Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink…In Duquesneby John Scott on Aug. 23, 2013, under Uncategorized
Last night was the screening of Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink at the historic Fox Theater. It was exciting for me for four reasons. First, I play a minor part in the movie. Second, it’s a western. Third, it was filmed at Old Tucson Studios. The fourth reason may be an odd one to you readers. In a previous career I had the honor of performing in a few Broadway shows which toured America before returning to New York. These tours afforded me a paid journey through our terrific country. We played many historic Fox Theaters…but Tucson was never on the list. I guess you could say that twenty years later I finished the circuit.
Prior to the rolling of the film, the producer, director, a town councilman, and the director of the AZ Film Commission expressed their thanks to Tucson, which I thought was a class act. Thanking a town for not only making a movie in it, but bringing that town money. It’s us who should be thanking them…
The audience was unofficially sworn to secrecy about key points of the plot, but I will tell you that it does, in fact, take place in Arizona Territory. The main character lives in Duquesne, and they travel from Tombstone to Benson in the movie.
Well, it’s a ghost town near Patagonia. Back in the 1860′s there was a brief settlement there, but the Apaches didn’t like it and started attacking. Quickly the camp disappeared because the residents were squeamish about arrow wounds and the Hair Club for Men hadn’t been invented yet. Didja get that last one?
Around 1880, the Duquesne Mining & Reduction Company of Pittsburgh found the area to be rich in ore and started tearing it up. Once the town was established, the company brought in a lot of employment. At one point, Duquesne had 1000 residents and 80 claims. It’s neighboring town, Washington Camp, was equally successful.
In Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink the lawmen are tracking a gang of outlaws from Duquesne to the outskirts of Benson. The traveling sequence led me to believe that it took awhile with some hard horseback riding, which is accurate given the distance of the two towns. Nice to see someone did their homework on this film.
The Duquesne Mining & Reduction Company of Pittsburgh closed its doors in 1902, and eighteen years later, so did Duquesne. I haven’t found out why, but guess that they just weren’t pulling enough goodies out of the ground. There are still a majority of the original buildings standing, and the rumor is that locals are working to preserve it.
One day I hope to visit Duquesne, and see the wonderful structures of our frontier heritage. I also hope that the Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink producers and the film itself make a difference in bringing movie making back to Tucson. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!