film tourism it is a form of travel that is becoming more and more popular all over the world. After all, flying to places that have been film sets for movies and TV series that glue us to the screen brings double satisfaction: admiring the magnificent places and feeling like world-famous actors for a day.
On our planet there are many cities and corners surrounded by nature, which have become the backdrop for numerous feature films. However, today we want to tell you about a place that has become the muse of many successful films, a place that, thanks to its beauty and originality, is very loved by those who visit it and those who choose it as a filming location. : Great American West.
The great American West: where is it?
The Great American West is one way of defining the western region of the United States of America, which includes the states of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
This corner of the new continent is especially beloved because it is the land of legends, history and cinema, to be exact. A breathtaking region with a wide range of excursions, experiences and natural views that will surely leave you speechless.
South Dakota, home to many unusual scenery
The Greater American West has been, and probably always will be, the scene of many of the unusual settings favored by Hollywood. Traveling these lands means discovering landscapes, historic sites, old railroad depots, ancient prisons and western cities that we’ve all seen in some Hollywood movie scenes that have become part of history.
For example, do you remember the beautiful Dance with Wolves? It’s an epic 1990 film with actors of a certain caliber like Kevin Costner and Graham Greene. Rapid CitySouth Dakota, and the opening of the western city of Fort Hays Town Square.
The original buildings used in at least fifty films shot in South Dakota can now be visited at South Dakota Film Museum thanks to a tour that allows you to admire some of the craftsmen who hand forge ropes, bricks, knife plates, or even wash gold, Black Hills gold in a gem shop. Fort Hayes – from May to early October – is also home to the Mount Rushmore Tour Company, which offers tours of the Black Hills’ top attractions from Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and the Needles Highway.
We were all looking forward to the Oscars for the talented Leonardo DiCaprio, who, as many will remember, arrived in 2016 for his role in survivor. Well, always in South Dakota, there is an epic story of survival and revenge of border guard Hugh Glass, who was attacked by a grizzly bear and abandoned by his comrades.
North Dakota in movies
Even North Dakota is well suited for filming the film: it was partially filmed here Fargoa film by the Coen brothers about a crime in the freezing tundra as an ill-trained police force tries to solve a case.
The chopper used in the feature film is now on display in Fargo Moorhead Visitor Center.
Filming locations in Wyoming
Equally picturesque are the characters of Cody, the city in Wyoming. One of them all is John Jeremiah Johnston, nicknamed the Liver Eater for his legendary history. He was played by Robert Redford in the film. Jeremiah Johnson Sydney Pollack from 1972, and his remains rest in the cemetery in Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West in Cody with other mountain trappers and hunters of the Old West; his epitaph reads “No more trails” and his log cabin, settled in the 1880s in Montana when he moved to Red Lodge, is on display at the Bureau of Tourism.
Still in Wyoming but in Rawlings Border Penitentiary – acted from 1901 to 1981 – the scene of a horror film with Viggo Mortensen, jail. It is now possible to take a tour of the historic prison and discover the wing where the movie was filmed.
Wyoming also boasts monumental landscapes such as Devil’s Tower, a natural wonder where Steven Spielberg filmed in 1977. Close Encounters of the Third Kindwhich immediately became a cult film internationally, turning the monolith into a cultural phenomenon.
Indeed, in these parts, visitors, hikers and rock climbers can take advantage of the KOA campsite, restaurant, and even a nighttime movie screening at the foot of this natural monument.
Most Cinematic Montana
Then we fly to Montana, or rather to billingsthe state’s largest city, which hit the big screen in 1993 when famed producer Ron Howard filmed parts far and away at the historic Billings depot.
The feature film, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, tells the story of two Irish immigrants who sought their fortune in America in the 1890s, after which, in 2013, Hollywood always returned to these parts for filming Nebraska, comedy-drama starring Saturday Night Live’s Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.
Today, visitors can enjoy classic and modern Hollywood blockbusters at other historic locations in the city, such asCinema Arthouse, which screens films every week in a quirky setting, and the Babcock Theatre.
But that’s not all, because Montana was also chosen as the backdrop for the TV series. yellowstone, with Kevin Costner, Cole Hauser, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes and Wes Bentley, to be exact in western Montana, where the Dutton Ranch is located – also known as the Chief Joseph Ranch and where you can even spend the night.
In this case, there are several locations that were used for filming around Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula. The driving route will also let you feel inside the famous Train Stop scene (on US-93 south of Darby in the small village of Sula).
Idaho as a movie set
Finally, movie lovers can’t miss the charming historic city. Wallace in Idaho, which served as a set, in 1997 Dante Peak with Pierce Brosnan.
The small town’s main street and tree-lined mountains provide an idyllic backdrop for a film about a dormant volcano eruption. When visiting Wallace, don’t miss the silver mine tour and the city’s “Center of the Universe” tour.