East Meets West: Foreign box-office receipts are proportionately bigger today, but they're nothing new. Movie-goers in other countries were just as wild about Westerns filmed
at Melody Ranch and elsewhere in the Santa Clarita Valley, both before and after World War II, as were domestic audiences.
Two-page spread (each page 7x10 inches) from an unidentified Japanese magazine, 1957, relating to the 1955 motion picture "Wichita,"
showing scenes shot at Gene Autry's Melody Ranch in Placerita Canyon. Joel McCrea and Vera Miles star.
"Wichita" (Allied Artists 1955) is directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Walter Mirisch. Credited players include Vera Miles, Lloyd Bridges,
Carl Benton Reid,
Robert J. Wilke,
Mae Clarke and
Some interiors were filmed at Monogram/Allied Artists' Poverty Row studio in East Hollywood.
Trivia: Peter Graves is the brother of James Arness, aka Marshal Matt Dillon of the long-running "Gunsmoke" TV series, which shot in part at Melody Ranch.
Kermit Maynard, Ken's stuntman brother, has a bit part in this film, as does a young Sam Peckinpah, who went on to become a hard-boiled producer. In fact,
Peckinpah would direct McCrea and another old Melody Ranch "regular," Randolph Scott, in 1962's "Ride the High Country" (which was not shot locally).
In 2009, McCrea (1905-1990) was inducted posthumously into the Newhall Walk of Western Stars.