Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action

Lone Pine is known for sitting at the base of Mt Whitney, at 14,505 feet, the tallest mountain in the lower 48. It is also known for its October Film Festival. This town and its Alabama Hills have a long history with the film industry. The first feature film shot entirely on location at Lone Pine was The Round-up, a 1920 silent movie starring Fatty Arbuckle. The Alabama Hills have appeared in over 300 movies as well as commercials and tv shows. After stopping at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Lone Pine Film History Museum(more to come on that later) to get a self guided tour booklet, we headed over to the Alabama Hill area, just a few miles from our campground. We turned from Whitney Portal Rd to Movie Rd and followed the guide to find some of the spots where movies, such as Gunga Din, How the West was Won, Rawhide(movie not tv show), etc.

Alabama Hills is also BLM land and so free camping is available such as spot below.

The picture below shows an area where Rawhide was shot and is a great boondocking spot. We were thinking of moving over here but really like our current spot and so will save this for another time.

Wonderful looking rock formations here. You can see why so many movies were done here. You expect to see cowboys and indians as you come around each corner.

Another nice boondocking spot with its own cave.

Saturday, we went back to the Film Museum, which was very interesting. They have a huge collection of movie posters, props, costumes, cars, etc. They also have a theater, where we watched a documentary of the film history of the area, and a gift shop.

Below are a few pictures of the Gunga Din sets in the Alabama Hills.


Many western films were partially done here, including films with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and Randolph Scott.

Hopalong Cassidy posters (30 of his 66 movies were filmed here)and John Wayne's The Shootist outfit are on display.


The Alabama Hills are also the setting for films set in India,the Gobi Desert, various parts of Arabia and Africa for two Tarzan films. A few of the Star Trek movies, Tremors, and Gladiators also used these hills as background. Other more current movies filmed here are Iron Man and Django Unchained.



We really are enjoying this area. I have also enjoyed some time each afternoon sitting out at the back of our motorhome in a nice shaded spot(from the heat which is in the 90's) doing some reading with the sound of the stream as background. Lovely!



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