Paramount Ranch

February 23, 2011

My daughter and I visited this state park in Agoura, CA. It was once the shooting location of many a Paramount picture from the ’30s and ’40s (and a bunch of varied stuff since then.)

Charles Starrett never shot here, but Buck Jones did.  So did Buster Crabbe .  And Gary Cooper was here a lot!

Here is IMDB’s list of films shot at this location.  At 202 films, I’m sure that it is incomplete.

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One Response to “Paramount Ranch”

  1. Don Bitz said

    Hi!

    Paramount Ranch is actually a National Park, part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area. It is operated by the NPS as a recreational and educational park for the public as well as a filming location, to continue its film heritage. I work as a Volunteer in partnership with the NPS as a Paramount Ranch historian, working to uncover and document the past history of the site. You are right, the IMDB listing is not complete. I am still in the process of submitting some of the older films that have been verified by those of us doing research. There are many, so it takes time! Some of the Western stars that worked at the ranch include Hopalong Cassidy, Jack Holt, Gary Cooper, Richard Dix, Richard Arlen, Buck Jones, Randolph Scott, Ken Maynard and Buster Crabbe among others. It should be noted that the current Western town did not exist at the time that these men worked at the ranch. The Paramount Studios built Western sets were on another part of the original Paramount acreage and were torn down long ago. It is those Western streets that these guys rode and strode. The current Western town site came along in the early 1950’s when a man named William Hertz purchased what remained of the Paramount acreage and built a Western town around the old barns and sheds left over from the Paramount days. The original incarnation of the town can be seen in two recently discovered 1955 movies, The Silver Star and The Lonesome Trail. The town was changed and added to quite a bit in 1959 for the 1959-1960 Earl Holliman tv Western, Hotel de Paree. It retained that look, mostly, up until the Park Service rebuilt the town in the mid 1980’s. The town was made over dramatically in the early 1990’s for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. The version of the town seen today is what has evolved over the years from changes made by various productions since Dr. Quinn left. Much of my work is researching and documenting the history and use of the current Western town and it’s rich history. Hotel de Paree, Klondike, Best of the West and Dr. Quinn all used the town as the “home town” of the series. We’ve confirmed a handful of episodes The Cisco Kid and Bat Masterson. We have info that other shows like The Rifleman and Rin Tin Tin may have shot there, but we haven’t yet found the episodes. It’s an ongoing hunt! Many, many other shows, Western and non-Western have also shot episodes over the years.

    Here is the Park Service film list. It is only movies. We’re working on a tv list. This list includes only those films that NPS researchers have verified. There are some titles included on IMDB that have been submitted by others that we have not been able to conclusively verify.

    http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/ParamountRanchFilmList.pdf

    Thanks!

    Don Bitz, Paramount Ranch Historian

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