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Loren Janes’ “How Lone Pine Won the West” Film Locations Tour
19th Annual Lone Pine Film Festival. October 10, 11 & 12, 2008

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Tom March Date: 01.11.2008
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.
More in 70mm reading:

How The West Was Won - In Cinerama

Internet link:

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 about that?
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Updated 21-01-24