Enlightening Eastwood’s Pale Rider
By Jim Banholzer
With special lights from
Watching Clint Eastwood movies, particularly his well-crafted Westerns are almost like enrapturing religious experiences for some people. Each of his movies project priceless lessons, even when he plays an antagonist such as the callous elephant hunter in White Hunter, Black Heart. Astoundingly enough, Clint filmed much of Pale Rider right here in
Each time I watch Pale Rider, I focus on the recognizable background terrain, sometimes freezing specific frames to find my way around in the mountains. As
In addition, Clint made tremendous effort to restore the site that was disturbed by the building fronts, construction crew, and later the feet pounding of the actors and production crew on the little ridge and river drainage near the quaking aspen groves. Winter seemed to come quickly that year and for a bunch of us, it was hard to spot evidence of the film set trampling that next spring, though we tried. We also tried to find some kind of film crew item or something. Lon and I located "the rock" that one of the miners was chipping on in an early scene from the film.
When it finally came out, Pale Rider sort of stunned people, because it was a break from the Eastwood tradition. He played an even quieter, low-key character, and I remember people being confused about connecting a "preacher" role to him. Others, expecting the active dashing and violent Dirty Harry traditions found this movie kind of slow and spacey, features I didn't mind at all this time. I just soaked in the scenery that I knew was almost in my backyard. I had driven my old Buick Wagon up there, and forded the rocky river crossing half a dozen times, hiking up to some of the "real" old mining cabins and diggings.
Soon afterward, a local man, David Butterfield had us typeset and produce an exhausting field guide to good locations across
While I read Brad’s insights, it occurred to me that filming of this motion picture was a significant enough event that it should be commemorated with a historical sign. Folks I spoke with at The Idaho Transportation Department were receptive to this idea and may soon designate a spot along Highway 75, once the historical committee approves proper text for the legend.
I passed this suggestion on to
It would be nice if the Idaho Department of Transportation eventually expands Tom’s Statewide Movie Signage Proposal with a further plan. As technological -capabilities continue to advance in affordable ways; it would be uplifting to see
Certainly, ITD already has some technologically savvy leaders aboard. This is the third time I have had a positive experience with ITD leadership, which leads me to believe that innovativeness is embraced in their daily working environment. These leaders could take our ideas to the next realm by showing us how signpost pullouts could transformed into something that truly enhances the landscape.
By merging the information superhighway with our back road signage,
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