Western RoundUp: Preview – 2021 Lone Pine Film Festival
After a challenging year and a half, it’s wonderful to see some beloved aspects of “normalcy” returning here in the United States.
One such example is the Lone Pine Film Festival, which returns to Lone Pine, California, for its 31st edition in October 2021.
Last year, like many film festivals, the Lone Pine Festival went “all virtual.” I was impressed with what was presented online and wrote about it here at Classic Movie Hub.
This year the festival will be held in Lone Pine from October 7th through 10th. The theme is “The Great Western Comeback.”
The Lone Pine Film Festival strikes me as the ideal experience as we ease back into normalcy. While the screenings take place indoors, much of the festival takes place in the great outdoors, so those preferring to limit their time indoors have numerous options. Outdoor activities available at the festival include the opening night buffet and closing night campfire, numerous movie location tours, a parade, a stunt show, a panel discussion, a nondenominational Sunday morning Cowboy Church service, and horseback riding.
The festival begins with a buffet reception in the parking lot of Lone Pine’s Museum of Western Film History, where it’s often possible to mingle with some of the festival’s special guests.
This year the guests will include Patrick Wayne, Claude Jarman Jr., Bruce Boxleitner, Robert Carradine, Darby Hinton, William Wellman Jr., Jay Dee Witney (son of director William Witney), Wyatt McCrea (grandson of Joel McCrea and Frances Dee), Cheryl Rogers Barnett (daughter of Roy Rogers and stepdaughter of Dale Evans), and Diamond Farnsworth (son of Richard Farnsworth).
Discussion moderators will include Rob Word and Steve Latshaw. Musician Jay C. Munns, a festival regular I’ve heard accompany several silent films at past festivals, will also be on hand.
There will be approximately 20 films shown at this year’s festival. Highlights from the film schedule include:
*An opening night screening of a TV version of Red River (1988), postponed from the 2019 festival. James Arness, Bruce Boxleitner, and Gregory Harrison starred in the roles played in the original 1948 film by John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, and John Ireland. Boxleitner will be on hand for a Q&A session with Rob Word. I’ve met Boxleitner at past festivals; he loves classic movies!
*The Grey Fox (1982) starring Richard Farnsworth, introduced by his son Diamond.
*John Ford‘s Rio Grande (1950), starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, with Claude Jarman Jr. and Patrick Wayne participating in interviews. Wayne had a small part in the film, his first screen role, while Jarman played Wayne and O’Hara’s son and even learned to perform Roman riding for the film alongside Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. I wrote about my love of Rio Grande for Classic Movie Hub in March 2020.
*Wyatt McCrea and William Wellman Jr. present The Great Man’s Lady (1942), which starred Wyatt’s grandfather, Joel McCrea, directed by Wellman’s father, William Wellman.
*The world premiere of a 4K remaster of Under Western Stars (1938), starring Roy Rogers, introduced by Cheryl Rogers Barnett.
*Robert Carradine will be present for a screening and discussion of The Long Riders (1980), in which he appeared with his brothers David and Keith, as well as the Quaid, Keach, and Guest brothers.
There will be 15 different tours available at this year’s festival, some of which will take place at two or three different times over the course of the long weekend. A majority of the tours will feature locations from movies shown at the festival, including The Cattle Thief (1936) with Ken Maynard, The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939) with Cesar Romero, the Hopalong Cassidy film Bar 20 (1943), Border Treasure (1950) with Tim Holt, the previously mentioned Hangman’s Knot (1952), and the outstanding crime film The Hitch-Hiker (1953), which was directed by Ida Lupino.
There will also be a sunrise tour of the Alabama Hills, a tour of Alabama Hills sites that were photographed by Ansel Adams, and another tour focused on the area’s geology.
Those considering attending the festival might want to know that I’ve been in Lone Pine three times since August 2020 and have always found ample options for eating outdoors if that is desired.
As I write there are not currently state or local mask or vaccine card mandates, but visitors should, of course, be aware that that is subject to change. Inyo County, where Lone Pine is located, currently recommends but does not mandate wearing masks indoors, and the festival also encourages them when inside.
The Lone Pine Film Festival is always a favorite, melding varied activities with a relaxed vibe, in a gorgeous Western setting. I highly recommend attending if at all possible.
For more on the Lone Pine Film Festival, including ticket information, please visit the festival website.
– Laura Grieve for Classic Movie Hub
Laura can be found at her blog, Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings, where she’s been writing about movies since 2005, and on Twitter at @LaurasMiscMovie. A lifelong film fan, Laura loves the classics including Disney, Film Noir, Musicals, and Westerns. She regularly covers Southern California classic film festivals. Laura will scribe on all things western at the ‘Western RoundUp’ for CMH.