Monday, December 8, 2008

Jerimiah Johnson's Snow Canyon

Several years have past since I watched Robert Redford's classic "Jeremiah Johnson." Released in 1972, I always considered it a favorite for its gritty portrayal of mountain man life and for its cinematography depicting Mt Timpanogos. We all enjoy watching movies that happen in places we recognize, and seeing the back side of Timp in the movies excited my cool-factor. I spent a lot of time exploring, skiing, and even did a little work on Robert Redford's pool on Timp's East side during the first half of my life. Timpanogos has an Alpine beauty second to none.

Only part of Jeremiah Johnson was filmed behind Mount Timpanogos. They filmed most of the rest of it in Snow Canyon State Park, around Zion National Park, near Hop Valley, and around Ivins reservior in what is now the Kayenta development. I hadn't watched the movie since moving the Utah's Dixie 11 years ago, until last night.

Brother Mike and I took a couple of our kids riding through Snow Canyon on Saturday with the Back Country Horsemen. While there, Larry Dunn reminded me of the famous scene where Jeremiah Johnson stumbles upon Del Gue (played by Stephan Gierasch) who is buried up to his chin in sand. The dialogue follows:

Jeremiah Johnson: Are you all right? Del Gue: Sure, sure, I got a fine horse under me! [sneezes] Del Gue: Got one of them feathers in my nose. Jeremiah Johnson: You keep sneezing, it'll come out all right. Haven't seen anyone pass by recent, have you? Del Gue: Nobody's gone in front of me. Can't say what's happened behind me, though. Jeremiah Johnson: The Injuns put you here? Del Gue: T'weren't Mormons. A Chief, name of Mad Wolf. Nice fella, don't talk a hell of a lot. Say, you wouldn't have an extra hat on you, would you? Shade's getting' scarce in these parts. Jeremiah Johnson: What'd you shave your head for? Del Gue: Mad Wolf figures like every other Injun I know. Says this scalp isn't fit for no decent man's lodgepole. Ain't the first time I've protected my head in such a way. Name's Del Gue, with an "e".

While we watched Jeremiah Johnson last night, I became struck by the cinematographic portrayal of Red Rock country. This movie is a where's where of Southern Utah's beautiful places! Our Cool-factors got excited over and over as we realized that we recognized nearly every single location in the film. Its a great movie. Full of classic lines and an amazing catalogue of Utah's diverse beauty, Jeremiah Johnson is a fun watch for the whole family.


cory and sharon said...

Hum. Now I'm going to have to watch that Jeremiah Johnson.

Wenderful in Colorado said...

You and your family should just do a remake of that film in all those spots and make sure you get the accents down right!

Iditadad said...

There is a lady here, lives up the lane from Walker's who raises mini donkeys - used one in our Christmas walk nativity scene at our ward party. Pretty cute, and another couple raises alpacas. Would love to do that. Wow
P.S. When your dad won't even let me have a maltese pup, I can't even suggest it.


My Hubby Shaun loves all those westerns. If you do a remake of that film, I'm sure he'd love to be an extra hehehe.