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Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

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Richard--W
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Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

Postby Richard--W » December 25th, 2010, 10:19 am

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Arizona's Little Hollywood
Sedona and Northern Arizona's Forgotten Film History 1923–1973

Joe McNeill (Author)
Having played host to more than 60 Hollywood productions—from the early years of cinema through the 1970s—Sedona, Arizona’s impact on the film industry is revealed here for the first time. Detailing its role as a silent but stunning backdrop to all types of movies, this volume covers the silent films, B westerns, World War II propaganda, and film noirs filmed on location in Arizona. Lavishly illustrated, this reference tells the story behind an anti-American Nazi propaganda western; the true history of filmmaking in Monument Valley; the first-ever inclusive guide to the location filming of Stagecoach; and descriptions of each Arizona production from conception through reception by critics and audiences, with plot summaries and complete details of cast and crew.

Joe McNeill is the cofounder of Sedona Monthly magazine and the former vice president and design director at CMP Media. He has created promotional material for the Chrysler Corporation, Mutual of New York, Piels beer, and MTV. He lives in Sedona, Arizona.



I am easily bored by most movie histories and rarely finish reading them. Not this time. I consider Arizona's Little Hollywood the best book on westerns ever written. Joe McNeill is not merely a movie buff, he is a real nuts-and-bolts researcher who understands the day-to-day reality of the production process. And he's a discerning historian of Arizona, too. It helps to have a story no one has ever told before, and his book is full of surprises. Think you've read everything there is to know about John Ford's Stagecoach ? MCNeill offers substantial new information and insight into that film, as well.

The book has a website:

http://www.arizonaslittlehollywood.com/

and the author has a blog that's worth keeping up with:

http://arizonaslittlehollywood.blogspot.com/

You can also buy it on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Arizonas-Little-H ... gy_b_img_a

Of course, the history of film making in southern Arizona is another story.

Richard
Last edited by Richard--W on December 26th, 2010, 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
"To live outside the law you must be honest."
Bob Dylan, 1965

Gary J.
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Re: Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

Postby Gary J. » December 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm

Sedona is a lovely area but marred with being a bit of a tourist trap.
However, they have buildings who's walls are lined with framed photos
of westerns filmed there in the past 60 years. It passes the time if one
is not interested in ceramic cactus's.

Gary J.
Gary J.
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1783165551

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Richard--W
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Joined: January 11th, 2010, 7:40 am

Re: Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

Postby Richard--W » December 25th, 2010, 2:35 pm

Personally, I hate what the developers have done to Sedona. When Kenny Rodgers burned down the western town set on Bradshaw's ranch for one of his The Gambler TV-movies, that was the last straw. One can't really get a wide-angle vista shot for a period western anymore. Too many intrusions. Everytime you raise the camera above shoulder height, you get power lines or telephone poles or street lights in the distance, and your microphones pick up traffic noise no matter where you are. Dirt bikes, jeep tours crawling all over the rocks and leaving treads. Too make a period western in Sedona you have to hire a thousand people with a broom just to sweep away all the tread marks. I think they should pick up downtown Sedona -- streets, buildings, traffic lights, telephone poles and the general population -- and move it west of California somewhere. Then the pristine landscape would return and we could go back to shooting westerns there, with no intrusions from modern day stuff.


Richard
"To live outside the law you must be honest."
Bob Dylan, 1965

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pvitari
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Re: Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

Postby pvitari » December 26th, 2010, 8:43 am

In the Memorabilia section of my Ben Johnson page, there's an article from the July 1997 Arizona Highways magazine which discusses (briefly) the history of western filmmaking in Arizona and also western stars who hail from Arizona. It's a nice piece. The authors are Jeb J. Rosebrook (screenwriter of Junior Bonner) and his son, historian Jeb S. Rosebrook. (The two Rosebrooks also just did the commentary on the new Blu-ray release of the 1968 True Grit.) You'll have to sign into Shutterfly and download the scans in order to get the biggest and most legible size, though.

http://benjohnsonscreencaps.shutterfly.com/memorabilia/62

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Richard--W
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Re: Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

Postby Richard--W » December 26th, 2010, 8:04 pm

Enjoyed your website. I used to subscribe to Arizona Highways. Thanks, but I have that issue with Ben Johnson. Also have the issue devoted to the film Junior Bonner, and a couple of issues devoted to John Wayne. I was once interviewed and quoted in the magazine regarding an historical matter.

The history by McNeill is considerably more detailed and expansive, a definitive reference.

Richard
"To live outside the law you must be honest."
Bob Dylan, 1965

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pvitari
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Joined: January 30th, 2010, 8:26 am

Re: Arizona's Little Hollywood -- highly recommended

Postby pvitari » December 27th, 2010, 7:49 am

The history by McNeill is considerably more detailed and expansive, a definitive reference.


Well, considering it's a whole book, I would hope so. ;)


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