Loren Janes’ “How Lone Pine Won the West” Film
19th Annual Lone Pine Film Festival.
October 10, 11 & 12, 2008
The 70mm Newsletter
by: Tom March
Exploring the Alabama Hills film locations.
Lone Pine, CA, population: 1655 is located in the Owens Valley, near the
Alabama Hills in central California. It is about 210 miles north of Los
Angeles on US 395.
I first encountered the Lone Pine Film Festival while travelling through
Lone Pine searching out old film locations from “How the West Was Won”.
So, the Loren Janes film locations tour on the festival itinerary was a
real find for me.
The 2½ hour bus tour began at the Lone Pine Film History Museum where
everyone congregated Friday morning at 9:00 am. We were directed into
the museum’s 75 seat Wild West Theater where Chris Langley, the festival
director, welcomed us and introduced our tour host, Loren Janes. Loren
has been in attendance at every Lone Pine festival and is a Board member
for the Lone Pine Film History Museum.
in 70mm reading:
How The West Was Won - In Cinerama
Lone Pine Tour
Loren Janes standing in for Debbie Reynolds in a scene from "HTWWW".
Before leaving the theater and starting out on the bus tour, Loren ran a
short video collection of his home movie clips showing stunts he
performed in many of the films in which he has appeared. This included a
generous selection of film clips from various “How the West Was Won”
film locations. Each home movie clip of a stunt being performed was
followed by a clip of the same stunt as it appeared in the movie on the
big screen. Loren brought extra insight to us by commenting on the clips
as they were being presented and followed it up with a Q&A afterwards.
After leaving the theater, we all boarded the bus for the 3 mile trip to
Movie Road in the Alabama Hills. At this time Loren was using the PA
system on the bus to describe the locations and answer questions. The
tour stopped at two major Alabama Hills sites where Loren worked in
"HTWWW". The access roads were not much better than dirt trails but the
bus driver was able to get around all right. It helped that a road
grader had come through the day before to level out the road surfaces.
Snapshots with Loren Janes in the Alabama Hills.
The weather was ideal for the tour. Everyone had an opportunity to get
some great photographs and it was really enjoyable spending this time
with Loren in the Alabama Hills reliving some movie history.
The first stop was at the film location where a covered wagon rolled
down into a ravine during the Indian chase scene. Loren talked about the
stunts he and the others performed at this spot. His recollections
included many interesting and humorous incidents during the filming. He
also fielded a wide array of questions about himself and other
performers he had worked with over the years.
Then we proceeded on to the main Indian attack location where Loren
reminisced about doubling for Debbie Reynolds and also playing an Indian
while doing some spectacular stunts before the Cinerama cameras. Here is
the same guy who did the stunts, standing at the same spot where he did
them 47 years earlier and telling us all about his experiences. How
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