Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reel Indians of the Santa Susanas -- Chief Thundercloud


Chief Thundercloud -- born Victor Daniels (1899–1955) was a Cherokee Native American Indian actor who had been given the honorary title of Chief.  He worked as a mining foreman, boxer and guide and as a laborer on cattle ranches and rodeos before going to Hollywood in the late 1920s. 

He is best known for his role of faithful sidekick "Tonto" in the serial The Lone Ranger (1938) and its sequel The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939). 

He also played the title role of Paramount Pictures' Geronimo (1939). 

His Santa Susana locations filmography includes:

Saddle Aces (1935) starring Rex Bell, Ruth Mix and Buzz Barton (Chatsworth Train Tunnel) Resolute


Custer's Last Stand (1936) [serial] starring Rex Lease, Lona Andre, William Farnum (Iverson Ranch) Stage & Screen


The Plainsman (1936) starring Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur and James Ellison (Iverson Ranch) Paramount

The Bold Caballero (1936) starring Robert Livingston, Heather Angel and Sig Ruman (Iverson Ranch) Republic

Riders of the Whistling Skull (1937) starring Robert Livingston, Ray Corrigan and Max Terhune - Republic 


The Lone Ranger (1938) [serial] starring Lee Powell, Chief Thundercloud and Lynne Roberts (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939) [serial] starring Robert Livingston, Chief Thundercloud and Duncan Renaldo (Iverson Ranch) Republic

Man of Conquest (1939) starring Richard Dix, Gail Patrick and Edward Ellis (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Geronimo (1939) starring Preston Foster, Ellen Drew and Andy Devine (Iverson Ranch) Paramount


Young Buffalo Bill (1940) starring Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes and Pauline Moore (Iverson Ranch) Republic

Shut My Big Mouth (1942) starring Joe E. Brown, Adele Mara and Victor Jory (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

The Valley of Vanishing Men (1942) [serial] starring Bill Elliott, Slim Summerville, Carmen Morales (Iverson Ranch) Columbia


Daredevils of the West (1943) [serial] starring Allan Lane, Kay Aldridge and Eddie Acuff (Iverson Ranch) Republic


The Law Rides Again (1943) starring Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson and Jack La Rue (Corriganville) Monogram

The Fighting Seabees (1944) starring John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Dennis O'Keefe (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Outlaw Trail (1944) starring Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele and Chief Thundercloud (Corriganville) Monogram

Sonora Stagecoach (1944) starring Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele and Chief Thundercloud (Corriganville) Monogram

Raiders of Ghost City (1944) [serial] starring Dennis Moore, Wanda McKay and Lionel Atwill (Iverson Ranch) Universal


Black Arrow (1944) [serial] starring Mark Roberts, Adele Jergens and Robert Williams (Iverson Ranch) Columbia


The Phantom Rider (1946) [serial] [aka Ghost Riders of the West] starring Robert Kent, Peggy Stewart and LeRoy Mason (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Romance of the West (1946) starring Eddie Dean, Emmett Lynn and Joan Barton (Iverson Ranch)(Corriganville) PRC

Renegade Girl (1946) starring Ann Savage, Alan Curtis and Edward Brophy (Iverson Ranch) Screen Guild  



Blazing Across the Pecos (1948) starring Charles Starrett, Patricia Barry and Paul Campbell (Iverson Ranch) Columbia


The Traveling Saleswoman (1950) starring Joan Davis, Andy Devine and Adele Jergens (Iverson) Columbia

Davy Crockett, Indian Scout (1950) starring George Montgomery, Ellen Drew and Phillip Reed (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Ambush (1950) starring Robert Taylor, John Hodiak and Arlene Dahl (Corriganville) MGM

Colt .45 (1950) starring Randolph Scott, Ruth Roman and Zachary Scott (Iverson Ranch) Warner Bros.

Indian Territory (1950) starring Gene Autry, Champion and Gail Davis (Corriganville) Columbia

"The Gene Autry Show" (TV Series) starring episode: The Poisoned Waterhole (1950)

Last of the Buccaneers (1950) starring Paul Henreid, Jack Oakie and Karin Booth (Corriganville) Columbia

Santa Fe (1951) starring Randolph Scott, Janis Carter and Jerome Courtland (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory (1952) starring Clayton Moore, Slim Andrews, Charles Harvey and Rodd Redwing (Corriganville) United Artists

"Death Valley Days" (TV Series) starring episode: The Saint's Portrait (1954)


"Buffalo Bill, Jr." (TV Series) starring episode: Fight for Geronimo (1955)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Billy The Kid in the Santa Susanas


William H. McCarty (1859-1881), also known as  William H. Bonney or "Billy the Kid" was a 19th-century Irish American gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw.  

Historians agree that Billy was a ruthless murderer, but he was loved by the citizens of the towns of Lincoln and Fort Sumner, New Mexico, so over time his story has become an American legend.

The legend of "Billy the Kid" has been further glorified and glamorized by Hollywood movies and television.  

Two dozen "Billy the Kid" titles -- featuring six-gun heroes like Johnny Mack Brown, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, Bob Steele, Buster Crabbe, Rocky Lane and others -- were lensed in Chatsworth.

