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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bank of Bisbee: 1940

Bank of Bisbee: 1940

        The Bank of Bisbee had a starring role in "Violent Saturday," a 1955 film noir shot on location with Bisbee recast as "Bradenville," and Ernest Borgnine somewhat improbably playing an Amish farmer whose family is held hostage by bank robbers.

May 1940. "Bank in copper mining center of Bisbee, Arizona." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Bisbee: Another Violent Starring Role

Bisbee was the site of real-life violence in 1917. It is the subject of a newly released movie, "Bisbee '17".

"Radically combining collaborative documentary, western and musical elements, the film follows several members of the close knit community as they attempt to reckon with their town's darkest hour. In 1917, nearly two-thousand immigrant miners, on strike for better wages and safer working conditions, were violently rounded up by their armed neighbors, herded onto cattle cars, shipped to the middle of the New Mexican desert and left there to die. This long-buried and largely forgotten event came to be known as the Bisbee Deportation." Quoted from Rotten Tomatoes, where the movie gets a 94% approval rating.

Faux Stone Painters

There was great scene shop work on the Bank of Bradenville sign. I had to go back to notice how they covered up the Bank of Bisbee lettering. It was probably just plywood painted to look like stone. I understand that for much of the fist half of the Twentieth Century, people who could do that were in great demand. The classic example was all the temporary buildings at world's fair sites.

Violent Bisbee

Still frame from "Violent Saturday." Note the start of "Bisbee" on the old Coca-Cola sign on the side of the building above the Studebaker. Click to enlarge.

The Name's Changed

The rest remains the same. In fact, of all the towns featured on Shorpy, Bisbee seems to be the one that has changed the least.

[Indeed. Although last time I was in Bisbee, it was a Bank of America. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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