Lobby card for "The Law Rides Again" (Monogram Pictures, 1943), starring Ken Maynard (left) and Hoot Gibson (second from left). Filmed at the Monogram Ranch (later called Melody Ranch) in Placerita Canyon, and at Corriganville in Simi Valley.
Maynard, Gibson and other major Western stars of the 1920s were still big enough box-office draws in the 1940s to pull a Saturday matinee crowd. They teamed up for "trio pictures" — in the instance of Maynard and
Gibson, they were the Monogram's Trail Blazers, with Bob Steele or Chief Thundercloud (here) rounding out the trio.
"The Law Rides Again" is produced by Robert Emmett Tansey, directed by Alan James; players include
Jack La Rue,
Chief Many Treaties,
Charles Murray Jr.,
Chick Hannan and
Further reading: Melody Ranch: Movie Magic in Placerita Canyon.
About Hoot Gibson.
Edmund Richard Gibson earned the nickname "Hoot" when he worked as a messenger for the Owl Drug Co.
He was born August 6, 1892, in Tekamah, Nebraska and appeared in more than 200 films (including short
features) between 1910, when he earned $50 for his role in "The Two Brothers," and
1960, when he made an uncredited appearance in "Ocean's Eleven." Gibson did
most of his work as a silent cowboy actor between World War I and the early 1930s. He directed a bit
in 1920-21 and produced some of his own films from 1923-30. The 5'9" Hollywood giant died of
cancer on August 23, 1962, in Woodland Hills five days before a wildfire burned down
Gene Autry's Melody Ranch in Placerita Canyon, where Gibson made some of his movies.
In addition to using the Santa Clarita Valley as a backdrop for filming, during the time he was
married to Dorothea Sally Eilers (a popular leading lady in late
silents and early talkies), he owned a ranch in Saugus now known as the Saugus Speedway. SCV historian
Jerry Reynolds writes:
"Roy Baker purchased a 40-acre tract east of Bouquet Junction during 1923, starting construction on
a rodeo arena a year later. Hoot Gibson bought the ranch and stadium in 1930, putting on shows that attracted
such stars as Tom Mix, John Wayne and Clark Gable. In 1934 Gibson sold out to Paul Hill, who ran the
Western Livestock yards and leased it to film companies for three years until a huge flood filled the home
and arena with mud and debris. (Hill) was unable to make payments, and the bank repossessed the property,
which was eventually taken over by a professor of economics at Occidental College, William Bonelli (who
started the Santa Clarita Water Co. and built one of the first local housing tracts in the late 1940s).
Today (the rodeo arena) is known as the Saugus Speedway."