Thursday, November 29, 2007

Commercial Films at Caverns, 1924 - 1993


As you can see this list has not been added to for fourteen years, but I thought that it might be interesting for the nearly 70 years that it does cover. Bob Hoff (November 2007)
Note: not entirely formatted yet; Bob Hoff 11/29/09)

(1924) Fox Motion Picture Company filmed news/feature segments during the National Geographic sponsored Willis T. Lee expedition.

(Oct 2, 1927) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer took news reel footage in the Cavern and of the bat flight.

(1927) Cave lecturer Russell Neville took footage for a movie on various caves of the U. S. This film is now the property of the National Speleological Society.

(May 13, 1928 and October 21, 1928) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Kinograms, and Inernational Newsreel all took footage in the Cavern.

(April 19, 1929) Paramount Studios newsreel made in Cavern.

(1929) Film called “The Medicine Man” filmed in Carlsbad Cavern and along the Pecos River valley--Cowboy movie. Filmed by Jack Irvin Productions.

(July 10, 1929) Portions of the movie, “Haunted World,” were filmed in the Cavern by Norman Dawn of Hollywood.

(Early 1930’s) Fox Movietown newsreel filmed at Caverns. B/W photo in file shows Park Superintendent Tom Boles with Fox personnel.

(September 1934) Paul Wilkerson, a cameraman from the NPS Office in Washington, took movie footage of the Civilian Conservation Corps workers at the Caverns, along with general park and Cavern scenes. Note: This must have been CCC workers visiting from other camps since CCC workers didn't start at Rattlesnake Springs until 1938--Bob Hoff)

(1946) A 15-minute movie was made by Santa Fe Railroad to promote the Caverns. According to an article by D. N. Brison entitled “Caves in the Movies” published in Miscellany, this was a B/W film. It was apparently replaced by an 11-minute color version a few years later. A copy of the later color version, also believed to have been made in the late 1940’s, is in the park collections.

(March 1949) Photographer Harry Dugan of Burton Holmes Travelogue produced a film on the Caverns for World Travel Films, Inc.

(March 1950) Segments of the movie, “King Solomon’s Mines,” were filmed at New Cave (now Slaughter Canyon Cave) in Slaughter Canyon in Carlsbad Caverns National Park and at Sitting Bull Falls in Lincoln National Forest.

(October 1950) A movie, “Night Without Stars,” was filmed in the Cavern.

(April 1951) Universal-International Films made “Cave of the Outlaws,” with about one-third of the movie shot at the Caverns.

(August 1952) Famous photographer Ennis “Tex” Helm (of the Admiral Bryd expedition to the
S. Pole) took a large number of color photos in the Cavern, including the 2,400 flashbulb “big shot” in the Big Room. Many of these large format color views were published in the October 1953 issue of National Geographic.

(November 1955) NBC-TV made a live telecast on November 21, 1955, from the Cavern in their
“Wide, Wide World” series. This segment, called “Heritage,” included scenes in the Big Room and Scenic Rooms.

(1958) Footage from the Cavern, believed taken during one of the earlier filming projects, was used to produce a full-length movie called “The Spider.” This was a horror film about two lost or trapped teenagers and a giant tarantula. (Note: Will 2008 Spiderman be filmed in caverns?)

(June 1959) Portions of the movie, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” were filmed by 20th
Century Fox in the Kings Palace, Boneyard, and near Appetite Hill. The final version of the movie contains about 11 minutes taken at the Caverns.

(November 1960) A segment of the Lancer Productions CBS-TV show, “Route 66,” was filmed at
the Caverns. This episode was entitled “A Fury Slinging Flame.” Some scenes were also filmed at White’s City.

(March 17, 1969) Stone-Age Productions filmed a TV commercial for Alka-Seltzer in the Cavern.
Scenes included the Dome Room. Actor Huntz Hall of "Bowery Boys" fame.

(April 1971) Scenes for a NPS film on the National Parks Centennial were taken, and were
shown 1 year later in April 1972 on NBC-TV.

