Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meanwhile back at the ranch -- Garden of the Gods

All of my meanwhile-back-at-the-ranch blogs are stories about movie location ranches that once existed in Chatsworth, California, my hometown.

See the earlier post about the Iverson Movie Ranch history

An introduction to my books about Chatsworth filming locations can be found at

Some researchers might argue that the most famous rocks on the Iverson Movie Ranch were the formations collectively known as Garden of the Gods. 

The photo above was taken in the Garden of the Gods during the filming of a ReelzChannel Dailies show titled "Hollywood was Here -- The Iverson Ranch" (produced by Chris Meagher and filmed Tracy Birdsell).  

Scott Conley, actor and host of the episode, is sitting on my horse Cash (right) and I'm on Kasidy (left).  Perhaps we are the last two horseback cowboys ever to be filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch. 

The rock pinnacle on the left is known as Indianhead rock; the one on the right, Sphinx rock.

The movie still above is from a scene in The Man from Colorado (1948), starring Glen Ford and William Holden.  When you compare the two photos of the same location, you can see how much the trees have grown; today they nearly obscure the view of Indianhead rock.

This photo taken in the Garden of the God (above) is a Columbia publicity still of Charles Starrett on his horse Raider.

One of the most dramatic film uses of Garden of the Gods (screenshot above) was in John Ford's classic Western Stagecoach (1939), starring John Wayne.

The movie still above is a scene from Old Los Angeles (1948), starring Bill Elliott, John Carroll and Catherine McLeod.

One of the most interesting stills in my collection is from Shut My Big Mouth (1942), starring Joe E. Brown, Adele Mara and Victor Jory (above).  The photo was taken in front of the Sphinx rock pinnacle.  I think it is great fun to see the film crew and their equipment on the set in the Garden of the Gods.

Another movie still taken in front of Sphinx rock (above) is from Underground Rustlers (1941), starring Ray "Crash" Corrigan, John "Dusty" King  and Max Terhune.

Some (but not all) of the films with scenes in the Garden of the Gods include:

Arizona Cowboy (1950) starring Rex Allen
Belle Starr (1941) starring  Randolph Scott, Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews
Bengal Brigade (1954) starring Rock Hudson, Arlene Dahl and Ursula Thiess
Big Steal, The (1949) starring  Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer
Black Bart (1948) starring Dan Duryea
China (1943) starring Loretta Young, Alan Ladd and William Bendix
Dallas (1950) starring Gary Cooper and Ruth Roman
Dead Man's Gold (1948) starring Lash LaRue and Al St. John
Desert Gold (1936) starring Buster Crabbe
Desert of Lost Men (1951) starring Allan Lane
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951) a Republic serial starring Ken Curtis
Escort West (1958) starring Victor Mature
Fighting Seabees, The (1944) starring John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Dennis O'Keefe
Fighting Sheriff, The (1931) starring Buck Jones
Fighting with Kit Carson (1933) a Mascot serial starring Johnny Mack Brown, Betsy King Ross and Noah Beery
Flying Deuces, The (1939) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and Jean Parker
Follow Me Boys (1966) starring Fred MacMurray, Vera Miles and Lillian Gish
Gallant Legion, The (1948) starring Bill Elliott
Gay Amigo, The (1949) starring Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo
Hands Across the Rockies (1941) starring Bill Elliott and Dub Taylor
Harvey Girls, The (1946) starring Judy Garland and John Hodiak
Heldorado (1946) starring Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes and Dale Evans
Hidden Valley (1932) starring Bob Steele
King Richard And The Crusaders (1954) starring Rex Harrison, Virginia Mayo and George Sanders
Law of the Canyon (1947) starring Charles Starrett 
Little Big Horn (1951) starring Lloyd Bridges and John Ireland
Lucky Cisco Kid (1940) starring Cesar Romero
Lumberjack (1944) starring William Boyd and Andy Clyde
Man from Colorado, The (1948) starring Glen Ford and William Holden
Miracle Rider, The (1935) a Mascot serial starring Tom Mix
Mountain Rhythm (1939) starring Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette
My Pal Trigger (1946) starring Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes and Dale Evans
Old Los Angeles (1948) starring Bill Elliott
Paleface, The (1922) starring Buster Keaton
Pals of the Saddle (1938) starring John Wayne, Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and Max Terhune
Perils of Nyoka, The (1942) a Republic serial also known as "Nyoka and the Tigermen" starring Kay Aldridge, Clayton Moore and Lorna Gray
Phantom Plainsmen, The (1942) starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, and Rufe Davis
Phantom Valley (1948) starring Charles Starrett
Renegade Ranger, The (1938) starring George O’Brien, Rita Hayworth and Tim Holt
Return of the Badmen (1947) starring Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan and Anne Jeffreys
Riders of Death Valley (1941) a Universal serial starring Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo and Buck Jones.
Riders of the Rio Grande (1943) starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Jimmie Dodd
Rimfire (1949) starring James Millican
Rio Grande Patrol (1950) starring Tim Holt and Richard Martin
Rocky Mountain Rangers (1940) starring Robert Livingston, Raymond Hatton and Duncan Renaldo
Romance of the West (1946) starring Eddie Dean
Rough Riders of Cheyenne (1945) starring Sunset Carson
San Antonio Kid, The (1944) starring Bill Elliott
Silver Treasure, The (1926) starring George O'Brien, Jack Rollens and Helena D'Algy
Son of a Badman (1949) starring Lash LaRue
South of the Rio Grande (1932) starring Buck Jones
Snake River Desperadoes (1951) starring Charles Starrett
Spoilers of the Plains (1951) starring Roy Rogers
Stagecoach (1939) starring John Wayne
Sun Valley Cyclone (1946) starring Bill Elliott 
Taming of the West, The (1939) starring Bill Elliott
Tell It To The Marines (1926) starring Lon Chaney, William Haines and Eleanor Boardman
Tennessee's Partner (1955) starring Ronald Reagan and John Payne
Terror of Tiny Town, The (1938) starring Billy Curtis, Yvonne Moray and 'Little Billy' Rhodes
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Arthur Kennedy
Three Stooges Meet Hercules, The (1962) starring Larry Fine, Moe Howard and Joe DeRita
Trailin' West (1936) starring Dick Foran 
Trusted Outlaw, The (1937) starring Bob Steele
Unknown Valley (1933) starring Buck Jones
Utah (1945) starring Roy Rogers
Valley of Vanishing Men, The (1942) a  Columbia serial starring Bill Elliott
Wagon Wheels Westward (1945) starring Bill Elliott
Wall Street Cowboy (1939) starring Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes and Raymond Hatton
Wee Willie Winkie (1937) starring Shirley Temple, Victor McLaglen and C. Aubrey Smith 
Whistling Hills (1951) starring Johnny Mack Brown
White Eagle (1941) a  Columbia serial starring  Buck Jones
Zorro Rides Again (1937) a Republic serial James Vega
Zorro's Black Whip (1944) a Republic serial starring Linda Stirling 
Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939) a Republic serial starring Reed Hadley

The Garden of the Gods also showed up in many TV shows including scenes in "Have Gun - Will Travel," "Bonanza," "Hopalong Cassidy TV Show," "Lone Ranger TV Show," and Disney's "Zorro." 

To learn more about my research, and the books I've written about the Iverson Movie Location Ranch, and other Chatsworth, California filming locations see

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