Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 4: Hollywood's Sedona

Next February marks the 18th Anniversary of the Sedona International Film Festival. But Sedona's most fascinating movie history occurred decades before.

Zane Grey's 1922 Silent film "The Call of the Canyon" originally put Sedona on the Hollywood map. John Ford's 1938 hit "Stagecoach", Joan Crawford's only Western movie "Johnny Guitar", Jimmy Stewart's "Broken Arrow", the dark drama "Leave Her to Heaven" and other films starred Sedona's Majestic Red Rocks.

Local legend tells the story of how John Ford found Sedona. His wife was traveling back to California when she got lost, finding herself in Sedona. The towering Red Rocks felt more appealing than Ford's Monument Valley backdrops.  She stopped at a rancher's house, called her film-maker husband and asked him to come get her. "You must see this!" The rest is history. Ford filmed many westerns here.

Stagecoach scene filmed at Red Rock Crossing
When he brought John Wayne to Red Rock Country for filming, Wayne took one look at Red Rock Crossing and pledged to include its scenery in every film he made. Legend continues that he did include Red Rock Crossing in every movie contract except his last film, "The Shootist."

Most recent films starring Sedona include "3:10 to Yuma" and "Sedona: the Movie" which may hit theaters end of 2012 or 2013.

Red Rock Crossing today
A little known Sedona film fact: German western "Der Kaiser von Kalifornien" filmed in Sedona during Hitler's reign to validate his actions toward global expansion & territorial occupations.

Movie stars lived and/or owned homes in Sedona. Madonna, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Lucille Ball, Walt Disney to name a few. Several entertainers, writers, philosophers visit Red Rock Country for inspiration or solitude. Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural finesse also dots the neighborhood landscape across Sedona.
View - end of Broken Arrow Trail
Where they filmed Stewart Classic "Broken Arrow"


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