From the Vault: Zandy’s Bride at Molera

A good deal of the 1974 film Zandy’s Bride – based on the book The Stranger in Big Sur, by Lillian Bos Ross, and starring Gene Hackman and Liv Ullman – was filmed at Molera State Park, on a set constructed on the coastal terrace near the mouth of the Big Sur River.

Here are some photos we came across while cleaning out a closet yesterday …

A bit of Hollywood-style “Old West” with Pico Blanco for a backdrop

The “ranch house” with grip trucks parked out front

Ranch house interior

A town appears overnight

A happy dog behind the false fronts

Click here to view Zandy’s Bride at Molera: Part II

10 Responses to From the Vault: Zandy’s Bride at Molera

  1. Chris L says:

    These photos are great. It’s like Notley’s Landing is reappearing before our eyes, albeit misplaced. I’d love to have that “ranch house interior.” Too bad they didn’t have a garage sale of this stuff afterward. Or did they?

    By the way, where can you find “Zandy’s Bride”? I’ve never seen it.

    Appears to be available for $9.95 plus $3.00 shipping at
    … but the book is better – XT

  2. joshuacanyon says:

    It’s available online from NetFlix too.

  3. dave n says:

    I recently read the book for the first time and really liked it. I tell myself it was modeled somewhat after Philip Dolan who homesteaded many acres near me- not sure at all though. He went through two wives with 8 children. Last time I looked (April) on Netflix they didn’t have this movie.

  4. Chris L says:

    It’s interesting that you associate the story with Dolan, Dave. I haven’t read the two novels in years—so I should read them again. But your part of the coast feels right to me as a “seedplot” for the stories (although the ranch in the novels, as I remember it, was more in the mountains than directly on the coast…)

    Thanks, XT, for the movie link. I trust you about the book being better. Sometime we should start a Big Sur Lit reading group…

  5. Gayle says:

    The Stranger, is quite a story. The pictures from the movie sets are great. I remember how it looked from driving to town, to see a City at Molera’s. I’ve always had the feeling the story was set in Southern Big Sur, and up in the hills, too. The Author and her husband walked to Big Sur from the south. Fun to see the pictures, brings back good memories. Oh yea, I think the book is better, too. But the scenery in the movie…

  6. Lois DeFord says:

    And Blaze Allen, the sequel book to the Stranger, is all about their daughter, Blaze, growing up in the old days on the coast. Very good read!

  7. dave n says:

    @ joshuacanyon- if you know the ‘netflix’ name of this movie please advise. I’m entering my DVD season and I’d like to see it again.

  8. Jody Leach says:

    My Great Grandfather was Phil Dolan I was wondering if anyone has any imformation about Him or exactly where the old home was located?
    My Grandmother was Elizabeth or Bessie, his only Daughter…Jody Leach

  9. dave nelson says:

    Most of what I know is from Susan Georgette’s book. The Big Sur library has tapes of an interview with one of Dolan’s grandsons. I live in Big Sur and Dolan’s second homestead is right across the highway from me. The first is in Big Creek Reserve.

  10. marianne mcclintick says:

    To Jody Leach, My Great Grandfather was Owen Dolan from Ireland born circa 1832. He settled in St. Louis, mo and I would like to find relatives. I know very little about him. Owen named his sons Eugene Francis, thomas Joseph and James, perhaps these names are in your family?

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