From the Vault: Ready, Set … Action
“MGM starts filming picture this Thursday,” announced The Aspen Times on Aug. 18, 1949. “The Aspen area is buzzing with activity this weekend and will continue to hum for at least 15 days while the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cast of 18 principals and supporting crew of cameramen, electricians, carpenters, et al. film the principal parts of ‘The Devil’s Doorway.’ The crew in and near Aspen shooting scenes for this picture numbers 102 persons directly employed by the MGM studio. Besides these, a number of local persons are employed to take care of stock. Heading the cast is Robert Taylor, who will play the part of the Indian hero who is a veteran of the Civil War. The location for most of the shooting in the Aspen area is on Had Deane’s upper ranch at the junction of East and West Maroon Creeks. This ranch was long known as the Anderson ranch and is one of the beauty spots of the whole area. The ‘Red Stallion in the Rockies’ was partially filmed on this spot. Harold ‘Had’ Deane is furnishing many other things to the movie company besides the location. He has contracted to furnish 100 horses, 45 longhorn steers which are owned by Cleve Gentry of Meeker, 500 white-faced cattle from John Mulford’s ranch at Carbondale, and 500 sheep owned by Clive Mecham of Aspen. Deane is also maintaining a cook house with army field kitchens at the upper ranch and will feed the entire personnel on location the noon meal and the 43 Shoshone Indians their three meals per day. MGM will move to Grand Junction after finishing the Aspen part and will be there approximately 10 days filming the desert scenes of the picture. The public is cordially invited to inspect the progress of the picture and are welcome as long as they use common sense in keeping out of the range of the camera and do not make any noises that might spoil the effect and dialogue.” The photo above (Berko Collection) shows the filming of the movie in the Maroon Creek Valley.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.