Corriganville: The Story of the Ray Corrigan Ranch [DVD] [1960]

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The visual similarity of many Hollywood western sets is far from accidental: a bulk of them (thousands of features, plus television episodes) were filmed in the same locale: a 1600-acre Southern California ranch owned by screen star Ray "Crash" Corrigan, originally purchased in 1937 for $9,000. Initially, Corrigan lived on the picturesque land, but he quickly began to perceive it as a cash cow that could be used to rake in a fortune from producers of Hollywood westerns, and thus constructed a "western village" called Silvertown on the spot, beckoning untoward numbers of filmmakers to shoot there. The locale's role as a film set lasted until 1949, though its history thereafter waxed equally intriguing: in 1949, Corrigan transformed it into a "Wild West Theme Park," with numerous reenactments of cowboy stunts and gunfights; in 1965 (11 years before Corrigan's death), Bob Hope bought the place for $3,000,000. and renamed it Hopetown -- a flash-in-the-pan establishment that lasted only one year. In the following decade, fires destroyed most of Silvertown and adjacent structures. This documentary, shot in 1960 (i.e, during the Wild West Theme Park heyday) details much of that colorful history; it features the late Corrigan giving viewers a guided tour of the place, and also incorporates clips from many scenes shot on the property. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Ray "Crash" Corrigan
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