Monday, July 28, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. He is number 23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time.  His best known Santa Susana locations film is probably his film noir role in "The Big Steal" (1949).

Robert Mitchum Santa Susana locations filmography includes:

Lone Star Trail (1943) starring Johnny Mack Brown, Tex Ritter and Fuzzy Knight - Universal

Beyond the Last Frontier (1943) starring Eddie Dew, Smiley Burnette and Lorraine Miller (Iverson Ranch)(Corriganville) Republic

Story of G.I. Joe (1945) starring Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum and Freddie Steele (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Blood on the Moon (1948) starring Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes and Robert Preston (Iverson Ranch) RKO

The Big Steal (1949) starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix (Iverson Ranch) RKO

Man with the Gun (1955) starring Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling and Karen Sharpe - United Artists

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- James Garner

James Garner (1928-2014) was an American film and television actor. He starred in several television series over more than five decades.  

He is perhaps best known for his role as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series "Maverick."

His Santa Susana locations filmography includes

"Zane Grey Theater" TV Series (1956)

"Maverick" TV Series (1957–1962) (Bell Ranch)

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957) supporting Randolph Scott, James Craig, Angie Dickinson (Corriganville) Warner Bros.

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

Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) starring James Garner, Walter Brennan, Jack Elam (Iverson Ranch) UA

Sunset (1988) starring Bruce Willis, James Garner, Malcolm McDowell (Bell Ranch) TriStar Pict.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chatsworth's Road to Movie Magic -- Part Two

Garden of the Gods

Arizona Cowboy (1950)
Belle Starr (1941)
Bengal Brigade (1954)
The Big Steal (1949)
Black Bart (1948)
China (1943) 
Dallas (1950)
Dead Man's Gold (1948)
Desert Gold (1936)
Desert of Lost Men (1951) 
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951)
Escort West (1958)
The Fighting Seabees (1944) 
The Fighting Sheriff (1931) 
Fighting with Kit Carson (1933) 
The Flying Deuces (1939) 
Follow Me Boys (1966) 
The Gallant Legion (1948) 
The Gay Amigo (1949) 
Hands Across the Rockies (1941) 
The Harvey Girls (1946) 
Heldorado (1946) 
Hidden Valley (1932) 
King Richard And The Crusaders (1954) 
Law of the Canyon (1947)  
Little Big Horn (1951) 
Lucky Cisco Kid (1940) 
Lumberjack (1944) 
The Man from Colorado (1948) 
The Miracle Rider (1935) 
Mountain Rhythm (1939) 
My Pal Trigger (1946) 
Old Los Angeles (1948) 
The Paleface (1922) 
Pals of the Saddle (1938) 
The Perils of Nyoka (1942) 
The Phantom Plainsmen (1942) 
Phantom Valley (1948) 
The Renegade Ranger (1938) 
Return of the Badmen (1947) 
Riders of Death Valley (1941) 
Riders of the Rio Grande (1943) 
Rimfire (1949) 
Rio Grande Patrol (1950) 
Rocky Mountain Rangers (1940) 
Romance of the West (1946) 
Rough Riders of Cheyenne (1945) 
The San Antonio Kid (1944) 
The Silver Treasure (1926) 
Son of a Badman (1949) 
South of the Rio Grande (1932) 
Snake River Desperadoes (1951) 
Spoilers of the Plains (1951) 
Stagecoach (1939) 
Sun Valley Cyclone (1946) 
The Taming of the West (1939) 
Tell It To The Marines (1926)
Tennessee's Partner (1955)
The Terror of Tiny Town (1938)
They Died with Their Boots On (1941)
The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
Trailin' West (1936) 
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Unknown Valley (1933)
Utah (1945) starring Roy Rogers
The Valley of Vanishing Men (1942)
Wagon Wheels Westward (1945)
Wall Street Cowboy (1939)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937) 
Whistling Hills (1951)
White Eagle (1941)
Zorro Rides Again (1937)
Zorro's Black Whip (1944) 
Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939)

Saddle Rock (photo above) is southwest of Bathtub Rock and can be used to climb it.

Buster Keaton's Bathtub

Three Ages (1923)
Escort West (1958) 
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951)
The Miracle Rider (1935)

Overlook Point (and camera mount) See Iverson Gorge in Part One

Batman Rock (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

Batman and Robin (1949)
In Old Cheyenne (1941)
The Plunderers (1948) 
Stagecoach (1939)
Heldorado (1946)
The Avenging Rider (1943)
Three Ages (1923)
Haunted Harbor (1944)

Saddlehorn Rock (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

Adventures of Frank and Jesse James (1948)
The Fighting Buckaroo (1943) 
Stagecoach Express (1942) 
The Miracle Rider (1935)
Guns in the Dark (1937)
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)
Young Daniel Boone (1950)

Stoney Point -- Chatworth's iconic logo

Stoney Point wasn't actually located on the Iverson Ranch, but it showed up in plenty of background scenes.

