Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Will Colorado Prevail with Academy Members and Get an Oscar?

As you plan what outfit you'll wear to watch this year's Academy Awards ceremony, it's fun to think about traveling to the locations where the Oscar-nominated films were shot. Not everyone is interested in touring the freezing woods outside Calgary, Alberta, where The Revenant was filmed; or the bristling sand desert of Namibia where Mad Max: Fury Road was shot.

Samuel L. Jackson in "The Hateful Eight" shot outside Telluride

Enter The Hateful Eight, which was filmed in beautiful Colorado. The film directed by Quentin Tarantino is up for three awards in 2016:  Best Cinematography, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Original Score. If you haven't seen it, this colorful post-Civil War Western follows a bounty hunter's adventures with seven very special guests at an inn near the stunning southwestern town of Telluride.

Thanks to the Colorado Tourism office, we can share a list of other scenic locations used by award-winning films over the years.

Hateful Eight (Telluride). Although the movie was filmed in the wilderness area, the fourteeners surrounding the town and the San Miguel River are seen throughout the film. The cast and crew were also seen around town frequenting popular restaurants and bars, and even joined the locals in Telluride Elks Park for a ski burn as a ritual to bring snow.

Badlands (Southeast). You thought it was South Dakota, right? Wrong. This 1973 Terrence Malick film was filmed in several locations throughout Colorado including Rocky Ford, La Junta, Las Animas, Delhi and Otero County. In the movie, the rich man’s home was actually filmed in two Colorado locations: exteriors were shot at Bloom Mansion in Trinidad, a historic home built in 1882; interiors in Rosemont Museum in Pueblo, an 1893 mansion that was later converted to a museum with nearly all of the original decor and furnishings.

Visitors still ride the Durango & Silverton Railroad that Butch and Sundance once robbed.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Southwest). In 1969, William Goldman wrote the famous western based on Butch and Sundance, a film that shot throughout the American West. Of several scenes filmed in southwest Colorado, the train robbery scenes were filmed on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The bar scene was filmed at the New Sheridan Bar in Telluride and, when Butch and Sundance jump in the river off of Baker Bridge, they are jumping into the Animas River in Durango.  

Catch and Release (Boulder). In 2006, actress Jennifer Garner walked along Pearl Street Mall, the most iconic pedestrian-only shopping and commercial street in Boulder, while her character Gray Wheeler learns of her late fiancĂ©’s wrongdoings. The movie was also shot at several other locations throughout Boulder.

Dumb and Dumber (Breckenridge, Estes Park). While Dumb and Dumber is set in Aspen, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels (Lloyd and Harry) actually headed to the town of Breckenridge and to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park to film the 1994 comedy.

Furious 7 (Colorado Springs). Remember that wild scene in Furious 7 (2015) that has the cast falling out of a plane in cars onto a mountain? That scene was filmed on Pikes Peak (or “America’s Mountain”) in Colorado Springs and along Monarch Pass.

How the West Was Won (Southwest). The circa 1962 western expansion film had an all-star cast including John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Carroll Baker and more. Several locations in Colorado were used: Silverton, Durango, Montrose and most notably, Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, built in 1833 as a trading post. Although the fort was burned down in 1849, it was reconstructed in 1976 and can be visited today.

Lone Ranger (Creede, Alamosa). In 2013, Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and the rest of the Lone Ranger crew spent almost a month filming the remake of the western film in Creede and Alamosa. While filming in his role as Tonto, Depp signed autographs at the Town Hall and was seen shopping around town, particularly at the local store Rare Things.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Glenwood Springs). Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) are a husband and wife who find out they are both assassins for opposing sides. Remember the climbing chase scene? It was filmed in Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon, a 12.5-mile-long canyon along Interstate-70 with beautiful scenery including the roaring Colorado River, 1,300-foot canyon walls and a hike to Hanging Lake, a stunning waterfall and crystal clear blue lake just one mile up from the road.

Set in Illinois, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" was shot partly in Breckenridge.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Breckenridge). Nobody can forget the scene in the 1989 comedy when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) takes the family to get the Griswold family Christmas tree near their Illinois home. The family was actually getting their tree in the Colorado mountain town of Breckenridge.

Silver City (Front Range). In 2004, the historic mountain town of Leadville hosted Daryl Hannah, Chris Cooper and Danny Huston on Main Street while they filmed this political satire/murder mystery. The film was set in Colorado and the crew also visited Argo Gold Mine in Idaho Springs, Cherokee Castle and Ranch in Sedalia and several locations throughout Denver.

True Grit (Southwest). In 1969, this western brought John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell to the stunning San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado to film several scenes in the movie. The courtroom scenes were filmed at the Ouray County Courthouse in Ouray while other scenes in the movie were shot in Montrose, Gunnison and Ridgeway. In Ridgeway, visitors can now eat at the True Grit Café, which was built in honor of the movie.

Can you think of other movies shot in the state?   Let us know!

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