locations


For the fun of it, I tracked down most of the shooting locations. I used Google Earth, Google Street View and HistoricalAerials.com.

The scene where the taxi drops off Kyle (Bridges) is at the southwest corner of a parking garage just east of Union Station, Los Angeles. That garage and street-corner is long gone; a high-dollar office complex stands there today. The shootout scene following was in Union Station itself, which is easy to note.

The action then shifts to a little town called Piru, an actual town in Ventura County. It is interesting that the writers did not contrive a fictional town name, or that the producers did not have Piru stand in for another real town or vice-versa. The hotel Kyle and Sandy (Dickinson) stay in was later used for the "Kick the Can" segment in the first Twilight Zone movie.

Before Piru however, the bus carrying Kyle and Sandy makes a rest stop. I despaired over ever finding out where those scenes were shot, until I reasoned that the production folks would have kept costs down by staying close to Piru. Using Google Earth, I scanned the main highway nearby. Almost right away I spotted what looked like a farm with a kind of white fence or wall in front. That seemed to match a low white concrete wall in the background of the rest stop scene.

I jumped into that location with Street View--and I was stunned. That was it, alright, and the place had hardly changed. Rancho Camulos is a historic site, a Spanish settlement dating from the late 18th century. Approaching it along Highway 126 using Street View seemed eerily identical to the shot filmed from inside Kyle's bus as it made the same approach. Even the trees looked the same. Which is kind of amazing, considering that the highway has been widened since then.

Over forty years!

The final scenes take place in an unidentified ghost town. I haven't found that location yet. At one point Kyle stalks by a discarded sign that says "Sawyer's Livery Stable - Spivey Kansas". So it is either an actual ghost town previously used as a location for a western, or it's a purpose-built prop likely used for many other productions.

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