August 1972 Portions of the CBS-TV movie produced by Tomorrow Entertainment Inc., and
entitled “The Gargoyles” were filmed in the Cavern. Primary location was the back of the underground luchroom at the beginning of the Left Hand Tunnel. Gargoyles were ugly dudes.

May 17-19, 1973 Segments of the movie “Johnathan Livingston Seagull,” were filmed by Hall
Bartlett Productions and JLS Limited. Scenes included the Kings Palace.

June 4, 1973 Roger Tilton Films, Inc., filmed scenes of the Cavern for a documentary on the
Four Corners area of the U. S. A 70mm IMAX spherical format camera was
used for dome projection.

May 15, 1974 Moffitt Multi-Media Productions filmed a travelogue which included both
Cavern scenes and bat flight footage.

May 15, 1974 The Albquerque National Bank filmed segments of a promotional film in the Big
Room and at the Cavern entrance. This film was produced in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Development using Kina Productions.
Contracts are Stephen Loy of Kina, or Sandra Carpenter, c/o the bank at P.O.
Box 1344, Albquerque, NM 87103 (Phone: 505/765-2417).

July 1974 The British Broadcasting Corporation filmed sequences for the BBC-TV series,
“Animal Marvels.”

March 1977 Extensive color photo stills were taken by contract photographers Sawyer and
Ellis for the Cavern Supply Company and NPS for use in various publications
and sales items.

June 1977 Scenes for an educational movie filmed by Institute for Regional Education,
Santa Fe, NM.

March 29, 1978 A segment of the educational film, “The Search for Solutions,” was filmed by
Mike Jackson of Playback Associates, 708 Third Avenue, New York, New York

August 1978 Richard Brock of the British Broadcasting Company took bat flight footage for
an ecology documentary.

March 1979 A documentary film for French television was made by Michael Siffre, 34 Rue
Tracel, Nice 06000, France (Phone: (93)-88-81-82). Siffre had earlier spent 6
months underground in Midnight Cave in Texas in connection with experiments
on wake/sleep cycles for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

April 1980 Footage for the TV show “Nashville on the Road” was made by Bill Turner,
Show-Biz, Inc., Baker Bldg., Nashville, TN 37203.

September 1980 Footage of the bat flight was take by Alan Landsburg Productions, 1554 S.
Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 (Phone 213/473-9641) for possible
use in the ABC-TV program “Those Amazing Animals.” Footage from the park
was edited out of the final telecast version. Contacts were Gary Moskowitz and
Ann Petrie.

April 1981 Still photos for a Rose’s Lime Juice commercial advertising project was taken in
Green Lake Room by Gateway Productions, 6900 Santa Monica Blvd., Los
Angeles, CA 90038. The advertising was used in England.

November 1981 Scenes for an 8-minute demonstration (horror type) film using the new
Omnivision camera production method for use in OmniMax theaters and
entitled “Heads Up” were filmed. Producer was Roger Tilton Films, Inc., 6440
Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, or 241 West G Street, San Diego, CA
92010 (Phone: 467-3191 Hollywood, or 233-6513 San Diego).

July 1982 Segments of a 24-minute geology film for Open University in England on
“Reefs: Past and Present” were filmed by the British Broadcasting Company.
Address: Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7-6BH, England.

April 1983 Footage and segments for the National Geographic Society educational movie
entitled “The Southwest” were filmed by Boyd Estus Productions, 1660
Soldier’s Field Road, Boston, MA 02135 (Phone: 617/254-4466). This film
was aimed at junior and senior high school level.

May 1983 Footage for a documentary to be shown on Japanese TV was made. Contact
Reo Yamada, Documentary Japan, Inc., 1-5-20, Motoakasaka, Minato-KU
Toyoko, Japan.

September 1983 The KNXT-TV program called “2 on the Town” was filmed at the Caverns. This
is a CBS-owned station in Los Angeles . Contracts were Kim Jones, Senior
Researcher (213/460-3563) and Joel Tator, Executive Producer, (or Gary Caplin)
c/o 6121 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.

