As Quentin Tarantino fans are gearing-up for his latest movie, H8ful Eight, to hit theaters this January, Coloradans are even more thrilled to see their beautiful state showcased on the big screen. The new western was filmed near the stunning southwest Colorado town of Telluride. But, H8ful Eight is not the only big film to be shot in the state. From comedies such as Christmas Vacation and Dumb and Dumber to old-fashioned westerns such as True Grit and How the West Was Won, there are several movies that have brought scenic Colorado to Hollywood. Below is a sampling of just some of the feature films shot across the state and ways visitors can experience these film locations firsthand.
H8ful Eight (Telluride). The stunning views of the San Juan Mountains from the box canyon in Telluride were just what Tarantino was looking for when scouting destinations for his new movie H8ful Eight, which is set to release in January 2016. Although the movie was filmed in the wilderness area, the fourteeners surrounding the town and the San Miguel River will all be 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). This 1973, Terrence Malick film was a love story gone wrong based in Fort Dupree, South Dakota. The movie 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 that are worth a visit. The exterior was shot at Bloom Mansion in Trinidad, a historic home built in 1882 and the interior was filmed in Rosemont Museum in Pueblo, an 1893 mansion that was later converted to a museum with nearly all of the original décor and furnishings.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Southwest). In 1969, William Goldman wrote the famous western based on Butch and Sundance, two gang members that eventually rob a train one too many times. While this movie was filmed in several locations across the western United States, several scenes were filmed in southwest Colorado. The train robbery scenes were filmed on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which visitors can still take a scenic ride on today. 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 street in Boulder, while her character Gray Wheeler learns of her late fiancé’s wrongdoings. The Pearl Street Mall is a pedestrian mall that includes historic buildings, boutiques, restaurants and street performers. The movie was also shot at several other locations throughout Boulder.
Dumb and Dumber (Breckenridge, Estes Park). While Dumb and Dumber is set to take place 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 in 1994 to film the comedy. Grab a delicious whiskey at the Cascades Whiskey Bar at the Stanley where Lloyd waited while he was being stood up by the girl of his dreams.
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 mountain is located in Colorado. The scene was filmed on Pikes Peak (or “America’s Mountain”) in Colorado Springs and along Monarch Pass. Visitors can summit Pikes Pike by car, bike or by the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
How the West Was Won (Southwest). How the West Was Won takes viewers through the country in this western expansion film with an all-star cast including John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Carroll Baker and more. Several locations in Colorado were used in 1962 for the making of this film. Silverton, Durango, Montrose and most notably, Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta were all featured in the film. Bent’s Old Fort was 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. Johnny Depp was even quoted saying what a special place Creede was to him. While filming in his role as Tonto, he 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 that find out they are both assassins for opposing sides. Learning this information leads to epic battles between the two of them, one being a climbing chase scene that was filmed in 2005 in Colorado’s beautiful, Glenwood Canyon. This 12.5 mile long canyon runs along Interstate-70 to Glenwood Springs. The canyon boasts 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.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Breckenridge). Nobody can forget the scene in the 1989, Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) takes the family to get the Griswold family Christmas tree. While in the movie they are set in Illinois, the family is actually getting their tree in the Colorado mountain town of Breckenridge. In fact, all of the mountain scenes in the movie were filmed in Breckenridge and throughout Summit County.
Silver City (Front Range). In 2004, the historic, mountain town of Leadville geared up to host actors and actresses such as Daryl Hannah, Chris Cooper and Danny Huston on Main Street while they filmed the political satire/murder mystery, Silver City. The film was set in Colorado and the crew also visited Argo Gold Mine in Idaho Springs, Cherokee Castle and Ranch in Sedalia and in 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 filming of the movie.