‘Mono in the Movies’ DVDs at June Lake Library

– Press release

Two years ago, frequent June Lake visitor Ken Harrison and librarians Vineca Hess and Janet Carle were sitting around the June Lake library and someone mentioned, “Wouldn’t it be a neat idea to have a collection of films shot in Mono County?”

June Lake Historical Society’s Patti Henrichs, amateur film historian Ken Harrison, and librarian Vineca Hess welcome the “Mono in the Movies” DVD collection to the June Lake library.

June Lake Historical Society’s Patti Henrichs, amateur film historian Ken Harrison, and librarian Vineca Hess welcome the “Mono in the Movies” DVD collection to the June Lake library.

Together they came up with seven films they knew had used the uniqueness of Mono County as a filming location.

Ken went back home and started researching. With the help of Chris Langley of the Lone Pine Film History Museum, current and former Mono County Film Commissioners Alicia Vennos and Jim Vanko, and the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), they have come up with a list of 57 films.

Over the last year, Ken viewed films he could find on Netflix, trying to identify the locations used. He wrote a brief guide on each, exploring local production trivia, actors, or locations used. Then he’d try to purchase the DVD on e-Bay or Amazon.

“Several of the films have come from Japan or Korea,” says Ken, pointing out that those countries tend to release different DVD genres than Hollywood.

The library now has a collection of ten DVD’s, available to check out through any Mono County library branch. Harrison hopes to add at least four DVD’s to the collection each year.


Sometimes its just 30 seconds of screen time for Mono County, but it means that the stars and crew spent days, if not weeks, on location here.

 The earliest known Mono County film is the 1921 silent production of The Silent Call, which used Mammoth as a location. No known prints of this film have been found. The latest is Tom Cruise’s 2013 Oblivion filmed at Silver Lake.

Last November, Harrison presented a movie night sponsored by the June Lake Historical Society. Over 10% of the town showed up to watch Hell’s Heroes, a 1929 Universal Picture filmed in Bodie. He had thoroughly researched interesting facts about the actors and production – the town shots were all pre-1932 fire. A possible Mono County film festival has been talked about for the fall of 2014.


DVD Collection housed at the

June Lake Library

Available for checkout at any Mono County Library Branch

1929 Hell’s Heroes Charles Bickford Bodie

1938 Marco Polo Gary Cooper Mono Lake

1947 Out of the Past Robert Mitchum Bridgeport

1966 Nevada Smith Steve McQueen Hot Creek

1969 True Grit John Wayne Hot Creek

1973 High Plains Drifter Clint Eastwood Mono Lake

1981 First Monday in October Walter Matthau Silver Lake

1989 Born on the 4th of July Tom Cruise Mammoth Mtn

2002 xXx Vin Diesel Convict Lake

2007 Alvin & The Chipmunks Jason Lee Oh! Ridge

4 Responses to ‘Mono in the Movies’ DVDs at June Lake Library

  1. johnjcampnfish August 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    The director Henry Hathaway must have really liked the area. He directed True Grit and Nevada Smith. Probably a few others that were filmed in the area too. Besides the scenes along Hot Creek, Nevada Smith also had a scene of Steve Mcqueen and Brian Keith camping along the shore of Convict Lake and another of an indian village in what I think is somewhere along Benton Crossing road.
    Ride The High Country is another one with scenes filmed around the lakes basin. I watched Joe Kidd again last weekend because of scenes of the Eastern Sierras. Although most of it was filmed in Inyo county, one scene looks like it was filmed near the Sherwin summit.
    Since I don’t live in the area and can only visit it a couple times a year, watching these old movies filmed there helps me get my “fix”. I would love to learn of more movies made in the area.

  2. Patricia Rowbottom July 31, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    North To Alaska…(Hot Ditch)
    Rose Marie….(Horseshoe Lake)
    5 Convicts…(Convict Lake)

  3. film-maven July 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Don’t forget “The Golden Child” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”(which Mammoth Library has) and “Troop Beverly Hills”

  4. Ken Warner July 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Great idea! I love looking at photographs from the old days. Movies are very interesting because you see stuff the way it was and the way it moved. Good work people!!!

    For a small county with a modest population and not much money, Mono County has a great library system. I’m glad the people of Mono County see the importance of supporting a useful facility for all of us. It make the whole county so much more livable.

    Thanks to all current and former Mono County Supervisors for understanding the importance of a good library system.


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