Walt Disney Productions’ Scandalous John
”Just between you and me hombre, it don’t hurt a bit to have folks think you’re a midge out of your head. They keep out of your way, Savvy?”
And so starts the second Hollywood movie in which Burlington Northern employees have played an important role since the Company’s merger more than a year ago. The first time, was when CBS’s Gunsmoke series filmed “Snowtrain,” a two part western thriller.
This Walt Disney Production was filmed in Hill City, in South Dakota’s Black Hills area before cold weather set in. In September 1971 they filmed this movie using Burlington Northern Train Crew from the Alliance division to film a three day shot of an 1880 run away train.
They used a 10 mile Burlington Northern branch line track near the Keystone, South Dakota mining town. Brian Keith star’s as Scandalous John, Alfonso Arau as his sidekick Amigo. It is a comedy of a one cattle drive devised by the old cowboy to save his ranch and a railroad Barron wanting his land.
In addition to the South Dakota location filming, scenes were captured in New Mexico and Arizona. The train that was used as prop came from among 40 pieces of old time rolling stock owned by BHCR’s president Bill Heckman. Pieces from his collection that was used consisted of a 51 year old locomotive, a red plush passenger coach built in 1882, a bullet scarred baggage car and a private business car that was specially built for a Colorado bonanza king.
The movie is based on a book written by Richard Gardner and is directed by Robert Butler. Rod McKuen composed the musical score and sings one of the songs, Pastures Green.
Here is a list of Burlington Northern employees who made Scandalous John’s train go.
Here is closeup of the articles