News from Behind the Scenes of Western Films and Filming
11.30.2015 ‘Hollywood Hoofbeats’ Horse Homage Lassoes Fans’ Hearts
Lone Pine, California - Without the horse, there would be no westerns; no films like “Birth of Nation”, “Ben Hur”, “Gone with the Wind”, “War Horse” and “Django Unchained”; no singing cowboys such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers; no Lone Ranger, no Buffalo Bill, no Tom Mix, no Hoppy; and, perhaps, even no John Wayne and John Ford.
Nevertheless, it took years for Hollywood to realize that horses were the most at-risk animals working in films and in need of protection, according to the American Humane Association, which set up a committee to investigate the abuses in 1925. READ MORE...
11.9.2015 Lone Pine Film Festival Friends Taylor, McCrea Co-star in Canyon Trail - By Dorothy Kosich
Lone Pine, California - Actor/artist Buck Taylor of Gunsmoke TV fame and actor/producer Wyatt McCrea, both long-time friends of the Lone Pine Film Festival and the Museum of Western Film History, are featured in the new western DVD, Canyon Trail, scheduled to premier tonight in Enid, Oklahoma, home of Skeleton Creek Productions. READ MORE
10.28.2015 Silver Screen Westerns Thrive at Lone Pine Film Festival - By Dorothy Kosich
LONE PINE, California--The recent evolution of the former Lone Pine Film History Museum into one of the leading institutions of western film history, The Museum of Western Film History, kindled a
renaissance in this year’s 2015 Lone Pine Film Festival, held in Lone Pine, California October 9th – 11th.
The 2,500 plus silver screen and television western fans who attended the festival enjoyed expanded new programs featuring westerns filmed throughout the U.S., westerns of the silent film era
(complete with live piano accompaniment), and a panel discussion on "Outlaws" and "Lawmen"... and their guns regarding the firearms used in westerns. READ MORE
10.20.2015 Silent Film Megastar Arbuckle Scandal Backdrops ‘Round-Up’ Restoration Debut - By Dorothy Kosich
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LONE PINE, California--The fully restored, high-resolution, digitized version of the silent film western, The Round-Up, which had its television premiere Sunday, October 18th on TCM, actually debuted at its first official world premier nine days earlier on October 9th before an audience of western film buffs at the 26th Lone Pine Film Festival in Lone Pine, California.
The Lone Pine Film Festival showing and a celebrity panel discussion fêted the 95th anniversary of the original 35mm film, officially released by Paramount on October 10, 1920. The Round-Up restoration’s Lone Pine Film Festival unveiling was particularly appropriate since the western is believed to be the first feature film shot in the Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California. READ MORE...
10.19.2015 Troglodytes & Cowboys; “Bone Tomahawk’s” Horror/Western Blend Blazes New Path for Cult Westerns - By Dorothy Kosich
LONE PINE, California—This Friday’s limited theatrical release of the new horror-western film “Bone Tomahawk”, starring Kurt Russell, could prove a turning point in the future of westerns, suggested celebrities attending this year’s 26th Lone Pine Film Festival.
The blending of horror elements into what Russell told the November issue of Cowboy and Indians, “is a strange hybrid between a true western story initially told in an authentic low-key way—until it’s not,” has generated enthusiasm among Lone Pine Film Festival celebrity western film aficionados, such as actor Bruce Boxleitner, stunt coordinator Diamond Farnsworth, and actor/writer/producer Robert Knott.
During an October 10th Lone Pine Film Festival panel discussion on the future of the western, Farnsworth stressed, “We need actors that the kids will related to,” adding that horror and action film veteran Russell “is the type of actor that will bring kids” to view ‘Bone Tomahawk’.”
Boxleitner, whose big break as an actor occurred when he was cast in the TV series “How the West Was Won” opposite Gunsmoke’s James Arness, observed, “Young people today can’t relate to the western experience” because they haven’t been introduced to it. Although Boxleitner was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2012, he noted that his horror filmmaker sons, Sam and Lee, weren’t that enthusiastic about western films until director Quentin Tarantino produced the Academy Award nominated hit film, “Django Unchained.” READ MORE...
- By Alysia Gray Painter
A FILM FEST WITH FOCUS: It would be untrue, and unfair, to say that most film festivals lack a focus. The top ones definitely do keep to a general focus of "top-notch films," even as they show a varied slate of cinematic treats, from documentaries to features to shorts to experimental films. But the subject matter tends to run the gamut, and beyond the gamut, and a movie seen early in the day might have little in common, thematically, with a film enjoyed later on. That is definitely not the case each and every October when the long-running -- or long-galloping, rather -- Lone Pine Film Festival breaks into a full trot for the Highway 395-based burg. If you know your film locations, and you know the Alabama Hills and Owens Valley and Mount Whitney, then you know exactly what the film festival is all about: Movies about the Old West and cowboy culture and the trail and the corral, with a particular focus on features made in and around the area. Nope, not every flick is strictly about ten-gallon adventures, but there are few cultural gatherings in California that hew as closely to a single genre. Which makes it a feast of the eye, ear, and mind for those mavens who can't get enough of Western moviedom and music. They'll be heading up or down beautiful 395, to Lone Pine… READ MORE
10.18.2015 Lakeshore Camping, Serentity at Lake Diaz - Victorville Daily Press
One must see event is the unique Lone Pine Film Festival. For 2015, the dates for the festival are Oct. 9-11. This year’s western theme is a tribute to the early western stars of silent and early talkie films. Tom Mix will be featured this year. His 1937 Cord automobile will be exhibited. There will also be a Tom Mix tour of the Alabama Hills. Early western films will be shown at the theatre. There will be a Saturday rodeo behind the museum, a Sunday ‘Cowboy Church Service’, and a Sunday evening campfire roundup at the Lone Pine Park. READ MORE
9.5.2015 Whispers of the West - By Geoff Dalglish
Suddenly, after more than 50 consecutive nights outdoors in my sleeping bag and 21 days exploring the Mono and Owens Valleys on foot during Walking Water, I face an inner dilemma: is it possible to stay connected and hold on to the magic?
Can I continue to be a pilgrim seeing the sacred all around me while moving at a faster pace and exploring the tourism highlights of the Owens Valley? Long, hot and challenging walking days in the company of celebrated local film historian Chris Langley, at 71 the oldest Walking Water participant, have led to an invitation to visit the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine and tour the nearby Alabama Hills that have been a favourite Hollywood location for almost a century. READ MORE...
7.15.2015 Find Mountain Beauty and Cowboys in Lone Pine, Special to The Desert Sun - Kathy Strong
"Make Plans for the Western Cannes"
You may not know the Alabama Hills by name, but when you see the weather-beaten rock formations of the heavily mined hills, you may very well recognize them from hundreds of movies, television shows and commercials. Not far from Death Valley on Highway 395 is the Lone Pine area, about 260 miles from our desert, tempting with its own rugged brand of mountain beauty that has served as the high desert stomping ground for film crews and western movie legends since the 1920s. A horizon-less sea of golden-colored granite boulders that rise up dramatically from the desert floor make up the Alabama Hills of Lone Pine. The rounded mounds and twisted rock formations came about by the current of thawing Ice Age snow that first sharply chiseled the igneous stone. The pursuant winds shaped the rough edges into smoothed-over hills with east-west-looking archways. Only nature could create such a perfect movie set ripe for gunfights, bad-guy hideaways and long, dusty trail rides. READ MORE...
1.26.2015 Lone Pine Film History Museum getting Tesla Supercharging Station - Sierra Wave