post   High Chaparral Set A Busy Place

October 15th, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:08 am
Vintage reprint 1967

Leif Erickson: “Los Animos Canyon is on my land. Anything you find there belongs to me.”

Leo Gordon: “It ain’t that simple.”

Erickson: “I’m making it that simple. Now you mount up and rid off the High Chaparral so’s I can have my breakfast.  If I catch you working Los Animos Canyon or any other part of my land, I’ll bury you there.”

Gordon: “I’ll be seeing you.”

Erickson: (unfriendly): “I wouldn’t recommend that.”

And so a menacing-sounding rehearsal went at Old Tucson the other day as National Broadcasting Company’s star Leif Erickson ran through a scene with guest star Leo Gordon.

Tomorrow the NBC company vacates the movie location in Tucson Mountain Park to shoot around stage sequences in Hollywood.  They’’ll be back May 17 for more outdoor shooting.

As a casual observer wanders about the set, he is bombarded with impressions and negative directions. (“Don’t step on that cable!” etc.)

Someone says: “That’s Paul Stanley. New director. He’s great. Starting a new episode today. “Gold is Where You Leave It.” I think it’s called. “ Stanley has a cigarette pack and a pipe stuck in his hat band.

“This show is sold in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico,” Erickson comments to a visitor. “It’s because we treat the Indian and the Mexican with respect and understanding. We still kill ‘em – but we kill ‘em with understanding.”

LeRoy Johnson jumps his horse over a chest-high fence. “He’s one of Hollywood’s greatest stuntmen,” a voice offers from near the camera. “He’s a specialist with horse and wagon tricks. “

As Erickson approaches a fence, one tourist informs another: “They call him ‘Life.’”

“Life” drops a gun barrel over the fence’s top rail, aims it at the ground in front of a rearing horse ridden by Chuck Hayward. “Pow! Pow!” the leathery-looking owner of High Chaparral hollers at the intruder in a rehearsal. “Pow to you too,” Hayward drawls back at him.

A technician watches Hayward fall from his horse and with droll but obvious admiration mutters: “He’s one of Hollywood’s best stunt men.”

Pushing a large broom through camera truck tire tracks, a little man stops periodically flicking a cigarette butt or Kleenex from the sand. He stops to adjust an orange plastic blossom tied on an ocotillo tip. 

Don Collier jumps the fence, gun in hand and snarls: “Don’t try it, friend.” To Hayward who lies sprawled in the dirt.  Collier’s gun accidentally fires, wrecking the scene. Collier lets out an unusable word, repeats the scene perfectly to scattered mocking applause from the crew. He touches his hat brim, like a golfer, in acknowledgment.

“Who is the little guy that looks like a sawed-off John Wayne?” someone asks Vern Mounce, Tucson horse dealer.

“That’s Carl Petty, bow and arrow specialist,” he replies.

Two women thrust themselves on two bit players, each taking turns with the handsome young men.  “Now Ethel wants one just like that, one says as she hands her camera to the actor who thought he had finished his chores.

A Technician, red as a lobster, trots by, shirtless, beads of perspiration streaking across his Buddha-lie stomach. “I’ve been well done for days,” he remarks to no one in particular.

Gordon: “I’ll be seeing you.”

Erickson: (unfriendly: “I wouldn’t recommend that.”

Stanley: “Cut! That’s a print. Save it.”


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