(3.61 "Auld Land Syne")
The High Chaparral used
sets in Arizona and in Hollywood to shoot scenes for the series. Most
exterior shots were done in Arizona and most interior shots were done in
Hollywood. The primary set for the main ranch was in Old Tucson.
Compared to other Westerns of the time, the sets of The High Chaparral
were especially rich with detail and authenticity. This was true not only
of the regular sets, but of the saloons, cantinas, Mexican villages, and
neighboring farms and ranches that appeared throughout the series.
The primary sets were not static either, but changed through time as the ranch developed. Since we have had several decades to examine the sets in greater detail than the show's producers might have contemplated, we continue to notice irregularities and discrepancies. Like the Bloopers and Reality Bites, we point these out here as loyal fans who care enough to notice when a door or window has migrated from one episode to the next. Click on any of these small photos to see more.
The true set at Old Tucson is just a shell with a solid front, parapet roof and porch. All exterior buildings are pretty much the same. Look good but without substance. Most are still standing after 30-some years. The fire at the studios that you may have heard about, did not affect the HC set.
The Summer Kitchen, like the front porch, was sometimes filmed in Hollywood and sometimes in Old Tucson. The Storeroom was probably always in Hollywood but is included here because of its relationship to the Summer Kitchen. The interior of the barn appears to be shot in Old Tucson, but I'm not sure about that.
Interior shots of the Ranch House at the High Chaparral were shot in Hollywood. The interior did not exactly match the profile of the exterior ranch house as Ronnie Rubino discovered in the process of building a replica.
The interior portrayed an
upstairs that was really only a half floor above the main floor, yet the kitchen
and office were situated below it. Exterior shots of the roof line give
no indication of either the half floor or a whole floor above the main
floor. For more discussion of the difficulties of reconciling these height
differences see Ronnie's House.
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