay, babe, how 'bout it?

Like other screen babes of the era, Tierney was expected at times to be photographed either in or near hay — and I have a hunch we'll be seeing more combinations of women and hay before we're through here.

Gene Tierney

Tierney also had her more glamorous photo shoots.

Loretta Young

Speaking of glamour, Loretta Young helped class up a number of Iverson movies, including starring with Gary Cooper in "Along Came Jones," a landmark production for the movie ranch filmed in 1944 and 1945.

"Along Came Jones": Loretta Young, Gary Cooper and William Demarest on the Iverson Western street

Loretta's sudden display of affection catches Gary Cooper off guard as William "He'll Always Be Uncle Charley" Demarest looks on in disbelief. Cooper, who both starred in and produced "Along Came Jones," had the town set built specifically for the movie in 1944.

Loretta Young

Loretta seems to have no idea what all the fuss is about.

Jane Russell

Did I mention hay? Jane Russell rolled around in it with a six-shooter in a series of iconic promo shots for Howard Hughes' 1943 Western "The Outlaw."

Jane Russell

"The Outlaw" was not filmed on the Iverson Ranch, but Russell starred in her share of Iverson movies — among them, "The Paleface," "Son of Paleface" and "Waco."

Dale Evans

Speaking of hotties on the hay, we think mostly pure thoughts about Dale Evans, remembered fondly as Mrs. Roy Rogers, Queen of the West. But there's a reason the King of the Cowboys warmed up to her in the first place.

Dale Evans and soulmate Roy Rogers

If anyone had been counting, Roy and Dale would hold the record for "most often filmed couple on the Iverson Ranch" — by a lot. They lived in Chatsworth in the '50s and '60s, just 10 minutes from the movie ranch, and filmed almost all of the outdoor action for "The Roy Rogers Show" on the ranch.

Dale Evans

Evans played more than her share of saloon girls before she hooked up with Roy.

Maureen O'Sullivan as "Jane"

From the Queen of the West to the Queen of the Jungle, Maureen O'Sullivan raised the bar for all future Janes in the "Tarzan" movies of the '30s, with a number of her jungle adventures filmed on the Iverson Ranch.

You Tarzan, me Jane ... we half-naked: Maureen O'Sullivan gives Johnny Weissmuller ideas

Maureen created a stir with her skimpy Jane outfits, which helped convince Hollywood to start enforcing the Hays Code once the censors got a good look at Maureen's body in "Tarzan and His Mate" in 1934.

"Tarzan's Secret Treasure" (1941): The Tarzan family in the Iverson Gorge

O'Sullivan still made a pretty hot Jane, even after the new production code — along with her new job title as surrogate mom to Boy — forced her to cover up some of her attributes from the mid-'30s on.

Anita Ekberg in "La Dolce Vita"

Before Swedish bombshell Anita Ekberg became an international sensation in the 1960 classic "La Dolce Vita," she had a tour de force performance in the title role of 1957's "Valerie," filmed on the Upper Iverson.

Anita Ekberg

Something about this unusual colorized photo of Ekberg just works.

Ekberg comes across as someone who's comfortable in her skin.

Yvonne De Carlo

Speaking of skin, I hope my readers can handle photos of a young, scantily clad — and not-exactly-clad — Lily Munster, aka the sumptuous Yvonne De Carlo. These racy pics from the 1940s go back to early in her career.

De Carlo was no older than her early 20s at the time. Within a few years she was at Iverson starring in Universal Westerns in the late 1940s, including playing Calamity in "Calamity Jane and Sam Bass."

Dorothy Malone

Then there's Dorothy Malone, who could drive men to madness as a brunette cowgirl or a blonde femme fatale ... or a blonde cowgirl, for that matter. Really pretty much however they dressed her up.

Dorothy Malone and Rock Hudson, "Tarnished Angels," 1957

Dorothy's Iverson resume includes "The Nevadan," with Randolph Scott, and two early Roger Corman movies from 1955 — the original "The Fast and the Furious" and the unfairly overlooked Western "Five Guns West."

Dorothy Malone and Jonathan Haze, "Five Guns West," 1955

Malone was put to extremely good use as Shalee, the unbearably seductive fuel for outlaws' passions in Roger Corman's first directorial effort, "Five Guns West," filmed on the Iverson Ranch and Ingram Ranch.

A young Dorothy Malone does her part for the war effort

What's that you say? More Dorothy Malone? You got it!

Dorothy Malone and Penny Edwards: Double your hot cowgirl pleasure

We also have Dorothy to thank for roping in Penny Edwards, as the two tag-teamed a memorable cowgirl photo shoot around the time they appeared together in Warner Bros.' 1948 release "Two Guys From Texas."

Penny Edwards: Um, what am I supposed to do with these?

Penny, who brought her own fireworks wherever she went, starred in a batch of Iverson productions — usually billed third after the lead cowboy and his horse.

