Monday, January 28, 2013

From Film to Book

I sat down to write this post, thinking "movies," mostly because The LadyKillers (a group blog I help administer and also post for every other Saturday) has a movie-related theme this coming week. What follows is my real-time, step-by-step journey of serendipity.

It all starts when I wonder: what movies have been set in Leadville, Colorado? Doing a very perfunctory search, I find mention of two: Silver City (2004) and Under Siege 2 (1995).

Attempting to cast my net a little wider, I come upon a list of Movies Filmed in Colorado. What I find interesting is how few “westerns” appear in the list and how many sci-fi/magic/fantasy/horror movies there are! The westerns were mostly filmed back in the 1950s and 1960s: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, True Grit (the version with John Wayne), How the West Was Won, The Searchers… and then, way back in 1926, The Great K&A Train Robbery

Intrigued, I dig a little deeper into this last one, which was a western starring Tom Mix. Apparently much of it was filmed in Glenwood Springs, and John Wayne (! see True Grit, above !) worked as a property assistant on the film and appeared as an extra. By my calculations, Wayne would have been 19 years old when the film was released.

It then occurs to me that some of these films might be fun to watch for the scenery. Hmmm. I surf over to Netflix.

Well, really, what was I thinking? A silent film from 1926?

So, I wander over to YouTube and end up spending 10 minutes watching The Great Train Robbery (1903).

Very interesting, but not the “filmed in Colorado” movie I was looking for. In fact, I noodled around and found out The Great Train Robbery was filmed in Milltown, New Jersey. While noodling, I also discovered that there is a 1905 parody, by the same director, titled The Little Train Robbery, which was acted out by children, and features a “bandit queen!” And it is also on YouTube!

I drag myself back to my pursuit of The Great K&A Train Robbery. I would like to know where the real robbery took place, now that I know it was based on a “true incident,” but I’m not getting very far and it’s getting very late now. I discover that there are a few copies  of the book (copyright 1897) listed on Gah! I turn to Google books. There it is, as an eBook … FREE! I click DOWNLOAD, and now I have it… if only in electrons.

I still don’t know where the robbery took place, but will find out.

Although this is the end of one journey, it looks like it might also be the start of another. Sometimes it's fun just to wander and see where the roads lead.


Unknown said...

Anne, You are the queen of timeliness. I have been on the search for info on trains and train robberies. My quest is specifically the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad...needing visual details and? This book will be lots of fun. Thanks again. Nancy

Renaissance Women said...


Ann Parker said...

Thank you! :-)

Liz said...

From Wikipedia, some settings and others filming locations:
Day of the Dead (2008)
Silver Dollar (1932) re Tabor
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory(1995)
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) at the beginning.
Wikipedia does not list your series under Leadville CO.

Ann Parker said...

Hello Liz!
Wow! Thank you! Can I hire you to do my research... ?? :-)
I think I'd like to find Silver Dollar. That would be a fun one to watch!