Poster for the Movie, Stallion Canyon



A Memory of the Making of the Movie, "Stallion Canyon"

by James E. Kemple

"Stallion Canyon" was the movie being filmed around St. George, Utah in 1948. I was eleven years old and in Mr. Nielson's 6th grade class at St. George Elementary School. After discussing the filming with my friend, Gerald Cox, we decided we needed to go watch the action. We knew that they were shooting at the Jacob Hamblin Home in Santa Clara.

We left school during the noon lunch break and walked up to the Highway 91. It only took a few minutes of hitch-hiking for a car to stop and pick us up. The driver let us out at the film site.

The movie people had built an old Western style village all along the lane running east from the Jacob Hamblin Home. The buildings were just fake store fronts, but from the front they looked real.

There was a crowd of local people all dressed in old western attire, just walking around, watching the action. We spent the afternoon around the set, staying out of the way while scenes were being filmed. Finally the director announced that we would all be in the next scene. It was to be the ending of a horse race. We were given directions where to stand and what to do as the running horses came past.

As the racers came around the Jacob Hamblin House from the west, they headed right past the crowd and down the movie set of the old town. All of us in the crowd ran into the street behind the horses and cheered, jumping up and down and waving our arms.

After the filming for the day, we walked back down to the highway and started hitch-hiking back to town. In a few minutes a car stopped and picked us up. It was Ken Curtis, the star of the movie. You may remember Ken Curtis as one of the Sons of the Pioneers that sang in the old Roy Rogers Movies. Later Ken Curtis played the part of "Festus" in the Gunsmoke series on television.

Upon arrival in St. George, Ken Curtis took Gerald and I with him to his hotel room and took his guitar from its case. We spent about an hour with him playing his guitar and singing some of the old Western songs.

Yes, we got in the movie that day. When we first saw the movie at the old Dixie Theater in St. George, we were able to see ourselves on the screen.

It was a wonderful experience for two young St. George Boys when the movies came to town.

Poster for the Movie, Stallion Canyon
WCHS-01354     Ken Curtis (green shirt), pal Shug Fisher (white hat in the center), and others are looking over the dead body of badman Ted Adams

Poster for the Movie, Stallion Canyon
WCHS-01355     The Dixie Theater on Main Street, St. George Utah - 1949