Penny Edwards

Penny starred with Roy Rogers in "Trail of Robin Hood" (1950) and "Spoilers of the Plains" (1951), appeared opposite Rex Allen in "Utah Wagon Train" (1951) and worked with Allan "Rocky" Lane in "Captive of Billy the Kid" (1952) — all filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch.

As a beautiful woman working in Westerns, Penny had her share of opportunities to get in the hay — let's just say a number of photographers apparently saw it as a metaphor.

Penny Edwards and co-star

It's easy to see why Penny got so much work in Westerns — she made a super-cute cowgirl.

Gale Robbins

While we're on the subject of super-cute cowgirls, how about a shout-out to the insanely hot Gale Robbins?

Gale Robbins

Gale's filmography includes the noteworthy Iverson Movie Ranch feature "Quantrill's Raiders" (1958), along with the late '50s TV shows "Trackdown" and "State Trooper," both of which shot at Iverson.

Peggie Castle

The gorgeous Peggie Castle was another frequent visitor to the Chatsworth location ranch, including appearing in "Son of Belle Starr" (1953), "The Oklahoma Woman" (1956) and "Hell's Crossroads" (1957).

Peggie Castle and John Russell, promo still for "Lawman," 1962

Peggie also had a regular role as saloon owner Lily Merrill, love interest for John Russell's Marshal Dan Troop, from 1959-1962 on "Lawman," another TV Western filmed on the Iverson Ranch.

"Beginning of the End" (1957): Peggie Castle and Peter Graves

When I was just a little kid — years before I would attain a level of "maturity" sufficient to fully appreciate Peggie Castle's hotness — said hotness was hiding in plain sight in one of my favorite "nature run amok" sci-fi movies of the '50s, "Beginning of the End." Back then all I cared about was the giant grasshoppers.

Viola Richard in the Garden of the Gods, "Flying Elephants" (1928)

Many readers may be unfamiliar with the beautiful Viola Richard, who had one of the nicest smiles of the silent film era. Viola shared the screen not only with comedy giants Laurel and Hardy, but also with the sandstone giants of the Iverson Ranch's Garden of the Gods.

Viola Richard

The sporty Viola was under contract to the Hal Roach Studios in the late 1920s, so her body of work consists almost entirely of silent comedy shorts.

Virginia Mayo and James Cagney, "White Heat" (1949)

Virginia Mayo, also seen at the top of this post, had a way of getting under James Cagney's skin in "White Heat," one of only a handful of films noir to shoot on the Iverson Ranch.

Virginia Mayo

Any tension with Cagney's grumpy "White Heat" character was understandable — Mayo, who was another popular pinup girl during World War II, was clearly worth getting worked up about.

Virginia Mayo

The photogenic Mayo appeared in a number of Iverson Movie Ranch productions, including the 1954 Warner Bros. feature "King Richard and the Crusaders."

Abby Dalton

Abby Dalton was an unknown back in 1957 when Roger Corman cast her in the lead role in his Iverson Movie Ranch showpiece "The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent."

Abby Dalton

Dalton was back at Iverson the following year in "Cole Younger, Gunfighter" before going on to a prolific career in television that included a long run on the prime-time soap opera "Falcon Crest" in the 1980s.

Mara Corday

Mara Corday offers another variation on the theme of "girls, guns and hay." Mara put in some time in the Westerns, including the 1957 20th Century-Fox feature "The Quiet Gun," filmed on the Iverson Ranch.

Believe it or not, we've barely scratched the surface when it comes to gorgeous women who worked the Iverson Ranch. Let me know if you like this sort of thing and I'll see what I can do to put together a Part 2.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

An old Iverson Movie Ranch sign turns up as a museum piece

Valley Relics Museum founder Tommy Gelinas with Iverson Ranch sign

An old sign for the Iverson Movie Ranch turned up recently at the Valley Relics Museum, a cool spot located less than three miles from the former movie ranch.

The sign is in good company alongside other historic specimens as part of the museum's sprawling collection of San Fernando Valley-focused memorabilia.

When a friend first pointed it out to me, the Iverson sign was hidden behind a cabinet, leaning against a wall, tinted slightly red by the glow from a nearby display.

The museum's collection is so vast it can't all be showcased at once, which is part of the appeal — and one reason I keep going back to find more hidden treasures.

The well-worn Iverson sign is patterned after a clapboard from a film shoot, with spaces for "director," "scene" and "take." The sign was originally posted near the movie ranch's main entry gate.

Not far from the sign is another artifact related to Chatsworth's movie history: a mannequin, which appears to be made up to look like a field laborer.

Postcard shows set used by Texie Holle to market movie mannequins

The mannequin is likely to have come from a Chatsworth outfit run by Ed "Texie" Holle, a ranch foreman at Corriganville in the 1950s who later rented out lifesize Indian mannequins for the movies.

Texie Holle had a recording career of sorts. Play the above audio clip if you dare! It may be the longest two-and-a-half minutes in history.

Opened in 2013, the Valley Relics Museum is located at 21630 Marilla St. in Chatsworth, Calif. The museum is open every Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Below is an awesome clip about the Valley Relics Museum ... two thumbs up.