Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I thought I'd never been to Tuscon before visiting it last month. Then, I happened across these familiar places and realized how wrong I was. Anyone who has seen a few western movies is familiar with Tuscon. The Old Tuscon Movie Studio , a permanent Western set with wonderful buildings surrounded by the familiar skyline of mountainous Arizona desert, rolling hills and piney woods. Perfect for over 300 movies and television segments.

This signature mountain peak, these ranch gates, have been seen in many films. Only the name changes.

Look familiar? Just one of the places in Gunfight At OK Corral. (Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas)

A touch of old Mexico. Rio Bravo (John Wayne, Walter Brennan.)

This is the oldest working steam engine in the U.S. Used in Cannon Ball Run, 3:10 To Yuma, to name two. Clint Eastwood took over the train from the bad guys in one movie and he got so excited about running the train he forgot to signal the brakeman (lying on the floor beneath him) and he nearly ran the train off the tracks.
Ghosts of Tombstone and numerous tear filled scenes.

This school house was used in movies but isn't part of the set. It was on the grounds of Old Tuscon when the property was purchased and is the genuine article, historically preserved as it once was.

The Outlaw Josey Wales, several of the guys galloped into town and removed the dust in this old bathhouse.

Robbers on the silver screen robbed this stage so many times, the horses stop automatically the minute they detect the bandits.

We got a pretty good idea of how a huckster works selling his sure cures with magic elixirs.

A land office sometimes, other times the bank tellers window. In fact I know I've seen that face before.
Just a few notables that walked the streets of Old Tuscon: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Ronald Reagan, Jack Palance, Paul Newman, Ward Bond, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson, Robert Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor, Jimmy Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Sidney Poitier, Charles Bronson.... great nostalgia.

1 comment:

John Woodley said...

Hi, Mary. That building in the second photo seems to be the cabin or bunkhouse that housed Josey Wales "family" which stood off the "bad guys" with guns bristlin' from all those side windows. Near the end of the movie.