Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrating 100 years of Chatsworth Movies -- Westerns 1959

Alias Jesse James (1959) starring Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming and Wendell Corey (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Cast a Long Shadow (1959) starring Audie Murphy, Terry Moore and John Dehner (Corriganville) United Artists

Face of a Fugitive (1959) starring Fred MacMurray, Lin McCarthy and Dorothy Green (Bell Ranch)(Corriganville) Columbia

Gunfight at Dodge City, The (1959) starring Joel McCrea, Julie Adams and John McIntire - United Artists

Gunmen from Laredo (1959) starring Robert Knapp, Maureen Hingert and Walter Coy (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Legend of Tom Dooley, The (1959) starring Michael Landon, Jo Morrow and Jack Hogan (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Oregon Trail, The (1959) starring Fred MacMurray, William Bishop and Nina Shipman - 20th Century-Fox

Why so few Western movies this year?  The answer is that 1959 was the peak year for television westerns, with 26 westerns airing during prime-time.  During one week in March 1959, eight of the top ten shows were westerns.

But, even the TV Western is on its way out.  Increasing costs of production (a movie horse cost up to $100 a day) led to most action half hour series vanishing in the early 1960s to be replaced by hour long television shows, increasingly in color.

Disclaimer: This list of movie titles and credits has been compiled from many sources.  It has not been independently verified.  Titles with location credits in parentheses are either movies I own or come from a source I feel has a higher level of creditability. 

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

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