In a slight detour from Spain week, I want to share this article I wrote after attending a screening of the Sam Peckinpah/Steve McQueen movie Junior Bonner.
When director Sam Peckinpah and his assistants headed out west to scout out sites for a new movie in 1972, one of their stops was in a mountain town a couple hours drive north of Phoenix that once was the state’s capitol. Since they were looking for a western setting for a movie written by an Arizona screenwriter, Jeb Rosebrook, Prescott seemed a likely choice. After all, the rodeo plays an important part in Junior Bonner and Prescott, Arizona’s yearly rodeo bills itself The World’s Oldest Rodeo, having been in continuous operation since 1888.
However, it almost didn’t happen. William Pierce, chairman of the rodeo committee was summoned to meet Peckinpah and give him a tour of possible locations in Prescott. He showed up in the morning at Peckinpah’s Prescott hotel room, where the director was lounging on the bed sipping a whiskey.
(Read the rest of the inside story of the filming of Junior Bonner at Reel Life With Jane in my Classic Movies column.)