Return letter to Dave Worrall, regarding his book on Clint Eastwood Westerns
I am glad that you enjoyed my blognotes on Pale Rider and look forward to seeing your book on Clint Eastwood westerns come to fruition. Perhaps you could subtitle your book “Clint Eastwood = Old West Action” since they are equal anagrams of each other. Perhaps the “=” mark could even be transformed into an ancient gun barrel of some type, pictured within the title.
Clint has a home up here in the Sun Valley area, but I do not believe he travels up here as much as he used to. I think he does still come up at least for the Danny Thompson celebrity golf tournament though.
A few years back, while I was working for the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, I searched through their bound edition archives and discovered several newspaper articles from late 1984 regarding the filming of Pale Rider in this area.
As this was before I had embarked on my own writing career, I photocopied the articles and passed them on to one of the editors, Dana Dugan, as a suggestion for a twentieth anniversary story about the film. I don’t believe the story ever ran, because when I talked to another reporter (Michael Ames) about doing this same story, we could not find the photocopied articles anymore. Although the online archives do not extend that far back, the Pale Rider articles are still there to be found again in the Mt. Express bound editions. However, as I recall, it took me the better part of a day to painstakingly search through well over a thousand pages to photocopy these. If I still worked there, I would do it again, for your good cause.
Nevertheless, I think there is still good news for you regarding finding some photos of the village and mining areas. The Mountain Express does have a photo archive separate from their bound archives. The best person to talk to there about this would be either Willy Cook or Jeff Cordes. The staff phone number is 208-726-8060 and their “contact us” port is at http://www.mtexpress.com/contact.php
You are welcome to use my name (Jim Banholzer) anytime as a reference for your research.
Other useful resources you might consider utilizing are the Ketchum, Idaho’s Community Library regional history department, http://www.thecommunitylibrary.org/regionalhistory/
Or Tom Trusky, the Idaho Film Collection director:
"The Only Tough Part about Having To Film in Idaho Is When You Have To Leave" (Clint Eastwood)
Hailey, Idaho’s Wood River Journal
Sometimes useable photos are found on the Internet movie database:
Kathy Wygle, who had a role in the Pale Rider film, remains active in local theatre and may be able to direct you to some good photos:
A final resource you might consider is talking with somebody at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters.
Back in the day, they made a short ten minute film clip about the making of Pale Rider within the recreation area and may have a small photo collection.
As I understand it, the Government required the film studios to tear down their western movie sets and restore the areas to their original conditions, once they completed filming Pale Rider.
Pale Rider was filmed mostly in the old Boulder City mining area and the Silver Lake Drainage, just north of that. I’m told that a nearby area called Vienna Mine is where a few scenes were filmed, along with a few studio scenes from California.
The Boulder City area is quite rugged. I drove up there ten years ago on a mission to jump-start a young rascal who had attained a dead battery camping in the cold with his 24- volt Mercedes Unimog.
Replete with wicked switchbacks, the accepted wisdom for traveling in this area is to use a small ATV or off-road motorcycle (or pale horse) rather than the small truck I scratched up, on my escapade,while trying to negotiate tight turnarounds. I do have some photos from the remaining mining structures from my 1997 adventure, but will need to dig before finding them.
Another notable aspect of this area is that some of the privately owned land there was generously donated back to the Forest Service only a few years back: http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=10202
My goal of writing the original Enlightening Eastwood missive was to try to convince the Idaho Transportation department to recognize the filming of Pale Rider with a commemorative sign. Although they did not install a sign up on the highway leading to Boulder City’s nearby rugged turnoff, they did modify a lower valley sign, which mentions the movie. Here is a rough photo of that sign taken last week from my cell phone:
Dave, I hope that some of this information has been helpful. If there is anything else I can do from this end to assist with your book, please don’t hesitate to ask. You have my permission to use anything from my Enlightening Eastwood article that you might find useful.
Again, I look forward to enjoying your book in the near future.
From: Solo Publishing [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007 12:00 PM
Subject: Pale Rider
I just read with interest your notes about Pale Rider being filmed in the
Sun Valley area. I'm currently researching for a book on Clint Eastwood's
western films and hope to include a photo(s) of locations used as they are
today alongside a still from the film. Would you know who I could contact to
get a good shot of the area where the village was built and the mining area
by the river? I would be very grateful for any assistance on this.
Obviously, any address and promotional information for the area would be
included in the book.