Lights! Camera! Action! Oregon/Washington BLM



Lights! Camera! Action!

Get your ticket and grab some popcorn! Find a seat because the main feature is about to start...
Welcome to BLM on Film.

story and art by Jeff Clark

We find ourselves in bright sunlight, exiting a LUSH OREGON FOREST that opens upon the Rogue River. Clear water RUSHES PAST. Suddenly, a man wearing an eye patch steps around to confer with his director. In low tones they discuss the first shot of the day.



Do you like movies? We do, too. And more than any other month, February is the cineaste's favorite. Not only is this the time of year for the annual Academy Awards, but closer to home, the 34th Portland International Film Festival kicks off February 10 to premiere more than 100 international shorts and feature films drawing an audience of over 35,000 people!


That's a lot of good stuff for movie lovers. like movies, we like movies. Want to know a cool secret?

CLOSE ON: NORTHWEST PASSAGE - an anthropomorphic magazine about public lands in Oregon and Washington. Like a cowboy in a John Ford film, its pages lean forward to confer in hushed tones:


(Whispers) So...some of your favorite Oscar-winning films?

Did you know they were shot right here in Oregon on your public lands?

Learn about 'em here Off the Record, On the QT, and Very Hush-Hush...


2. INT. Hall - NIGHT

Since we're talking about movies and the 2011 Oscars™, one film in the running for a number of categories is the Coen brothers' adaptation of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. Rooster" Cogburn. Now, you'd be hard-pressed to find a movie buff who doesn't know this role was famously first played by John Wayne for which he won his only Oscar™. Mr. Wayne joked during his acceptance speech that, If I'd known that, I'd have put that patch on 35 years earlier."

Lights! Camera! Action!



And so when it came time for Mr. Wayne to reprise his role six years later in Rooster Cogburn, the sequel to True Grit, he found himself filming in a beautiful area that might look mighty familiar to those of us in Oregon.

Originally promoted as Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady), Mr. Wayne starred with Academy Award™ winner Katherine Hepburn in the film that has the distinction of being the only film in which the two actors appear together.

Distinguishing this film even further beyond these two prodigious talents is the sheer amount of gorgeous on-screen scenery. A great deal of the movie was filmed on Oregon lands managed by the BLM. From mountain scenes in Deschutes County west of Bend to the Rogue River near Grants Pass, the Duke and the Lady hiked and fought and struggled (while always hitting their marks) on Oregon lands.

Another location, Smith Rock State Park, still proudly bears their legacy today. The Rockhard/Smith Rock Climbing Guides building at the park entrance was originally built as a set for Rooster Cogburn where it served as Kate's Saloon."

So if you find yourself holed up inside this winter and are itchin' to see some beautiful BLM lands given the Hollywood treatment, check out Rooster Cogburn. And after our spring thaw, you might even plan a trip to get out and visit these sites in person.


Well, I guess that's a wrap for BLM on Film in this issue.

Suddenly, the pages of Northwest Passage begin turning to the next article...


Wait, wait! Didn't you say something about other movies filmed on BLM lands in Oregon?


Yes, indeed. Other Oscar™ winners have shot movies here, too. But I'm afraid we're out of space for now. So we'll be sure to pick up our story next issue.

As you begin to flip the page, an ethereal voice echoes...


Until next time, thanks for reading. Adios...


In Part 2 of our BLM on Film series, we feature a modern motion picture filmed around BLM-managed land in eastern Oregon that delivers a realistic portrayal of the pioneer journey on the Oregon Trail.