The first-ever Wild West Fest comes to Silverton over Labor Day weekend, with an authentic mountain man encampment downtown, along with the Silverton Western Movie Festival.
Wild West Fest starts off Friday night, with a showing of “Run for Cover." The movie was filmed in Silverton in 1954, starring James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors and John Derek.
The movie includes many scenes shot in downtown Silverton and in the nearby mountains. The train is prominently featured and filming was also done at Aztec Ruins National Monument.
In the movie, Cagney is mistaken for a train robber, clears his name and becomes sheriff, but trouble ensues. The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the Silverton School Performing Arts Center.
Saturday night, Aug. 31 at 7, “Across the Wide Missouri,” starring Clark Gable and Ricardo Montalban, will be shown. This 1950 movie, much of it filmed in the Molas Lake area, centers around mountain men trying to enter new territory despite Blackfoot Indian resistance.
Montalban, who later went on to star in the 1970s TV show “Fantasy Island,” was severely injured in the filming at Molas Lake when he was trampled by a horse.
Gable, during the filming in Silverton, was popular with locals and used to spend evenings talking with old timers outside the Grand Imperial Hotel.
The second annual Silverton Western Movie Festival is a fundraiser for the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper.
Admission to both movies is free, but donations will be accepted. Both films will be shown at the Silverton School Performing Arts Center.
Meanwhile, Mountain Men will be camped at East 12th and Blair Street in downtown Silverton, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
They will give demonstrations of pistol loading, shooting, knife throwing, fire starting, and will have handmade lanterns for sale.