The 27th Lone Pine Film Festival kicked off with a gala buffet dinner at the Museum of Western Film History on Thursday, October 6th, 2016.
Many of the festival's honored guests were present for the dinner, including (left to right) Wyatt McCrea, historian and Inyo County Film Commissioner Chris Langley, William Wellman Jr., and Mr. Wellman's wife, Flossie.
We also met stuntwoman Sylvia Durando, who among other roles doubled Nancy Gates in the Randolph Scott classic COMANCHE STATION (1960).
This year the dinner was held in the parking lot at the side of the museum, which worked out very well. The food is always good at the opening night buffets, and this year was no exception. The menu even included elk chili!
We enjoyed congenial company during dinner, including Burt and Donna Yost of Santa Barbara, whose "Backlot" tour is terrific; we went on that tour during our first festival in 2014.
For those who are considering coming to the festival, just know that you'll be among friends. Everyone attending loves the Alabama Hills and Westerns!
According to the local paper, this year's festival ticket sales outpaced 2015.
The film museum recently acquired and restored a 1928 RKO camera car, which is a thing of beauty!
A closeup of the logo. This car might be my favorite thing in the museum now.
And here's a gorgeous 1941 Buick from Gene Autry's TRAIL TO SAN ANTONE (1947), which costarred Peggy Stewart.
In the movie "Gene" jumps over the car on horseback. As it turns out, the museum website says the jump was performed by stuntman Joe Yrigoyen, the very same stuntman who did the remarkable work with the wild horse in STRANGER AT MY DOOR (1956), the first film I reviewed from this year's festival.
Here's a small shrine to Randolph Scott:
It was great to find Buck Jones posters and stills on display, since I've become a fan since my last visit to the museum!
Buck made a number of films in Lone Pine, ranging from DURAND OF THE BADLANDS (1925) to WAGONS WESTWARD (1940) 15 years later.
Tyrone Power's uniform from KING OF THE KHYBER RIFLES (1953):
Johnny Mack Brown was spotted in the museum's huge poster collection:
John Gilliland is an expert on Hopalong Cassidy. He's meticulously researched Hoppy's costumes and wears the late '30s version of Hoppy's outfit.
Here are the books I brought home...now I just need time to read them! This new book on Frances Dee is by Ed Hulse, with a foreword by Frances's grandson, Wyatt McCrea. The photos are beautiful.
Here's another book by Hulse with terrific photos. I'm going to be making a list of more Westerns I'd like to see thanks to this book!
COWPOKES 'N' COWBELLES by Donn J. Moyer has short entries on numerous faces who populate the world of "B" Westerns, with names like Myron Healey, Tris Coffin, Ruth Terry, June Storey, and more.
And I added a couple more titles to my collection of the annually published LONE PINE IN THE MOVIES festival books. That's Billy King of Hopalong Cassidy films on the cover at the right.
Coming soon: More festival movie reviews and photos of location tours!