SCV In the Movies | Episode 13: Clearing the Range
Is Hoot Gibson’s character a wimp who is too timid to go after his brother’s murderer? Or is he sly dog masquerading as a Mexican bandido who terrorizes the killer until he’s finally caught red-handed?
Find out in this 1931 picture shot in the Santa Clarita Valley, most notably at Vasquez Rocks where Henry Krieg rented now-long-gone cabins to Hollywood film makers in the 1930s.
This film was made during Gibson’s relatively brief run as an SCV property owner. A year earlier he had purchased the Baker Ranch Rodeo in Saugus (now the Saugus Speedway and Swap Meet), which he unloaded in 1934 because he had about as much success making it profitable as did its founder, Roy Baker. Gibson sold it to a stockyard that quickly flipped the property to “Big Bill” Bonelli, who turned it into an auto racetrack. During the racing off-season, Bonelli continued to hold rodeos there through the late 1940s.
ABOUT E.J. STEPHENS
E.J. Stephens is a noted Hollywood historian, author, lecturer and tour guide. An Indiana native, E.J. has lived for 10 years in the Santa Clarita Valley with his wife Kimi and their two children, Mariah and Dylan.
By day, E.J. can be found in Burbank on the Warner Bros. Studios lot where he is a tour guide and an audience coordinator on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show. When not giving tours at the studio, E.J. and Kimi host tours of their own for their Newhall-based company, Newhallywood Tours.
E.J. has co-written four books on subjects ranging from the history of Warner Bros. and Paramount to Griffith Park and the Santa Clarita Valley (the latter with Kimi and Dr. Alan Pollack). The trio is currently working on another SCV history book titled “Then & Now: The Santa Clarita Valley,” scheduled to hit the shelves in early 2014.
ABOUT BILL WEST
Bill West is a movie nut who serves on the board of Friends of Hart Park, gives tours of the Hart Mansion and maintains the Friends’ website.
In his spare time, Bill writes software for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he has contributed to Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and other attractions. Previously, he wrote software at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Bill enjoys lounge music and he plays the drums for pickup bands. He lives in Santa Clarita with his Realtor (his wife Liliana) and their son Josh. Pets include Maya the Mutt, Luigi the Canary, and a cat whose name he can’t pronounce but is Polish for “kitty.”