Mine Tales: Four classic movies with Arizona mining backdrops – by William Ascarza (Arizona Daily Star – March 13, 2022)


Arizona has a rich history in the motion picture industry. Early production years at Old Tucson Studios west of Tucson produced “Arizona,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Rio Bravo,” to name a few. Another filming location in Mescal, about 45 miles southeast of Tucson, produced such notable films as “Tombstone” and “Tom Horn,” along with serving as an occasional setting for the “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide” and “Bonanza” TV series.

Aside from established movie sets, Arizona’s mines and their history have contributed to the backdrop and premise of some remarkable films in past decades. Some of these include:

‘Day of the Wolves’

The premise behind this low budget film released in 1971 involves the heist of a small Western town known as Wellerton (actually the newly established Lake Havasu City) by a gang of criminals organized by a single mastermind and summoned anonymously to meet and train at the historic Swansea Mining townsite.

Each member was offered $50,000 for their participation with the stipulation they must adorn beards as disguises and not divulge any personal history about themselves to each other or anyone outside of their cadre. They referred to each other by assigned numbers from one to seven with No.

For the rest of this article: https://tucson.com/news/local/history/mine-tales-four-classic-movies-with-arizona-mining-backdrops/article_07958daa-9e58-11ec-aaa8-cb808f496e57.html