March 7, 2019
By Cindy Justice, Image from the Lee Conrad Collection
MOUNTAIN MOVIES: HEIDI (1937): This week’s image is a promotional photo from the movie Heidi (1937) starring Shirley Temple, Jean Hersholt, Sidney Blackmer and directed by Allan Dwan. Hersholt, who played Heidi’s grandfather, is shown sitting with Temple in a “Swiss Alps” location scene filmed at Switzer Park on Hwy. 18 between Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs. While on location the cast and crew were housed at the Arrowhead Springs Hotel which was co-owned by several movie producers including Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, who produced the movie. Temple, who was nine at the time, lived in a trailer parked on the hillside and only left it when it was time for her scenes; which was after her stand-in had finished with lights and sound. She was always accompanied by at least eight bodyguards. Marcia Mae Jones, who played Klara the little crippled girl, said that even when they went to Lake Arrowhead Village to play miniature golf they were surrounded by bodyguards. Not only was Heidi a box office success but a merchandising one as well. Heidi dolls, Heidi coloring books as well as a Heidi clothing line added to the bottom line. Temple appeared in several movies filmed in the San Bernardino Mountains including To The Last Man (1933), Now and Forever (1934) and The Blue Bird (1940). Temple loved the mountains and later vacationed in a house in Crestline on Playground Road. She was once Grand Marshall in a local parade in the 50s. Jean Hersholt was born in Denmark. By the 1920s he was a leading man in silent films such as Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1925) but when the talkies arrived he slipped into character roles. Allan Dwan became one of the true legends of Hollywood. Spanning five decades he directed over 200 films, wrote more than 40 screenplays and produced 34 pictures. Heidi can be seen on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes and other online venues.