Riding Wild (1935)
Ghost Patrol (1936)
Desert Gold (1936)
Phantom Ranger (1938)
Great Stagecoach Robbery (1945)
The Crimson Ghost (1946)
Atom Man vs. Superman (1950)
King of the Bullwhip (1950)

A passion for American cowboy movies

Jerry England is a movie historian, cowboy folk artist, and photographer who, for the past dozen years, has researched and collected memorabilia associated with the movie locations in Chatsworth's Santa Susana Mountains. 

After making a 2007, guest appearance on the ReelzChannel Dailies program titled "Hollywood Was Here - The Iverson Movie Ranch" (Chris Meagher, Producer; Scott Conley, Host; Tracy Birdsell Photographer), he was urged to share his research and knowledge. 

Using movie stills, screenshots, and his own photographs he documented the unique landscape features that attracted filmmakers to Chatsworth a century ago, and has published two books about Chatsworth's filming locations:  Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas (2008) and Boulder Pass - Hollywood's Fantasyland (2010)

Jerry says, "Preserving the legacy of movie-making in the valley is one way of reminding folks of the indelible hoofprints horses have left on our landscape."

Chatsworth's Road to Movie Magic -- Part One

This still from Grapes of Wrath (1940) is the approx. location of today's Redmesa Road

Redmesa Road in the northwest corner of Chatsworth leads to one of the most recognizable areas of the former historic Iverson Movie Location Ranch -- The Garden of the Gods -- a twenty three-acre park site acquired by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 1987. 

It's the only part of the Iverson Ranch that still has public access.  The Garden of the Gods Park is perched just south of the 118 freeway along both sides of Redmesa Road a little north of Santa Susana Pass Road, and just a little west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. 

Until a few years ago many younger visitors to the park had little knowledge of the significance of the rock formations that line both sides of Redmesa Road.  

In 2000, the Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization (ECHO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of horses in Chatsworth recognized that horses had always been a vital part of the collective movie experience of Chatsworth, and are a living link to the history of Chatsworth -- especially filmmaking -- "without horses," ECHO said, "the economy, history, and character of Chatsworth would be profoundly different."

In 2009, ECHO's board members voted to dissolve the organization, and to donate its remaining funds to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy for the purchase of a plaque paying homage to movie cowboys and their horses.  In March 2013, a 28” by 18” bronze plaque was installed on the trail leading to the Garden of the Gods rock formations.

Eastside Rock Stars:

There are many historically important rock formations in the park.  I call them "Rock Stars."  There are no trails on the east side of Redmesa Road, so access to rock formations is difficult at best.  

In earlier posts I've attempted to show recent photographs and older movie stills that one might become acquainted with Iverson Ranch Rock Stars.  Follow the links below to those earlier posts for additional information.

The following is accompanied by a partial list of film titles lensed in the vicinity of each Rock Star.

Nyoka Cliff

Wee Willie Winkie (1937)
Three Ages (1923) 
The Perils of Nyoka (1942)
Old Los Angeles (1948)
The Daltons' Women (1950)

Nyoka Summit

The Real Glory (1939)
The Perils of Nyoka (1942) 
Zorro's Black Whip (1944)
The San Antonio Kid (1944)
The Fighting Seabees (1944)
The Crimson Ghost (1946) 
Blazing Across the Pecos (1948)
Gunmen of Abilene (1950)

Iverson Gorge

Law of the Range (1941)
The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938) 
Buffalo Bill Rides Again (1947) 
Bullet Code (1940) 
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) 
Cowboy Holiday (1935)
Custer's Last Stand (1936)
Desert Gold (1936)
The Desert Horseman (1946)
Don Daredevil Rides Again (1951) 
Fighting Redhead (1949) 
The Fighting Seabees (1944) 
The Gallant Legion (1948) 
The Gambling Terror (1937) 
Gunfight at Comanche Creek (1963) 
Junior Army (1942) 
Land Beyond the Law (1937)  
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) 
Man with the Steel Whip (1954) 
The Marauders (1947) 
Mexican Hayride (1948) 
The Miracle Rider (1935) 
The Oklahoma Kid (1939)  
Old Los Angeles (1948) 
Overland Stage Raiders (1938) 
Pack Train (1953) 
Sheriff of Cimarron (1945) 
Son of Paleface (1952) 
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) 
Three Ages (1923) 
The Trusted Outlaw (1937) 
Under Arizona Skies (1946) 
Undercover Man (1942) 
Wee Willie Winkie (1937) 

