By the time Tom Tyler filmed “Terror Mountain” in 1929 for FBO, he became so popular that he actually starred as himself in this silent film, which was very rare in Hollywood at the time, discounting comedians who usually starred as themselves in film shorts. The director of “Terror Mountain”, Louis King, came across an unusual property which he decided to include in the filming in the northern mountains of California: a deserted mountain cabin once used by Jimmy "Squint" Dugan in the early 1870's. Dugan was one of many highway robbers in the late 19th century who took advantage of those traveling through the state in search of gold and deciding to make their homes on the west coast of the nation. King thought it would be cool to do some filming at the historic cabin spot, both outside and inside, preserving a piece of California gang history on film.
There is very little information about Jimmy "Squint" Dugan, even in an archive like Newspapers.com, although it was a name known to locals back then for he appeared to have done enough damage as a highway gang leader to warrant attention in California state history. It seemed appropriate enough for a hideout, once owned by a famous local gang leader, to serve as the same area where real-life highway gang leaders once roamed. “Terror Mountain” is one of a handful of films stored at the Cinematheque Royale in Brussels, Belgium, and has a plot that makes it quite easy for the viewer to imagine Tom Tyler, hero extraordinaire, taking out those 19th century highway robbers single handedly.