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Wed, Oct. 16

Arizona Highways remembers Junior Bonner in Prescott

Not only is Prescott a great place to visit, it looks mighty fine through a camera lens, too.

At least that's what a half-dozen movie companies in the past 40 years have thought as they rolled the cameras on the unique landscapes of Everybody's Hometown.

"How The West Was Won," "Billy Jack," "Junior Bonner," "Bless the Beasts and the Children," and most recently, "The Cactus Kid," are but a few of the big screen movies that featured the streets, antique buildings, events and people of Prescott as their backdrop.

"Junior Bonner," filmed during Prescott's Frontier Days celebration in June 1971, was perhaps one of the most famous of the flicks filmed here.

To celebrate its 30-year anniversary, Arizona Highways magazine has a large cover article on "Junior Bonner" in their June issue.

Screenwriter for the movie, Jeb J. Rosebrook, reminisces in the article about the seven weeks he spent in Prescott rubbing shoulders with stars Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson and others.

One of the biggest thrills for locals, no doubt, was watching as McQueen played a struggling rodeo champion, graced the streets of Prescott during the Frontier Days parade, at the World's Oldest Rodeo and in a staged bar fight at The Palace on Whiskey Row.

Revisiting Prescott 30 years later, Rosebrook has fond memories of the way the town was then, when Prescott Valley had but 1,000 residents and Highway 69 was only two lanes.

But wait; let's not let the cat out of the bag.

For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of June's Arizona Highways and take a gander at the entertaining text by Rosebrook and slick color pages chock full of photos taken during "Junior Bonner."

After all, this is your hometown and it's famous.

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