Bronson Canyon, or Bronson Caves, is a section of Griffith Park in Los Angeles that has become known as a filming location for many movies and TV shows, especially westerns and science fiction, from the early days of motion pictures to the present. Its craggy and remote-looking setting, but easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers, particularly of low-budget films, who want to place scenes in a lonely wilderness.
Bronson Canyon is located in the southwest section of Griffith Park, and thus is easily accessible from Hollywood.
In 1903, the Union Rock Company founded a quarry, originally named Brush Canyon, for excavation of crushed rock used in the construction of city streets. The quarry ceased operation in the late 1920s, leaving the caves behind. The caves became known as the Bronson Caves after a nearby street, giving the area its more popular name of Bronson Canyon (the same street indirectly provided the stage name for actor Charles Bronson, who chose the name of the Bronson Gate at Hollywood's Paramount Studios, which in turn derived its name from Bronson Ave).
Scenes of the main cave entrance are normally filmed in a manner that shows the entrance at an angle because the cave is actually a very short tunnel through the hill, with the rear opening easily visible in a direct shot.
In the 2005 video game Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, the custom character created by the player meets Andrew Reynolds to convince him to be featured in a video in order to save the fictional skate ranch, Green Pipes Point. The character is taken together with Reynolds to Bronson Canyon, where the player has to do a 50000-point combo into the cave which involves the custom character launching off the Hollywood Sign, which erupts with pyrotechnics. After this stunt, Reynolds agrees to do the video.
Apache Rifles is a 1964 Western film in which Audie Murphy plays cavalry officer Jeff Stanton, charged with bringing in renegade Apaches in the Arizona Territory. Directed by William Witney the film was shot at Bronson Canyon and Red Rock Canyon State Park, California.Bikini Cavegirl
Bikini Cavegirl (also known as Teenage Cavegirl) is a softcore pornographic film made by Fred Olen Ray under the pseudonyms "Nicholas Medina" and "Sherman Scott". It has been described as "a sexy makeover", but not a remake, of Ray's earlier film, Dinosaur Island. It was released directly to video in 2004 under the title Teenage Cavegirl, and is shown on cable as Bikini Cavegirl.Captain John Smith and Pocahontas
Captain John Smith and Pocahontas is a 1953 American NR historical film directed by Lew Landers. The distributor was United Artists. It stars Anthony Dexter, Jody Lawrance and Alan Hale.While most scenes were filmed in Virginia, exteriors were shot around Bronson Canyon. It depicts the foundation of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia by English settlers and the relationship between John Smith and Pocahontas. She married John Rolfe in real life. It is also known by the alternative title Burning Arrows. Regarded as a B movie, the film has gained a cult following.Carson City (film)
Carson City is a 1952 American Western film directed by Andre DeToth and starring Randolph Scott, Lucille Norman, and Raymond Massey.Based on a story by Sloan Nibley, the film is about a railroad construction engineer whose plans to build a railroad line between Nevada's Carson City and Virginia City are met with hostility by the locals, who feel the trains will attract outlaws. Filmed on location at Iverson Ranch, Bell Ranch, and Bronson Canyon in Griffith Park, Carson City was Warner Bros.' first film shot in WarnerColor.Darmok
"Darmok" is the 102nd episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the second episode of the fifth season. The episode features Paul Winfield, who previously played Captain Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Ashley Judd in her debut acting performance. It describes an incident in which the crew of the Enterprise is unable to establish meaningful communication with the crew of an alien vessel, which is resolved by the struggle of the ships' captains to defend each other from a vicious beast. It is often cited as one of the best episodes of both The Next Generation series and the entire family of Star Trek television series.Flame of Araby
Flame of Araby (a.k.a. Flame of the Desert) is a 1951 American Technicolor adventure film directed by Charles Lamont starring Maureen O'Hara and Jeff Chandler. British film star Maxwell Reed made his American film debut in the picture. Locations were shot at three famous film locations: Vasquez Rocks, Bronson Canyon, and the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.Griffith Park
Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres (1,740 ha) of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. It is the second-largest city park in California, after Mission Trails Preserve in San Diego, and the 11th largest municipally owned park in the United States. It has also been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles but is much larger, more untamed, and rugged than its New York City counterpart.Hold Back the Night
Hold Back the Night is a 1956 American war film about the Korean War based on the 1951 novel by Pat Frank, who had been a war correspondent in Korea. The film was directed by Allan Dwan; his third film with John Payne and his third film about the United States Marine Corps, the others being Abroad with Two Yanks (1944) and Sands of Iwo Jima (1949).Jungle Mystery
Jungle Mystery is a 1932 American Pre-Code Universal 12-chapter movie serial directed by Ray Taylor. Set in Zanzibar, it depicts the search by various parties for a missing man named Jack Morgan (Onslow Stevens), as well as a legendary cache of ivory. The jungle mystery involves a creature (half man, half ape) named Zungu (played by Sam Baker). Tom Tyler played the hero, Kirk Mongomery, and Cecilia Parker played the heroine, Barbara Morgan, searching for her missing brother. A 1935 feature version was also released, running 75 minutes.Mystery Mountain (serial)
Mystery Mountain is a 1934 American Western serial film directed by Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason and starring Ken Maynard, Verna Hillie, Syd Saylor, Edward Earle, and Hooper Atchley. Distributed by Mascot Pictures, the series was a remake of Mascot's film The Hurricane Express (1932). Mystery Mountain features the second film appearance by Gene Autry.Night of the Blood Beast
Night of the Blood Beast is a 1958 American science-fiction horror film about a team of scientists who are stalked by an alien creature, which implants its embryos in an astronaut's body during a space flight. Produced by exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman and his brother Gene, it was one of the first films directed by Bernard L. Kowalski and was written by first-time screenwriter Martin Varno, who was 21 years old. It starred several actors who had regularly worked with Roger Corman, including Michael Emmet, Ed Nelson, Steve Dunlap, Georgianna Carter and Tyler McVey. The film was theatrically released in Dec., 1958 on a double bill with She Gods of Shark Reef.
