Zandy’s Bride at Molera: Part II

Last year we posted some photos from the set of  Zandy’s Bride – filmed at Andrew Molera State Park in 1974. The picture, starring Gene Hackman and Liv Ullman, was based on the book The Stranger in Big Sur, by Lillian Bos Ross. The set was constructed on the coastal terrace near the mouth of the Big Sur River.

As there’s been quite a bit of interest in the first batch of photos, we’ve now ventured deeper into the archives and uncovered some additional images …

View down Main St.

The hotel was more impressive from the front …

And from the side …

Than from the back.

The Pacific Coast Overland Stage Line, complete with antlers and oil drums.

The ticket window. Note the “weathered adobe” detailing.

Looking across the mouth of the Big Sur River to the coastal bluffs beyond. The boats and water tank are a nice touch.

The Ranch House sits at the end of the block. Post Summit rises behind.

Ye Olde Adobe

Living Room


Odd-looking outbuilding on the edge of town. The redwood grove on the summit of East Molera Ridge can be seen in the left background.

Click here to view the first set of photos (Part I).

6 Responses to Zandy’s Bride at Molera: Part II

  1. Lois DeFord says:

    Fascinating that a movie company would build a small town, then tear it down. I read both The Stranger and the sequel, Blaze Allen, many years ago. Great books, and still loved the movie. How do I access your Zandy’s Bride Part 1 from the archives?

  2. Lois DeFord says:

    In the book, The Stranger, the cabin described was nothing so fine as the ranch house pictured.

  3. xasauan says:

    A link to the original post has been added …

  4. Lois DeFord says:

    Thank you!

  5. AnnieCamp says:

    Watched the movie last night and really enjoyed it . . . going to read both books now. BTW – don’t recall the picket fence or even the interior looking so nice. Gee – I remember it as not much more than a hovel. The outside improved while Gene Hackman was away but the house was still dark and dreary. I must pay more attention – it is still on my DVR so I am going to fast forward through it and take another look!

    The pictures were interesting to see – I do recognize the town. Thanks for posting. I was searching for the name of the author the movie was based on and ran across this site.

  6. Tauria Linala says:

    These great old photos tell me the movie set was extravagant to the film cut. The trilogy of Zandy’s family and Blaze was a real joy to read with the dramatic –as seen– geography, by Lillian Bos Ross.

    If you don’t mind a long post for a good read, this is copied from amazon. “Lillian Bos Ross and her husband Harry Dicken Ross first backpacked into Big Sur in the summer of 1923 from Telegraph Hill in San Francisco where they were booksellers and part of a bohemian writers group. Inspired by the land’s beauty and residents’ lifestyle, they chose to free themselves from their regulated lifestyle and live a life of ‘pioneer spirits’ in an environment of their choice, and they choses Big Sur. After opening the first art gallery in Salinas, then spent a stint at the Hearst Castle where Dicken worked as a tile setter and wood carver, after which they hitched a 22-mile ride into the south coast of Big Sur with a man who earned $4.00 a day mining gold at Salmon Creek. The magnificent and rugged coastal land enchanted them and in 1939 they settled into Livermore Ledge, a Big Sur homestead house. They lived on salmon, Abalone, wild berries and bought coffee, eggs and honey for $1.00 from their friendly neighbors, the Big Sur homesteader families. Dicken sold a few carved sculptures and Lillian wrote stories for area publications. In 1942 The Stranger became a best seller and received the National Book Award. The New York Times exclaimed, “So long as America has a stock of Zande and Hannah Allans…it can face any tomorrow unafraid” and Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “…it carries a thread of inspiration all thru it, which should be good news for us in these days”. World War II was in full battle during the writing of The Stranger. Lillian wrote in her diary on December 11, 1941, that “a Japanese submarine fired 12 shots at a lumber schooner off Pfeiffer Point” and three days later “the tanker Larry Doheny was bombed a few miles south of us and another tanker was sunk at San Simeon”. These were nervous times for all Americans. Lillian’s second novel, Blaze Allan, named after Zande and Hannah’s daughter, reveals the rugged individualism of the American Pioneers whose last survivors flourished on the remote Big Sur Coast long before the automobile road, which took eighteen years to carve from the Big Sur cliffs, and opened up this inaccessible and sparsely-populated land to the travelers of the world. When Lillian passed in 1959 she left behind the skeleton of the third book of the Big Sur Trilogy she titled The Road, an unfinished manuscript about the building of Highway One that was destined to be completed some fifty years later by Gary M. Koeppel. –This text refers to the paperback edition. “

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