Pearl Hart

Pearl Hart, who robbed a stagecoach on its way to Florence in 1899, is once again the subject of a movie currently in production. Extras are needed in Florence on Friday.

FLORENCE — A movie based on the true story of stagecoach robber Pearl Hart is scheduled to film Hart’s trial at McFarland State Historic Park in Florence on Friday.

The producer is looking for locals dressed in period-correct western clothing.

“They’re going to be heavily featured because they’ll be the jury and the court audience,” director and producer Travis Mills told PinalCentral by phone. Interested people may write to travismills@runningwildfilms.com for more information.

The movie, entitled, “The Woman Who Robbed the Stagecoach” stars Lorraine Etchell of Miami, Arizona, making her movie debut in the title role. Several other Arizona actors also appear, Mills said.

He said some locals have responded to his request for extras, and more are coming from Tucson and even Payson to sit in the McFarland Park courtroom.

“The biggest thing is that people need their own period wardrobe to be in the scene,” Mills said. “We’re not outfitting people. But a lot of people seem to be enjoying the process of finding that,” he said. In a post on his “12 Westerns in 12 Months” Facebook page, he recommends Wild West Mercantile in Mesa.

Mills said mostly women have expressed an interest so far, “so more men would be great.” The courtroom scenes will be the movie’s 14th and final day of shooting.

Hart, born Pearl Taylor in Canada in 1876, committed one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies in the United States when she and an accomplice held up the stage that traveled between Globe and Florence in 1899. The novelty of a female robber led to a media sensation. Many details of Hart’s life are uncertain, with available reports being varied and often contradictory, according to Wikipedia.

Mills said “The Woman Who Robbed the Stagecoach” will probably be screened in the summer of 2021 in southern Arizona before becoming available on Amazon Prime and on DVD. Mills’ company 12 Westerns LLC aims to release a movie a month next year. Some are true stories like Pearl Hart’s, others are fiction. A couple have been shot in Mississippi but most of them are being made in Arizona, Mills said.

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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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