It took Varno six weeks to write the script, the original working title of which was Creature from Galaxy 27. The story was partially influenced by the real-life Space Race and the Howard Hawks film The Thing from Another World (1951). Screenwriters Jerome Bixby and Harold Jacob Smith gave Varno uncredited assistance with the dialogue. With a budget of about $68,000, it was shot over seven days at the Charlie Chaplin Studios, Bronson Canyon and a television station on Mount Lee in Hollywood.
The Blood Beast alien costume was also previously used in the Roger Corman film Teenage Caveman (1958), which was filmed just two weeks earlier. Art director Daniel Haller, who built the rocket-ship and other props, slept at the sound stage between work sessions. Following dissatisfaction with his treatment by the Cormans, Varno pursued two successful arbitration cases, one of which was for underpayment. The other was in response to Gene Corman's original story writing credit, even though Varno claimed to have written the entire story himself.
The film was featured in a 1996 episode of the comedy television series, Mystery Science Theater 3000.Outlaws (1960 TV series)
Outlaws is an NBC Western television series, starring Barton MacLane as U.S. Marshal Frank Caine, who operated in a lawless section of Oklahoma Territory around Stillwater.Queen of the Broken Hearts
"Queen of the Broken Hearts" is a song featured on the 1983 album Keep It Up by the Canadian rock band Loverboy. The song was released as a single later that year, reaching #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #11 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. Despite being a relatively successful hit for the band, the song has not been included on the two main compilation albums released by the band; Big Ones (1989) and Loverboy Classics (1994).
The video for "Queen of the Broken Hearts" was the subject of an MTV contest in the summer of 1983, in which an MTV viewer won the chance to "star" in Loverboy's next video. The contest was won by a woman named Bridget Magnesi, who appeared very briefly in two shots, behind a bank of computer monitors about 15 seconds into the video.
The video was shot at Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles, where the desert, rock formations, and caves were utilized extensively for a number of popular science fiction television series and many B-movies dating from the early 1950's.Robot Monster
Robot Monster (a.k.a. Monster from Mars) is a 1953 independently made American black-and-white 3D science fiction film, remembered in later decades as one of the worst movies ever made. It was produced and directed by Phil Tucker, written by Wyott Ordung, and stars George Nader, Claudia Barrett, and George Barrows. The production company was Three Dimension Pictures, Inc. The film was distributed by Astor Pictures.
Robot Monster tells the story of Moon robot Ro-Man's mission to Earth to destroy humanity. He manages to kill all but eight survivors, who have become immune to his death ray. Ro-Man runs afoul of the Great Guidance, his leader, when he becomes attracted to the human Alice. She is the eldest daughter of a surviving scientist, and he refuses to harm her. The Great Guidance must now come to Earth and finish what the Moon robot started.Sagebrush Trail
Sagebrush Trail (UK title An Innocent Man) is a 1933 American Pre-Code Western film with locations filmed at Bronson Canyon starring John Wayne and featuring Lane Chandler and Yakima Canutt (Canutt plays the leader of the gang as well as doubling for Wayne in several stunts). It was the second Lone Star Productions film released by Monogram Pictures.Spider-Man (1969 film)
Spider-Man is a 1969 American superhero short film that was directed by Donald F. Glut. It is an unauthorized fan film, one of several made by Glut and the last one of its type that he created. The short was later released along with several of Glut's other shorts as a special feature of I Was a Teenage Movie Maker, a 2006 documentary about Glut. The short's plot centers around Spider-Man, who must rescue a woman from her father, the devious villain Dr. Lightning, an original character Glut created for the film.Filming took place in Glut's apartment home as well as at Bronson Canyon, and Glut achieved the wall-climbing scenes by turning the camera sideways. He also utilized other effects such as stop-motion animation and backwards photography, as well as the use of miniature figures. Glut initially screened the film at the home of Michael Nesmith, a friend of his, and later persuaded a projectionist into showing the short at a theater showing student shorts from the University of Southern California.The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang
The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang is a 1979 television film directed by Dan Curtis about the Dalton Gang. It is not entirely accurate, as noted at the film's beginning.The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a 2001 independent science-fiction parody film directed by Larry Blamire. The film is a spoof of B movies released during the 1950s. The film was videotaped on a budget of less than US$100,000, and was converted to black-and-white film in post-production. Larry Blamire acted in and directed the film, wrote its screenplay, and provided the voice of the film's titular Skeleton. Jennifer Blaire, who performs Animala, is Blamire's wife.
The film, which was shot at Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles, California, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 8, 2001 and received a limited release in theatres on March 12, 2004.The Nest (1988 film)
The Nest is an American creature feature horror film, based on the novel by Eli Cantor (under the pseudonym of Gregory A Douglas), from Roger Corman's Concorde Pictures and producer Julie Corman. The tagline is "Roaches have never tasted flesh... until now." Flesh-eating zombie-like mutant cockroaches terrorize a peaceful island community presented as a New England fishing village. However, the film was created on location at Bronson Caves, Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, as well as Malibu, Leo Carillo Beach, and Catalina Island.