Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Western Film Museum

As you know from my earlier post. My husband took me to Bishop Ca. for my birthday. We go there at least twice a year to fish. It's only 3 hour from our house. This time he took me sight seeing around the area. We pass the Western Film Museum on our way there. But have never stopped. This year we did.
The museum is in Lone Pine. This town was used as the back drop for filming silent westerns ,as well as western B movies. Hollywood found the mountain range  could work for so many areas from around the world.
 You will see this mountain range in many of the westerns that were  set to be in Alaska , Colorado, Montana and any of the colder areas. North to Alaska with John Wayne was one of the film where this area was used.
A lot of film makers used this area not only for it's beauty, but also because it was a reasonable drive from Hollywood. All your favorite old western stars were here at one time or another. As well as some of today's stars. You can truly see why this spot was so popular.

As I take you thru the museum all of the movie posters you see would have been film partly or complete in this area. I wasn't able to get all of the pictures of the posters since over 600 movies have been filmed there.
 This is the first thing you see as you walk into the museum. It is the Nudie Car. He was known for his outrageous and elaborate designs .  This car among other thing has 700 silver dollars fastened all over it.
 If you look at the foot pedals ,you will notice he added silver dollars to them also. The floor boards are cow hides, as well as part of the seats. The head rest and back of the seats are leather, with a western design punched into the leather.
I not sure if you can see it. But the door handles where 6 shooters. There were many places where he used guns to decorate the car.
As you can see he even mounted a gun on the truck of the car.
This is one of the outfits Nudie designed for the Western Stars. His list of stars even included Elvis. Nudie designed the famous gold suit Elvis wore.  We took more picture of his designs but they didn't turn out.
 As you can see from this picture due to the light in this area ,everything turned red and fuzzy.

This saddle was  made by hand. All the silver was detailed by hand. It took 60 years to make. Unfortunately  the maker died before he could finish. His son finally finished it. I can't remember his name or find the paper I wrote it on. I do remember that he made saddles for Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

This is one of the first electric camera ever used.

All the outdoor scenes were filmed around Lone Pine.

This wagon was used in the movie Rawhide.

This wagon was used in several movies as well as a John Wayne movie.

The entire movie of Gunga Din was filmed in the valleys and mountains behind the town of Lone Pine. They build a complete set.  Including a fortress and Temple. Many of the local people were hired as stunt people and extras. The next few picture are items from the movie.

You can see the temple they build  for the set. Above is the sword used in the charge.

 This outfit was from the series The Lone Ranger. Many of the scenes were filmed in Lone Pine.

 The display for Roy Rogers was very interesting. I really learned a lot about the man. His first wife died when his oldest daughter was 6. He was a single father of two girls for several years before marrying Dale. Between his kids, her kids, their kids, and the ones they adopted, they had 9 kids total. He was always fun loving. They showed several pictures of the whole family on a slide show. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take pictures of them.
 It was so cool to see this display. As I said ,everything in this place is from movies that were filmed here or the surrounding area. This is the coat, hat, and boots that John Wayne wore in the Shootist. It has the bullet hole in it from the scene where he was shot.

This creature is from the movie  Tremors. There were several other displays from the movie. But as you can see the lighten was bad. So they didn't turn out.

This display speaks for it self. Some of the other modern movies film there were, Lost in Mexico with Brad Pit, Star Trek  number5, and Transformers. I could relate with Iron man and Transformers since they also filmed parts of the movie were my husband works. I just wish we could of gotten closer to the film sight.
The outfit on the left is from Tombstone. The one on the right is from Rough Riders.

For some strange reason, I was surprised to see that parts of this movie was filmed in the area.

This is but a fraction of what is in the museum. I hope you enjoyed this little taste of it.


  1. It's just as wonderful as I remember it. Great pictures and narration Michelle.

  2. Oh my goodness I really love this. Great pictures and so glad to see it since we are so far away. Thanks Michelle for posting this.

  3. My hubby would love, love to visit this museum! Thanks for the tour! :)