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Welcome to the Museum of Western Film History

Explore, the museum's extensive collection of real movie costumes, movie cars, props, posters, and other memorabilia. This collection tells the story of filming in the area in and around Lone Pine from the early days of the Round Up to the modern blockbusters of today such as Iron Man. While you're here, don't forget to make the short trip up Whitney Portal Road and take the Self-Guided Tour of Movie Road and get a first hand look at real shooting locations of a great many motion pictures filmed in the beautiful Alabama Hills

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NEWS: August 1, 2012

Django Unchained Dentist Wagon Donated by Quentin Tarantino to Museum


Written and directed by Academy Award®-winner Quentin Tarantino produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone. The executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamberg, Shannon McIntosh, and James Skotchdopole.  

Dentist_Wagon_1_72_dpiQuentin Tarantino filmed much of Django Unchained here around the Alabama Hills & Independence. He is a great fan of spaghetti westerns and Bill Whitney - using the original clapper board from the Lone Ranger to shoot much of his scenes here. He used the Film Museum’s theater to screen and share his love of old westerns with the rest of the crew. He has kindly donated the Dentist Wagon that Christophe Waltz drove in the film Django Unchained. It is recognizable by the Giant model of a tooth on the top.   

Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles dead or alive. 

Success leads Schult’z to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.

Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of Candyland, an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candies trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival.Exhibit_Click_Here_2

He has kindly donated the Dentist wagon that Christophe Waltz drove in the film Django Unchained. It is recognizable by the Giant model of a tooth on the top. The wagon was picked up this past week. The staff is working on developing the Django exhibit to premiere at the upcoming Lone Pine Film Festival.


Jaime Foxx
Christoph Waltz
Kerry Washington
Walton Goggins

Tarantino on Django


Nov. 5th Edition
The Soul of Django Unchained
Examining the cinematic roots
of Quentin Tarantino’s Western.


Director Sergio Corbucci’s 1966
film Django, proved to be one of
the most popular, and most
influential spaghetti westerns ever.

See Original Trailer

  Early talk on "The Hopeful Eight"  


J. Michael Riva (1948–2012)
Production Designer | Art Director | Art Department
Born: June 28, 1948 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Died: June 7, 2012 (age 63) in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

John Michael Riva was born in Manhattan, to William Riva, a Broadway set designer and Maria Elisabeth Sieber, a German-born actress. He was the grandson of Marlene Deitrich, an earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on 1985’s The Color Purple. As a production designer he was the person responsible for the overall look of a film. Working directly with the director and producer, he would select the settings and style to visually tell the story.

Riva, whose recent film résumé also includes The Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man and its sequel, suffered a stroke June 3 in New Orleans while preparing to head to the set of Django. Nearly a week later, the married father of four sons died surrounded by family.

His other production design credits include the Lethal Weapon franchise, A Few Good Men, the Charlie’s Angels films, The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, Goonies, Dave, Ordinary People, Brubaker and the cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.

His TV credits included the film Tuesdays With Morrie and the 74th Annual Academy Awards, for which he received an Emmy nomination. He later won an Emmy for designing the 79th installment of the Oscar telecast.

Riva also was a writer, earning a nomination from the Writers Guild of America for his original screenplay, Lily in Winter, a 1994 made-for-TV movie produced by Showtime.

“Michael Riva was a great friend and a tremendous talent, able to tailor the look and mood of a story to the emotion in the script,” said Sony Entertainment President Amy Pascal. “We are stunned and saddened by his passing.”


Other industry heavy weights echoed that sentiment.

Michael Riva was a wonderful collaborator, brilliant designer, an emphatic perfectionist -- but most of all he was a great friend,” remembered Marc Webb, director of The Amazing Spider-Man. “He was a gift from the universe, and I will miss him like crazy.”  Said Django director Tarantino: “Michael became a dear friend on this picture, as well as a magnificent, talented colleague. Every member of our Django crew family is devastated by this tragic loss as we persevere on his wonderful sets.” 

Harvey Weinstein, producer of the Leonardo DiCaprio-Jamie Foxx starrer, called Riva “an amazing talent and we were lucky to have him work on Django Unchained. His creativity enhanced every frame of the film. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”


A Tribute to an Exceptional Man: In the Details

An excerpt by John Reiss - Film maker

Huffington Post - 06/10/2012 6:16 pm

Michael was a true artist. He found artistry in everything around him, and everything he did was filled with artistry. While he is known primarily for designing multiple iterations of big Hollywood spectacles (most versions of Iron Man, Charlie’s Angels, Spiderman, Lethal Weapon, even his smaller works had incorporated spectacle (The Goonies, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension). He was also Oscar nommed for The Color Purple and won an Emmy for designing the 79th Academy Awards. It was his attention to detail that elevated the audiences’ experience of these films to another level whether it was the shape of Jamie Foxx’s glasses in Django Unchained or the shower of gold confetti in the final scene of Charlie’s Angels.

Django Unchained
was the first film shot outside of Los Angeles that he agreed to work on in 16 years. He previously refused location work so that he would not be away from Wendy and his boys. This more than anything contributed to his oeuvre since he would have liked to have worked on more smaller, character based films, but those rarely shoot in LA.

Michael had a way of seeing the world that was infectious and inspiring -- he helped us see the world differently and elevated everyone around him. Michael exuded so much life, love of life, love of others, that I don’t feel that he has left us -- he permeates everything and everyone he touched -- but even so, there still is a hole in my heart and I will miss him terribly.

Note: It is especially poignant as it is one of the last pieces award winning J Michael Riva designed as he died during filming in New Orleans on June 7th of this year. The Lone Pine Film Museum will be commemorating Michael in the exhibit. Grandson of Marlene Dietrich - He has made other sets for films in the area including Iron Man - The other film he last worked on was Spiderman. 

.. a production designer or P.D is the person responsible for the overall look of a filmed event such as films, TV programs, music videos or adverts. Production designers have one of the key creative roles in the creation of motion pictures and television. Working directly with the director and producer, they must select the settings and style to visually tell the story.

Our Exhibits

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Lone Pine in the Movies

Lone Ranger Canyon AA

With over 400 Movies filmed in The Alabama Hills visitors come from all over the World to see "Then & Now" and "Stand in" for their favorite actors.  See the many still shots from our archives in search of your favorite movie scene in Lone Pine.

Made in Lone Pine...

Search here to see if one of your favorite Movies is one of the over 400 movies Made in Lone Pine!

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Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545

Welcome to the Western Museum of Film History!

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