Hooray for Hollywood

I love movies. Comedies, westerns, mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, love stories. I love them all. One of the things we love to do on our RV trips is visit film locations. It’s fun to visit a place and imagine the actors playing their parts while the cameramen capture the action.

Here are a few of the most memorable film locations we have explored.

Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota – This cold war spy thriller had Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint being chased around the Black Hills in “North by Northwest” (1959).

Mount Rushmore National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Mount Rushmore National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota

 

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming – Who can forget Richard Dreyfuss making a sculpture of the Devil’s Tower and then climbing the actual tower in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)?

Devil's Tower, Wyoming
Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

 

Moab, Utah – In “Thelma and Louise” (1991) starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, Thelma and Louise drive off a ledge into the canyon at Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab.

Thelma and Louise drove into the Canyon at Dead Horse Point State Park
Thelma and Louise drove into the Canyon at Dead Horse Point State Park

 

Between Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico – When taking a day trip in New Mexico we turned off the road to stop at an overlook and  stumbled upon a filming location for “Wild Hogs”(2007) starring John Travolta.

When looking for a scenic overlook we found this movie site where "Wild Hogs" was being filmed
When looking for a scenic overlook we found this movie site where “Wild Hogs” was being filmed

 

Dyersville, Iowa – The baseball field and house from “Field of Dreams” (1989) starring Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan are surrounded by corn fields.

If you build it they will come
If you build it they will come

 

Winterset, Iowa – In “Bridges of Madison County” (1995)  photographer Clint Eastwood and housewife Meryl Streep fall in love.

Roseman Covered Bridge, one of the Bridges of Madison County, Iowa
Roseman Covered Bridge, one of the Bridges of Madison County, Iowa

 

Pembroke, Virginia – Patrick Swayzee and Jennifer Grey fell in love in “Dirty Dancing” (1987)  filmed at the Mountain Lake Lodge.

Mountain Lake Lodge, Virginia
Mountain Lake Lodge, Virginia

 

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – “Niagara” (1959) While honeymooning at Niagara Falls, Marilyn Monroe plots to kill her husband.

Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls, Ontario

 

Monument Valley, Utah and Arizona – although many westerns were filmed in Monument Valley, the most famous is probably director John Ford’s “Stagecoach” (1939) starring John Wayne.

The Mittens at Monument Valley
The Mittens at Monument Valley

 

Gouldings Lodge near Monument Valley, Utah – John Wayne’s cabin from “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1949) is next to Goulding’s Lodge.

John Wayne's Cabin from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"
John Wayne’s Cabin from “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”

 

Savannah Georgia – “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” (1997) starring Kevin Spacey and “Forrest Gump” (1994) starring Tom Hanks are two of the many movies that have been filmed in and around Savannah.

Forsyth Park Fountain in Savannah, Georgia
Forsyth Park Fountain in Savannah, Georgia

 

We’ve also explored a few places where the stars lived.

Winterset, Iowa – John Wayne’s birthplace

John Wayne's birthplace in Winterset, Iowa
John Wayne’s birthplace in Winterset, Iowa

Harlem, Georgia – Oliver Hardy’s birthplace

Laurel and Hardy Museum at Harlem, Georgia
Laurel and Hardy Museum at Harlem, Georgia

Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee – Elvis Presley’s home

Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee

 If the idea of visiting film locations sounds appealing to you, the IMDb website includes film locations for many movies.

A great resource for finding film locations in the southwest is the book “Cinema Southwest” by John A. Murray

 

25 thoughts on “Hooray for Hollywood

  1. We loved the Field of Dreams! Even our normally hyper Golden Retriever knew it was a special place and kept calm.

    We happened upon Wallace, Idaho when they were filming Dante’s Peak. The town looked like a bomb had hit it. It is pretty neat to see how they film a movie!

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    1. Field of Dreams was so much fun. Our Labrador Retriever walked around the bases with us and got up close to the corn. When we were there the corn was tall and I could imagine Shoeless Joe walking out of the cornfield onto the field.

      Yes, it is fun watching how they film a movie. I’ve never seen them blow anything up but I have been able to watch scenes from three different movies being filmed near where we live. It’s amazing how long they spend setting everything up and how many takes they do for just a few seconds on the screen!

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    1. You are welcome. Monument Valley is definitely worth a visit. We stopped there on our way from Zion to Mesa Verde, Colorado. We drove by the Glen Canyon Dam and there were films made in that area, too. Happy trails!

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  2. You had my attention at ‘John Wayne.’ 🙂 Now a tough question – is seeing Mount Rushmore worth traveling three fourth the way across the country? It’s on our bucket list but we can’t decide if it is worth the plane trip to Denver, car rental, hotel rentals, etc. Just looking for an opinion not trying to put you on the spot. LOL

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    1. Hmmmm… Let me think about this. YES! There is so much to see in the Black Hills around Mount Rushmore it would be worth the trip if you can spend a few days in the area. Custer State Park has scenic drives including a wildlife loop drive where you will see bison and other wildlife. Crazy Horse Monument, Wind Cave National Monument, and the town of Deadwood are all worth seeing. To get to all these places you will be driving on scenic roads through the Black Hills. You can make a day trip to the Devil’s Tower. The Badlands are really too far for a day trip but they are in the area. I don’t know if there’s an airport but Rapid City is the closest city to Mount Rushmore. Just be aware that in August every year there is the Sturgis bike rally and everything is really crowded. Oh, and “Dances with Wolves” was filmed in the Black Hills.

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  3. I enjoyed your post Beth. It is fun when we watch reruns of movies and see places we have visited. Hated I missed the filming going on in our very own neighborhood.

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  4. And don’t forget Albuquerque, where (TV show) “Breaking Bad” was filmed and Oahu where you saw one of the sets – the YMCA camp –
    for (TV show) “Lost!”

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    1. We planned our trip through Iowa one year just to go to the Field of Dreams movie site and Winterset for the bridges of Madison County. We went out of our way to visit some of the other places but most of them we wanted to see anyway and the movie connection added a little more fun to our visit.

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    1. Right now we are enjoying a quiet summer at home in coastal Georgia. We don’t have any big trips planned any time soon but we hope to make a couple of short trips in the near future. Thanks for following my blog!

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    1. Thanks for following our blog. We travel in a 35 foot fifth wheel so if your rig is about the same size you could find a site in any of the campgrounds we have camped. Safe travels and happy trails!

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