Friday, 6 May 2011

Movie Days

Cue. Western type movie music.

Imagine. Dust swirling.

Imagine. Tall black hatted cowboys wearing long black duster coats walking slowly and purposefully straight towards you, loaded guns at the ready.

Imagine. Doc Holliday and the Earps coming face to face with the Clantons.

Imagine. Tombstone.

This is where the movie Tombstone was filmed.

Mescal, the desert set of Old Tucson is rarely open to the public. We know this because on numerous occasions over the years we’ve attempted to visit only to find when we arrived that it was closed for one reason or another. This year we finally got lucky.

Our tour guide, Frank, regaled us with lots of interesting facts and tidbits, I just hope I’ve remembered a few of them correctly!

The saloon has featured in many films, looks like an old brick building doesn’t it? No, it’s actually wood covered with some sort of plastic coating, ah the power of the silver screen.

The beam inside the saloon was where Sharon Stone shot through the hangmans rope in the movie the Quick and the Dead - obviously no movie props, or movie stars come to that, the day we visited.

A couple of other visitors really looked the part dressed in their Old West best.

What looks like a heap of old wood, (apologies for the poor photograph) actually turns out to be the inside of an old railway carriage and was used in the film Poker Alice starring Elizabeth Taylor.

This yellow building was built for the film Dirty Dingus McGee starring Frank Sinatra who apparently spent most of the film running around in long underwear.

The area below was used as the OK Corral in a documentary made by the BBC about the famous gunfight.

We were so glad we finally got to visit it was a really interesting tour. Mescal was open from February to the end of April this year, so we were in the right place at the right time.

The tour lasts an hour and if you get the chance Mescal is well worth visiting, Old Tucson website has directions and opening times, but be warned, there really are no facilities out there and although the road from I10 is paved the road to the set is dirt and while passable by any vehicle does have a couple of rough bits to catch the unwary.

Have fun, we are!

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