Down the Ballot

Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner Films in Oregon

James Garner (1928-2014)
With the passing of James Garner, I thought it might be cool to see if I could find any news about the actor filming in Oregon. I managed to find one about the filming of a Hallmark film in Dallas, Oregon in 1986. The film was called, The Promise. It is about a man who promises his dying mother that he will look after his schizophrenic brother. Garner said that Triangle Lake (located in rural Lane County) was a beautiful filming location.

Local Dallas resident Ed Matsler was even given a small part after he had done some work for the production. Speculation of future projects coming to Oregon were caused by the film getting some Emmy nominations.

Outside of acting in film, Garner was active in helping out industries he liked. One such industry was the Beef Council Industry (the pr arm of the National Livestock and Meat Board). The same year he did The Promise,  a Crow, Oregon rancher named Polly Owen was made the head of the council. She was in charge at that time for heading an advertising campaign to get consumers to buy beef. James Garner had helped start off the campaign two years prior in advertising for the Real Food for Real People campaign. 

Garner would come back to Oregon in the 90s to film parts of Maverick (1994) in Oregon around Cascade Locks. The Columbia River would double as the Mississippi River in the film. The Portland, owned by the Oregon Maritime Museum was used as the Lauren Bell from the film.

My favorite role of his is probably President Matthew Douglas from My Fellow Americans. Other little know facts about him: He was three rows away from MLK Jr. during the I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington in 1963. He was also courted to run for the Democratic nomination for governor of California in 1990.
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