The following is a filmography of "Billy the Kid" tales lensed at Santa Susana locations:


Billy the Kid (1930) starring Johnny Mack Brown, Wallace Beery, Kay Johnson (Porter Ranch) MGM


The Fourth Horseman (1932) starring Tom Mix, Margaret Lindsay, Fred Kohler (Iverson Ranch) Universal


Billy the Kid Returns (1938) starring Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette, Lynne Roberts (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Billy the Kid Outlawed (1940) starring Bob Steele, Louise Currie and Al St. John starring (Brandeis Ranch) PRC


Billy the Kid in Texas (1940) starring Bob Steele, Terry Walker, Al St. John (Iverson Ranch) PRC

Billy the Kid's Gun Justice (1940) starring Bob Steele, Al St. John, Louise Currie (Brandeis Ranch) PRC


Billy the Kid's Range War (1941) starring Bob Steele, Al St. John, Joan Barclay (Iverson Ranch) PRC


Billy the Kid's Fighting Pals (1941) starring Bob Steele, Al St. John, Phyllis Adair (Iverson Ranch) PRC


Billy the Kid Wanted (1941) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Dave O'Brien (Iverson Ranch) PRC


Law and Order (1942) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Dave O'Brien (Corriganville) PRC


The Mysterious Rider (1942) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Caroline Burke (Iverson Ranch) PRC

The Kid Rides Again (1943) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Iris Meredith (Corriganville) PRC


Fugitive of the Plains (1943) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Maxine Leslie (Corriganville) PRC

Western Cyclone (1943) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Marjorie Manners (Iverson Ranch) PRC


Cattle Stampede (1943) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Frances Gladwin (Corriganville) PRC


Blazing Frontier (1943) starring Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Marjorie Manners (Corriganville) PRC


Alias Billy the Kid (1946) starring Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart, Tom London (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Return of the Bad Men (1947) starring Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys (Iverson Ranch) RKO


Son of Billy the Kid (1949) starring Lash La Rue, Al St. John, June Carr (Iverson Ranch) Screen Guild


I Shot Billy the Kid (1950) starring Don 'Red' Barry, Robert Lowery, Wally Vernon (Corriganville) Lippert


Captive of Billy the Kid (1952) starring Allan Lane, Black Jack, Penny Edwards (Corriganville) Republic


Billy the Kid versus Dracula (1966) starring John Carradine, Chuck Courtney, Melinda Plowman (Corriganville) Embassy Pictures

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Wallace Beery


Wallace Beery (1885–1949) was an American born actor.  His film career span more than 35 years, and he performed in more than 250 movie titles.  He was probably best known for his title role as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa!

He was the brother of actor Noah Beery, Sr. and uncle of actor Noah Beery, Jr.

Wallace Beery's Santa Susana locations filmography includes:


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) starring Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry and Pomeroy Cannon (San Fernando Mission) Metro Pictures


Three Ages (1923) starring Buster Keaton, Margaret Leahy and Wallace Beery (Iverson Ranch) Buster Keaton Prod.


Billy the Kid (1930) starring Johnny Mack Brown, Wallace Beery and Kay Johnson (Porter Ranch) MGM


Jackass Mail (1942) starring Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main and J. Carrol Naish (Iverson Ranch) MGM

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Meanwhile back at the ranch -- Rocky Peak


Rocky Peak (photo above) with its summit at 2714 feet is the third tallest peak in the Santa Susana Mountain Range.  The Santa Susana range skirts the northern edges of both the San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley.  

Rocky Peak was visible from most filming locations on the Iverson and Brandeis Movie Ranches when the camera was facing West, and was an easy way to verify their location in films lensed there.


Over the decades Chatsworth's Rocky Peak has been seen in so many movies it has become an icon for the Old West.  

In the 2014 photo above horseback riders including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mitchell Englander, and equestrian leaders Mary Kaufman and Charlotte Brodie have been captured by photographer Sandee Andrews with the famous peak in the background giving the photo an illusion of being from the Old West.

As you will see in the following collection of movie stills Rocky Peak has a very different appearance than Oat Mountain to it's East.  Rocky Peak is actually an anchor point where the much rockier Simi Hills join the Santa Susana Range.


Ranger Courage (1937) starring Robert Allen, Martha Tibbetts, Walter Miller (Brandeis Ranch) Columbia


Calling Wild Bill Elliott (1943) starring Bill Elliott, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Anne Jeffreys (Iverson Ranch)(Burro Flats)(Corriganville) Republic


The Man from Rainbow Valley (1946) starring Monte Hale, Lorna Gray, Jo Ann Marlowe (Chatsworth Reservoir)(Iverson Ranch) Republic


Robin Hood of Texas (1947) starring Gene Autry, Champion Jr., Lynne Roberts, Sterling Holloway (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Mark of the Lash (1948) starring Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Suzi Crandall (Iverson) Western Adventures


The Westward Trail (1948) starring Eddie Dean, Copper the Horse, Roscoe Ates (Iverson Ranch) PRC


Calamity Jane and the Texan (1950) starring Evelyn Ankers, Lee White, James Ellison (Iverson) Columbia


Gunmen of Abilene (1950) starring Allan Lane, Black Jack, Eddy Waller (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Stage to Tucson (1950) starring Rod Cameron, Wayne Morris, Kay Buckley (Iverson Ranch) Columbia


Thundering Caravans (1952) starring Allan Lane, Black Jack, Eddy Waller (Iverson Ranch) Republic


Texas Bad Man (1953) starring Wayne Morris, Frank Ferguson, Elaine Riley (Corriganville) Allied Artists


Davy Crockett - King of the Wild Frontier (1955) starring Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Basil Ruysdael (Iverson Ranch) Buena Vista


Five Guns West (1955) starring John Lund, Dorothy Malone, Mike Connors (Iverson Ranch) American Releasing


"Gunsmoke" (1955) TV Series - starring James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon (616 episodes, 1955-1975)


Tall Man Riding (1955) starring Randolph Scott, Dorothy Malone, Peggie Castle (Corriganville)(Iverson Ranch) Warner Bros.


The Lone Ranger (1956) starring Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels, Lyle Bettger, Bonita Granville (Iverson Ranch) Warner Bros.


White Squaw (1956) starring David Brian, May Wynn, William Bishop, Nancy Hale (Iverson Ranch) Columbia