Lone Ranger Rock

"Lone Ranger" TV series (1949)
The Narrow Trail (1917)
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Zorro Rides Again (1937)
Land Beyond the Law (1937)
The Oklahoma Kid (1939)
Wall Street Cowboy (1939) 
Perils of Nyoka (1942)

Three Ages Rock

Three Ages (1923)
Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)
Tarzan the Fearless (1933)
Ghost Town Gold (1936)
Land Beyond the Law (1937)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
Rough Riders' Round-up (1939)
Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1941)
They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Crown Rock (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

The Big Show (1936)
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
The Bold Caballero (1936)
The Old Corral (1936)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
Roarin' Lead (1936)
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)
The Gambling Terror (1937)
The Old Wyoming Trail (1937)
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

Devil's Doorway (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

The Narrow Trail (1917)
Three Ages (1923)
Unknown Valley (1933)
The Outlaw Deputy (1935)
Oh, Susanna! (1936)
Land Beyond the Law (1937) 
The Old Wyoming Trail (1937) 
The Trusted Outlaw (1937)
Rough Riders' Round-up (1939)
Days of Jesse James (1939)
Fugitive Valley (1941)
Border Feud (1947)  
Outlaw Country (1949)
Arizona Cowboy (1950) 
Ghost of Zorro ( 1959)

1950s publicity still for Guy Madison

Hole in the wall (visible from private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

California Mail (1936)
Trailin' West (1936)
Prairie Thunder (1937)
The Arizona Kid (1939)
Bullet Code (1940)
"Stories of the Century" TV series (1954)

Zorro's Cave (on private property -- you'll need permission to enter)

"Lone Ranger" TV series (1949)
"Zorro" (1957) Disney TV series 
California (1963)
Belle Starr (1941)
King Of The Rocket Men (1949)
The Perils of Nyoka (1942)
Under Arizona Skies (1946)

Chatsworth's Road to Movie Magic -- Part Two (westside of Redmesa Road)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- William Bishop

William Bishop (1918-1959) was an American born television and film actor.  He was best known for his numerous roles in B-Westerns such as Gun Belt, Cripple Creek and Wyoming Renegades.

William Bishop's Santa Susana locations roles included:

Adventures in Silverado (1948) starring William Bishop, Gloria Henry, Edgar Buchanan (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Coroner Creek (1948) starring Randolph Scott, Marguerite Chapman, George Macready (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Black Eagle (1948) starring William Bishop, Virginia Patton, Gordon Jones (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Untamed Breed, The (1948) starring Sonny Tufts, Barbara Britton, George 'Gabby' Hayes (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Lorna Doone (1951) starring Barbara Hale, Richard Greene, Carl Benton Reid (Iverson Ranch)(Corriganville) Western Electric

Texas Rangers, The (1951) starring George Montgomery, Gale Storm, Jerome Courtland (Corriganville)(Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Montana Territory (1952) starring Lon McCallister, Wanda Hendrix, Preston Foster (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Cripple Creek (1952) starring George Montgomery, Karin Booth, Jerome Courtland (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Gun Belt (1953) starring George Montgomery, Tab Hunter, Helen Westcott (Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Overland Pacific (1954) starring Jock Mahoney, Peggie Castle and Adele Jergens (Burro Flats) United Artists

Wyoming Renegades (1954) starring Philip Carey, Gene Evans, Martha Hyer (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

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

Phantom Stagecoach, The (1957) starring William Bishop, Kathleen Crowley, Richard Webb (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

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

"The Rifleman" TV Series) -- Episode: Outlaw's Inheritance (1959) as Dave Stafford

Friday, July 11, 2014

Primera División -- Argentina's Professional Football League

1970s lapel badges for Argentina's top teams

With Argentina poised to compete against Germany in the 2014 World Cup final I think it would be a only fair to look at the organization of soccer in that country too.

Argentina's Primera División is the premier professional football (soccer -- association football) league in Argentina.  It is at the top of the Argentine football league system.  Twenty clubs compete in a system of promotion and relegation with the Primera B Nacional.

In 1891 the Association Argentine Football League was established by Alex Lamont of St. Andrew's Scots School.  It was the first football league outside of the British Isles.

The most successful club in the Primera División is River Plate, with 36 championship titles, and it is also the current champion (2014).

Between 2001 and 2012 the Argentine Primera División has been ranked in the top 10 as one of the strongest leagues in the world by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

Update July 13, 2014...

