Best Fest film festival showcases Arizona's movie past
Originally Published: September 14, 2011 10:02 p.m.
PRESCOTT - From the raucous comedy of "¡Three Amigos!" to the classic Western scenes of the original "3:10 to Yuma," Arizona's rich film history will be on display during Prescott's Arizona Best Fest.As one of the many features of Prescott's Sept. 16-18 Arizona Centennial celebration, the Arizona Centennial Film Festival will take place at Hendrix Auditorium at Prescott Mile High Middle School, 300 S. Granite St. (next to the Best Fest's Native American Village).The film festival will feature a dozen movies with Arizona locations - several of them in Prescott.With the Best Fest events highlighting multiple facets of Arizona's history, Helen Stephenson of the Prescott Film Festival said it was important to have the state's lively movie past on display as well."It is very appropriate for the centennial to include a celebration of film in Arizona," Stephenson said. Stephenson and local movie historian Tom Slaback pointed out that there were plenty to choose from among the hundreds of Arizona-filmed movies."We were trying to get a little something for everybody," Stephenson said.So, along with the 1972 rodeo movie "Junior Bonner," the festival will also feature the 1989 teen comedy "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."Stephenson noted that the movies will offer plenty of opportunities to spot local sites. "One of my favorite older movies is 'Pride of the Bowery,'" she said, noting that the 1940 "East Side Kids" movie took place almost exclusively in Prescott and includes shots of downtown and the old fairgrounds.Slaback added that the movie, which was filmed as an advertisement for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), includes a shot of the Gurley/Cortez corner that takes in the old Head Hotel.The entire movie schedule includes: 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16 - "¡Three Amigos!" starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short, filmed in the Coronado National Forest and Old Tucson. 7:15 p.m., Sept. 16 - "The Law and the Outlaw," a 1913 western with Tom Mix. Slaback will lead a discussion afterward. 8:45, Sept. 16 - "Junior Bonner," starring Steve McQueen, filmed in Prescott. 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 - "Angel and the Badman," a 1947 Sedona-filmed movie starring John Wayne. 11:15 a.m., Sept. 17 - "Pride of the Bowery," a 1940 movie filmed in Prescott starring Leo Gorcey. 1:30 p.m., Sept. 17 - "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," starring Keanu Reeves, filmed in Tempe, Mesa, and Phoenix. 4 p.m., Sept. 17 - "3:10 to Yuma," a 1957 western starring Glenn Ford, filmed in Texas Canyon, Triangle T Guest Ranch, Willcox, Sedona, and Old Tucson. 6 p.m. Sept. 17 - "Murphy's Romance" - a 1985 movie starring James Garner and Sally Field, filmed in Florence, Tubac and Tucson. 8:30 a.m. Sept. 17 - "Wanda Nevada" - a 1979 movie starring Peter Fonda and Brooke Shields, filmed in Prescott and Page. 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18 - "Arizona Bound," a 1941 movie starring Buck Jones. Slaback will lead a discussion afterward. 2:15 p.m., Sept. 18 - "Lust for Gold," a 1949 movie starring Glenn Ford, filmed in the Superstition Mountains. 4:15 p.m. - "Ranch Album" - a 1987 movie filmed in Yavapai County. Producer Gail Steiger will lead a discussion afterward.Tickets can be purchased at the door; the price is a $5 donation per film.Slaback will be donating books on movie posters, and the festival will be giving one away after each screening.In addition, a portion of Slaback's collection of movie posters, one-sheets, and stills will be on display at the theater.More information is available online at prescottfilmfestival.com.See Best Fest website for more information about events, exhibits and activities