Telling tales of life in the Wild West was all in a day’s work for the folks behind the Mescal Movie Set east of Tucson.
The filming location, a lot of 27 structures that, until recently, served as an extension of Old Tucson, played host to more than 80 Western movies and television shows over the course of five decades.
Actors like Lee Marvin in “Monte Walsh,” Mel Gibson in “Maverick” and Steve McQueen in “Tom Horn” brought gunfights, poker games and cattle rustling to the silver screen on the 70-acre lot, about 4 miles north of Interstate 10.
Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp faced off against red-sashed cowboys with his brothers Virgil, played by Sam Elliott, and Morgan, played by Bill Paxton, in the 1993 classic “Tombstone.”
In the modern Western, “The Quick and the Dead,” Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio, went toe-to-toe in Mescal, participating in a quick-draw contest to determine the fastest gun in the West.
Mark Sankey, spokesman for the set, can tell you where any movie star who played cowboy on the property took their last breath.
“Leonardo died right on that spot,” said Sankey, pointing to a patch of dirt amid the saloons, brothels and trade shops, where DiCaprio, as “The Kid” caught a