Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meanwhile back at the ranch -- Cap Rock

In this post I'll tell you about Cap Rock.  It's one of those upper Iverson Ranch "Rock Stars" that you've probably seen dozens of times in B-Western chase scenes, but didn't pay much attention to.  Today--as you see in the photo above--it is nearly completely obscured by a grove of oak trees that surround it.  When I took this photo (spring 2010) it was a little spooky because it was already "Rattlesnake Season," and the grass around the base of Cap Rock was tall and dense.  Today a recently constructed custom home blocks access to the area. 

Here's another 2010 photo that will help you understand why I call it "Cap Rock."  The smaller rock on the left is a actually a cap.

If you recall--in my recent post about Medicine Rocks--I explained that there once existed a chase road which was a semicircle that ran between Lookout Point (turkey track) and Cap Rock.  There must have been at least a hundred chase scenes filmed between those two formations.

The screenshot above from an unidentified 1940s Johnny Mack Brown film gives you a good look at the west side of Cap Rock.  Actually this screen capture is somewhat rare because most camera setups didn't film this side of the formation.

The screen capture above from Marshal of Cripple Creek (1947) is the camera angle most often viewed.  I can just picture the camera cranking away while the bad guys make the 10 second sprint between Cap and Lookout Point, then the good guys make the same run, so the end result is a 20 second chase scene that's interwoven with additional footage from other locations as necessary to achieve the desired length of chase scene.

Above is another screen capture from a scene in the "Fury TV Series" that reveals a separation between the larger boulders that support Cap Rock.  There is actually a passage way--wide enough for horsemen--between the boulders.  I'll tell you about that passage which I call Durango's Pass in a future blog post.

There's a scene in Bad Men of Missouri (1941) (screenshot above) that is actually filmed from the top of Cap Rock which gives you a glimpse at a portion of the semicircle chase road mentioned above.

Here's a close up look at the Cap Rock and the separation between boulders as seen in a capture from The Phantom Rider (1946).

In the still above from a scene in Rex Allen's Utah Wagon Train (1951) you can spot Cap Rock just behind Rex's hat.

The screen capture above is a rare look at the south entrance of Cap Rock in a scene from Rex Allen's  Phantom Stallion (1954).

Here's a last look at the west side of Cap Rock as it appeared in Charles Starrett's Both Barrels Blazing (1945).

A few of the many movies that you'll see Cap Rock in are The Arizona Kid (1939), Bordertown Gun Fighters (1943), Gunmen of Abilene (1950), Sheriff of Sundown (1944), Sunset in El Dorado (1945) and Western Cyclone (1943)

'Meanwhile back at the ranch' is a continuing series about "rock stars" (landscape features) on the old Iverson Movie Location Ranch in Chatsworth, California.  For more information about the Iverson Movie Ranch see:

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