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Bob Bradshaw was an early photographer who lived in Sedona and photographed all over Arizona. He documented the stunning landscapes and wide open ranges of the early southwest. While working with the movie industry, he was able to capture scenes from some of the movies that were made in the Sedona area.

Bob Bradshaw arrived in Sedona in 1949. He opened the first Kodak film store in town and built a horse corral behind it. The Bradshaw family offered tours, on horseback, of the beautiful, red rocks of Sedona. When Hollywood came to Sedona to shoot westerns, Bob became a location scout, a stunt man and an actor.

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The first film made in Sedona was a silent movie named, Call of the Canyon. The book was written by Zane Grey and he insisted that they film the screenplay in the setting he had used for the book. It was produced by Famous Players - Lasky. The director was Victor Fleming, who later directed Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. The movie ran about 70 minutes and took up several film reels.

The plot of Call of the Canyon is not your normal western story.

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One of my favorite movies that was made in Sedona is “Angel and the Badman.” This was the first film that John Wayne starred in and produced. Republic let him start producing, because they feared losing him to another studio. His co-star was Gail Russell. The supporting cast included Harry Carey, Bruce Cabot, Irene Rich and Lee Dixon. James Edward Grant wrote the screen play and directed. The filming started the middle of April and continued until late June of 1946. The film premiered in February of 1947.

In the film, John Wayne is Quirk Evans, the ‘badman,’ who is nursed back to health by a Quaker family after being shot and falling from his horse. As he recuperates he learns about the family’s moral values and religious beliefs. Of course, a romance starts with the daughter, Penny, played by Gail Russell. Quirk’s friend, Randy McCall, played by Lee Dixon, shows up and Quirk tries to return to his previous life, but is drawn back to Penny and her simpler life style. Harry Carey plays Marshal Wistful McClintock. The film was well received, even though it was a little different than other westerns of the time.

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If you are in the Sedona area and want to see something unique and off the beaten path, you might try visiting Eliphante Village. This three acre sculptural art installation is located in Cornville, about 20 miles south of Sedona. There are several artistic structures, which are made out of mainly ‘found materials’. It is an inspirational work of art that is well worth seeing!

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