October 1983 Footage was taken by Greg Hansley, mostly of the bat flight, for possible use in
the Marty Stouffer’s Productions “Wild America” series on PBS-TV. Contact
address and telephone number are 300 S. Aspen Street, Aspen, CO 811611
(Phone: 303/925-5536).

November 1983 Portions of Walt Disney Productions’ “America the Beautiful” film, used at
Disney Land and Disney World, were remade (for an updated version of the
film). Contact Matthew Nodella, Walt Disney Productions, 500 S. Buena
Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521 (Phone: 213/840-1000).

August 1985 The British Broadcasting Company of England filmed scenes in the Cavern and
nearby Guadalupe Mountains for the public television series entitled “The
Making of a Continent.”

March 1986 Television program segment for OWL/TV in Canada filmed. (Children’s

March 1986 Celebration Productions of Idaho filmed for a program called “The Caverns,
Rocks and Ruins of America’s Southwest.”

April 1986 A video tape for Jan Nickman’s “Natural States” series was made by Miramar
Productions using a steady-cam.

December 1987 A commercial was produced for the New Mexico State Tourism Division.

September 1988 A segment was filmed for Marty Stouffer’s “Wild America” series of public
television. This segment was titled “Wings of the Night.”

March 1989 David Blair of New York, N.Y., taped a non-profit production entitled “Wax, or
Discovery of Television Among the Bees” in the Cavern.

July 1989 Media Eye Incorporated filmed a TV segment on vacations for “Youthquake.”

August 1989 MTV filmed in the park for a program called “Amuck in America.”

August 1989 A documentary on caving was filmed in Carlsbad Cavern, Ogle Cave, Chimney
Cave and New Cave by Visible, Incorporated and Wolf Video of Dallas, Texas,
for broadcast on the Discovery Channel as part of the “American Wilderness”

August 1989 The bat flight was filmed for the “Roaming Wild and Free” series on the
Discovery Channel.

February 1990 Filming was done for a French television documentary on Antenne 2 (public

July 1990 Sunrise Productions of Albquerque produced a television spot for the State
Tourism and Travel Division.

April 1991 Scenes were filmed in the Cavern by Jan Nickman for a science exhibit in France
under contract with Shane Lanny Productions.

May 1991 Segments were filmed for a documentary on the “Most Beautiful Landscapes of
the World” by Gobel Lobmayer.

September 1991 Glen Ely of Forrest Glen Productions in Austin, Texas, filmed scenes in the park
to update his “History of the Guadalupe Mountains 1840-1940.”

March 1992 National Geographic Television filmed in Lechuguilla Cave, Carlsbad Cavern
and other locations for the “Mysteries Underground’ documentary aired on
public television in November 1992.

July 1992 A segment was filmed for a children’s travelog called, “The Adventures of

September 1992 A segment was filmed for the Nickelodeon TV Channel by Lina Ellerbee’s
“Lucky Duck” Production company. The segment was on bats.

July 1993 Filming was done in the Cavern and on the surface for the NBC-TV teenageer’s
program called “Name Your Adventure.”

August 1993 Tv-Asahi of Tokyo, Japan, video-taped for a live broadcast from the Cavern
which occurred August 16.

September 1993 A two-year video-taping project was completed which resulted in a video on the
park titled “The Spirit of Exploration” produced by Tom Zannes, Electronic
Films of Albquerque, new Mexico, for the Carlsbad Caverns-Guadalupe
Mountains, Association.


Jeff said...

Ranger Bob...

In a fit of nostalgia, we subjected the kids to "A Fury Slinging Flame", the Rt66 episode filmed in CACA I don't think I've seen since the '84 seasonal training.

I recall in the final chase scene, the one where purt near the entire cast runs up the Main Corridor in about a minute and a half, one of 'em in heels no less, the last one up to the cavern entrance was the park ranger, and curiously he was the only one out of breath after the uphill sprint. Yet, in the Netflix edition we had here, there was no huffing and puffing, out of shape ranger. (Not that I ever huffed and puffed my way out of that cave of course.)

Do you recall this scene, or has my memory devolved into hazy wishful thinking after all these years? Or is Netflix messin' with the original film.


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