June 25, 2015: The Lone Pine Film Festival is upon us again, when we celebrate the rich film history of our areas: Lone Pine, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra areas. This will be the twenty-sixth time we have rolled out the welcome mat to celebrities, fans and the curious who just happen by. Some highlights include a rare silent film screening of the first film shot in Lone Pine, The Round-Up, 91920); location tours, panels and full weekend if screenings. This year we celebrate - Silents & The Early Years.
Tom Mix, Jack Hoxie and Ken Maynard made a total of films in the Lone Pine area.
In celebrating Mix, Bob White, will bringing one of his most famous cars from his collection - Tom mix's 1937 Cord Phaeton.
The career of Tyrone Power in Lone Pine will be celebrated as well, and his image from Rawhide, one of the films, will be on the souvenir button this year. Tyrone Power starred in Brigham Young, Rawhide and King of the Khyber Rifles. They stand as very different but hallmark films of the Lone Pine locations and show the diversity of roles which Power selected.
These themes are followed up by actual tours in which fans can travel by bus and car to locations seen in several of the movies that will be screened during the weekend. Film Historian Chris Langley will lead “The Duke Stopped By” which will visit sites when Tycoon, Westward Ho, The Lawless Range and I Cover the War filmed. At the stops the passengers will be met by Jake Thorne, a John Wayne interpreter, who will tell the story of John Wayne first hand in a Chautauqua format. It will certainly be a rich way to undertsand the man named Marian Morrison who became John Wayne.
Another tour devoted to the three Tyrone Power films will be led by Melody Ogburn, Festival co-founder Dave Holland’s daughter. A major feature will be time to explore the location of the Stage stop set built for Rawhide. Another new location tour is called “Hoppy Hop-on” and is led by Mike and Janet Houle, probably the people most familiar with the film locations in the Alabamas. In the Museum people on the tour will first view Dangerous Venture, starring William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy and then go immediately out to the locations in Cattle Pocket and several other stops where the scenes were filmed.
Mike Prather will focus one of his tours entirely on a fan favorite Tremors with “Chasing the Sand Worms.” He will also reprise from “Sci-Fi Sets to Avocets.” Burt and Donna Yost will bring a new look to the tour south and east of Lone Pine with “Hollywood’s Back Yard- Lone Pine Back Lot Movie Tour.” A brand new stop, never before used for any tour is Diaz Lake, where Buffalo Bill Jr., West of Pecos with Robert Mitchum and other films worked. The Yosts will also feature local history and they have found pictures of the Owens Lake Steamers actually on the now dry lake, plying the waters. Until their discoveries locals assumed there were no such pictures existent.
Langley will be reprising his “Tom Mix Tour,” which goes to some difficult to find locations for this early cowboy hero, Catherine Kravitz will be leading her “Ansel Adams Tour” Saturday and Sunday and Debbie Kielb will guide visitors to see the Anchlor Ranch set locations.
The movie highlight will be the screening of the silent film The Stolen Ranch with a brand new musical accompaniment created by Bishop’s own music Maestro Bill Schuck. He will also be playing on Sunday to Tom Mix’s version of Riders of the Purple Sage. The Stolen Ranch was directed by three-time Academy Award winning director William Wyler and was shot mostly in Lubken Canyon at the old Lubken Ranch. The feeling of the film, which stars Fred Humes is quite different from those shot in the nearby Alabama Rocks.
Guests this year include Bruce Boxleitner, star of the new Tron film, Lee Horsley, Robert Dix, Donna Martell, Hugh O’Brian, Andrew Prine, Buck Taylor, William Smith and several Festival regulars.
The Museum will get into the spirit with several new short films screening there, musical entertainment and Jake Thorne’s full John Wayne show. Buck Taylor, as a western artist rather than western film star, will be opening his year long personal collection of paintings, one of which is on the T shirt, program and film festival poster. The new Nudie’s, Stuntman, Bad Men, and William Wellman exhibits will also be opening during the weekend.
All told, it will be a fun weekend filled with films, fantasy and fillies as well as a parade, the closing campfire and a very popular Arts and Crafts Fair in the Park under the direction of Nancy LaMarr Overbey and Marilyn Dell with more than 65 booths, many them new this year. There is also the Friday night concert at 7 and 9 at the high school auditorium featuring Don Edwards with opening act Sourdough Slim. So come home to Lone Pine, or come for the first time because there is even more to discover than what ios mentioned here.