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Caswell’s time on the big screen

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POSTED August 21, 2014 12:31 a.m.

One of the most popular movies of 1973 was filmed, at least in part, at one of the most popular spots near Ripon and Manteca.

Caswell Memorial State Park. 

“The World’s Greatest Athlete” – a Walt Disney film starring Jan-Michael Vincent as an African track star that comes to the United States to make history as the first person to win every event at the NCAA Track and Field Championship – filmed several scenes along the ivy-covered banks of the Stanislaus River inside of the park. 

It was an experience that “The Hob Nob” owner Rick Atwell remembers vividly during his time growing up in the community – from the exotic animals that were collared along the steep cliffs to the abundance of movie-making equipment that was hauled in to fill the scenes. 

The majority of the rest of the movie was filmed either at the University of the Pacific and  Delta College in Stockton. Legendary sports announcer Howard Cosell, who called the iconic “Thrilla in Manila” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier announced the meet at the end of the movie. 

 

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