Showdown at Lone Pine

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The maze of roads winding through the Alabama Hills was originally carved so the movie companies could get their equipment to the various location sites. This Ken Maynard production coincidentally was the first sound B-Western to feature a singing cowboy. The area has been called Red Dog after the town ever since.

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A new group of cowboy stars, studios, and independent production units large and small alike began taking advantage of the spectacular scenery. During the Depression years, independent companies featuring such stars as Bob Steel, Tom Tyler and Johnny Mack Brown, shot movies in the hills and in the town itself. These films became part of the seemingly endless stream of B-Westerns that filled the thousands of theaters showing Saturday matinees to young thrill-hungry audiences.

The narrow passes and rugged rocks of the Alabama Hills have provided the backdrops for hundreds of Westerns featuring cowboy stars both famous and obscure. Whether doing the chasing or being chased, the good guys in the white hats were a familiar sight in the Alabama Hills; but it is the good guy wearing a black hat who is most identified with the Lone Pine area - Hopalong Cassidy. William Boyd made 66 features starring as Hopalong Cassidy, and 30 of them were shot in or around Lone Pine.

The other great character most closely identified with the area is the Lone Ranger. In , Republic Pictures chose the Alabama Hills as the setting for its screen adaptation of the adventures of the s radio hero, filming what many consider the best movie serial ever made. Beginning in the mids, the voices of the popular Singing Cowboys Gene Autry and Roy Rogers often echoed in the canyons of the Alabama Hills while their production units filmed. Even Tex Ritter made the trip up Highway for a couple of his Monogram musical oaters.

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Westerns were not the only movies to be filmed in Lone Pine by the Hollywood production companies. When film crews returned to Hollywood and talked about the spectacularly rugged scenery, it was not long before studio location managers realized that the Sierras could double as other mountain ranges in a variety of film genres.

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By far, the biggest and most important production ever made in the area was the epic Gunga Din , starring Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Filmed almost entirely in the Alabama Hills, Gunga Din utilized massive, expensive sets built by RKO which included an elaborate temple, an entire Hindu town, and a British Army post complete with a parade ground. In , another popular Western character, the Cisco Kid, also rode in the shadow of the Sierras.

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During the war years, more than a film a month was shot in and around Lone Pine. Approximately 10 miles north of Lone Pine and located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Manzanar, widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over , Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former relocation camp sites and has been designated the Manzanar National Historic Site. Long before the first prisoners arrived in March , Manzanar was home to Native Americans, who mostly lived in villages near several creeks in the area.

Ranchers and miners formally established the town of Manzanar in , but abandoned the town by after the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to virtually the entire area. The California government pressed the federal government to act, as many citizens were alarmed about potential activities by people of Japanese descent.


On February 19, , President Franklin D. This order resulted in the forced relocation of over , Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were native-born American citizens. The rest had been prevented from becoming citizens by federal law. Over , were imprisoned in the ten concentration camps located far inland and away from the coast. Manzanar was the first of the ten concentration camps to be established. The first Japanese American prisoners to arrive at Manzanar were volunteers who helped build the camp.

Many were farmers and fishermen. Manzanar held 10, prisoners at its peak, and a total of 11, people were imprisoned there. The last half of the decade, however, saw a gradual shift in Western production from the smaller B units to the larger studio A units which produced the more prestigious films that gradually replaced the Saturday matinee fare.

A complete town set was built to the northeast of town, so only a few key scenes were actually filmed in the Alabama Hills. Television discovered the Alabama Hills in the early s. He had earned a reputation as the town drunk. When he overheard Butch and Pete planning to kidnap Katie Denning, the newly arrived widow, he knew he had to do something. He knew she was in real trouble—maybe dead. If she was to have a chance at all, it would be up to him.

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Pages Preview of the first two pages. Steadily the stagecoach pressed on, a constant bouncing, sometimes jolting ride. Wind blew through the open windows bringing with it a choking dust, and sounds of the driver talking to his team of horses. There were two places to sit, both hard and cramped with the other passengers of the coach.

Gingerly, Jack Bateman reached inside his coat pocket and lifted the shiny flask containing the firewater that dulled his senses.

Showdown at Lone Pine

Tipping the flask up he looked across from him into the dark eyes of an attractive woman. In spite of the fog in his mind, he couldn't help notice she was very pretty. Rarely was he completely sober. Putting the cap back on the bottle, he placed it inside his coat pocket. Chancing another look, he saw that the dark-eyed beauty was still watching him. A smile leaked out from the corners of her pretty mouth and crept across her face. Without meaning to she sized him up.

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It was plain to see he was drunk, and it had been a long time since he'd had a decent meal. His shoulders were broad and he had thick, dark hair. The thing that bothered her was he didn't look the part. Pushing one of her curls back in place, she thought, is this man following me? Is this all an act?