Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rattle & Hum

We were invited to a bar-b-q / picnic yesterday with some friends at The Paramount Ranch. LA-B and I had never been to the ranch before so we didn't know what we were in for. There's a lot of history in this little ghost town. I got some info from the National Park Service.

Lights! Camera! Action!...In 1927, Paramount Pictures purchased 2,400 acres of the old Rancho Las Virgenes for use as a “movie ranch.” For 25 years, a veritable who’s who of Hollywood practiced their craft at Paramount Ranch including director Cecil B. Demille and actors Bob Hope, Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert. The diverse landscape was the real star of the show. It offered film makers the freedom to create distant locales such as colonial Massachusetts in The Maid of Salem, ancient China in The Adventures of Marco Polo, a South Seas island in Ebb Tide (1937) and numerous western locations including San Francisco in Wells Fargo. The art of illusion was mastered on the landscape.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

The golden era of movie making at Paramount Ranch came to an end ....William Hertz bought the southeast portion in 1953. ... he built a permanent western town ...As a result, television companies began producing westerns at the ranch such as The Cisco Kid and Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre.

From 1991 to 1998, Paramount Ranch was used as the setting for the television show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

All fun facts for sure. But I was a bit disappointed as I had never actually seen anything that had been shot at this place. That is until I did a little more research. I found some really good pictures and more interesting facts at this site. The most interesting of which to me is the fact that in the 1976 telepicture Helter Skelter the Paramount stood in for the Spahn Movie Ranch - home to The Manson Family. EeeeeeeeeeeYikes.

So, it's only fitting that I share with you a couple of pictures LA-B took at the ranch with my new camera. They really embody the spirit of the ranch in it's role as the home to a gang of killers.

What you are looking at is a bona fide rattle snake eating a helpless little squirrel!

It was pretty cool and gross all at the same time. It's the closest I think I've ever been to a rattler. We figured it was pretty safe since his venom is in his bite and his mouth was preoccupied at the time.

So, that's how we spent our Saturday afternoon.


Blogger The Editor said...

You've got my black snake story beat!

7:20 PM, May 22, 2007  

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