Friday, December 05, 2008

Hell's Heroes (Prelude to Bodie Locations)

(GPS: N38 12.485 W119 01.245)

This is the first of a few blogs I will do with the movie Hell's Heroes which was filmed at Bodie ghost town. I did a recent blog regarding the town of Bodie where I showed the gravesite of one of one of the citizens who was on the losing end of a gunfight. Hell's Heroes is based on the Three Godfathers story that has been filmed a bunch of times including the John Wayne and Harry Carey Jr. version filmed by John Ford.

The movie was made in 1930. It was in 1932 that a boy was playing with matches that burned down over 90% of the town. The story is he was given jello at a party, and he wanted ice cream. He was sent home only to set fire to his bed. Thus, earning the wraith of most "history preserving townspeople." Well, at least we have that 5% left.

It is very rare to have a a fictional movie filmed in a historic old west town, but what is more interesting is the historic preservation on video of what once was. What is good about this movie is it is like going into a time machine and for a few brief scenes seeing what the town was like prior to that fire two years later. Here is a picture from the movie which I put some sepia on the black and white picture.

My picture is just above the cemetery near a barbed wire fence. To get a more closer shot to the above picture I would have had to move a few hundred feet to the left (or northwest) and possible higher. At the time I was content with this because I wanted to take more pictures and video in the town itself which is where the real cool stuff is.
This is one of those areas I go to every few years since I live nearby during the summer. It is different now when I go in that there is always a lot more people now. I remember a time in the early 1980's I was with a bunch of relatives, and we were the only ones around. Back then there were areas you could go to there that you can not go these days.

Although I could probably rifle out a lot of facts and history about this place I will probably content myself into just focusing on the movie locations and some of the tidbits that go along with those. There is tons of stuff about this ghost town in print, on video, and online.

(EDIT: As of December 2010, I have added many new Bodie blog entries and three new videos. Please check my blogs found here for all the latest.)