What an outstanding 2014 World Cup final -- Germany  defeated Argentina 1 - 0 in a double overtime.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bundesliga -- The German Football Federal League

With Germany poised to compete in the 2014 World Cup final I thought it might be a good idea to look at the organization of soccer in that country.

The Bundesliga -- German Football Federal League -- is a professional association football league (soccer) in Germany.  

According to wikipedia -- the Bundesliga has the highest average stadium attendance of any league in the world, and is broadcast on television in over 200 countries.  

The Bundesliga is a competition among 18 teams that operates on a system of promotion and relegation.  At least 52 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding.

1970s lapel badges for West Germany's top teams

The Bundesliga was founded in 1962 in Dortmund with the first season played in 1963.

Over the years the top teams in the league have included FC Bayern Munich (league champions 23 times), Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart.

One reason Germany is a world wide soccer force is because it has such a highly structured and organized youth training system.

Update July 13, 2014...

What an outstanding 2014 World Cup final -- Germany  defeated Argentina 1 - 0 in a double overtime.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Collecting Football (Soccer) Lapel Badges

During the 1970s and 1980s -- when I was coaching youth soccer and playing in an adult league -- I discovered football (soccer) lapel badge collecting.  Football supporters from around the world -- I discovered -- collect lapel pins (called badges) to support their national team and favorite football clubs. 

That is all the world except the United States.  At the time a professional league called the North American Soccer League (NASL) existed, but the souvenirs offered were usually felt pennants and large tin buttons.  Eventually -- before they folded -- NASL clubs started creating lapel badges, but they were very difficult to obtain.

Over the course of a dozen years I obtained football magazines from around the world -- and through advertising -- made contact with 24 different collectors from around the globe.  I corresponded with these collectors and traded United States souvenirs for football badges from their countries.

In time I collected team badges from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Eire (Ireland), England, Finland, France, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, North Ireland, Norway, Peru, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Uraguay, Wales, West Germany and Yugoslavia. 

In addition I had obtained Football Association badges from many other counties and conferences across several continents. 

In all I had collected nearly 800 badges which I organized in three-ring binders with plastic insert pages designed for coin collecting.  It was one of the most delightful experiences in my life, and I learned a great deal about people and culture in many foreign lands.

Over time I moved on the renew my interest in the American West and horses, so the lapel badge collection gathered dust in a box in my garage.  With the advent of the world wide web in the 1990s I found means to sell my collection.

Not surprisingly the English and American badges were the first to go, and finally just last year I sold the remaining badges to a collector and dealer in the Ukraine. 

I wonder if my grandsons generation will discover a hobby as much fun as this?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why European soccer teams are superior to the U.S.

The major reason is that the United States falls short of teaching soccer and training at the youth level. 

Oh sure, we have the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) where kids are assigned to a team of 15 players and the rules require every child to play.  Most kids muddle through AYSO for a year or two, and eventually move on to other interests such as baseball, football, track and field, tennis or golf.  

Admittedly some of the better skilled -- more motivated -- youth players seek out and move to United States Soccer Federation (USSF) sponsored club teams.  Playing for a club team offers better athletes an opportunity to hone their skills and to ultimately play college soccer.

Unfortunately many areas of the U.S. do not have club soccer, and worse yet the politics of player selection excludes many players whose talent is never revealed.

Thirty-five years ago I had an opportunity to escort a boys Under 17 (years-old) team on a tour of Germany.  Our boys had been hand-selected from USSF club teams around Southern California, and a few of them had been born in Latin-America.  My recollection is that they pretty performed well overall with one win, one draw and a single loss. 

What struck me most about German soccer was that it was so highly organized

Each Saturday morning games began early with U6 (under 6-years of age) matches, and continued with U8, U10, U12, U14 and U19 games throughout the day.  

In the evening adult teams -- usually made-up of coaches -- played, and on Sundays the old timers competed in regular organized leagues.  

Saturday in most German communities is like a carnival with food and drink sold at the sports complex, and it seems like the entire community -- young and old -- turns out to watch and support soccer players of all ages.

Back to the U.S.A…. 

Playing for a USSF club team offers talented athletes the only opportunity to hone their skills and eventually move on to play college soccer.

There is no doubt interest in soccer is growing in the U.S. -- I'm told that 30 percent of all American households have at least one person that plays soccer.  With the coming of each new American generation there is a larger pool of youth coaches who have played and understand the beautiful game.

The recent -- 2014 -- display of skill, fortitude and resolve on the part of the U.S. men's national soccer team in Brazil surely has helped generate greater public interest in soccer on the world's stage.

I look forward to seeing what the U.S. can do at the 2018 World Cup games, but we are still a long way from the support and organization found throughout Europe.