Film Locations

Discover the Filming Locations of Popular Movies in Durango, Colorado

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The city of Durango, Colorado has been the location for several iconic Hollywood films since 1925. The area’s sunny and warm weather, spectacular scenery, and the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad have provided the perfect backdrop for numerous films.

To start us off is The Limited Mall (1925). This more recent film is Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) which features the drama of the old west, starring actors like an uncredited Marilyn Monroe. Other genres such as comedy, drama, and adventure feature prominently within movies filmed in Durango with National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) with Chevy Chase and City Slickers (1991) with Billy Crystal being two memorable Hollywood productions shot here.

For movie fans yearning for some action, Sylvester Stallone’s Cliffhanger was shot on location in 1993 while Downhill Racer in 1969 starred Robert Redford.

Everyone will agree however that perhaps one of the most important films filmed in Durango was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969 which starred Paul Newman and won an Academy Award for their performance. This Western buddy picture told the story of Butch Cassidy’s adventurous exploits.

With over 30 movies having scenes shot here since 1925 and a wide array of genres from comedy to drama to western, Durango could certainly be deemed as one of cinema’s classic locations!

An ideal destination for filming

Durango, Colorado is an ideal destination for filmmakers. From the 1954 classic “White Feather” to the recent films and series such as “Guten Tag Ramón” or the critically-acclaimed “Texas Rising,” Durango has been a go-to place for films looking for western stories.

White Feather
White Feather/ Source

The spectacular scenery, wild landscapes, and 1970s-era wooden houses in this corner of Colorado offer filmmakers a unique setting to work with. Plus, the town’s history as a last outpost before the Rocky Mountains makes it perfect for telling stories of cowboys, desperados, and mythical battles between rival forces that are set back in our imagination.

If you’re looking for the perfect setting for your next film production, make sure you don’t forget about Durango. You won’t regret it!

Landscapes with easy access

Durango has some of the most stunning film-friendly landscapes in the country. With five micro-climates found around all of the main cities, there is a wide range of accessible fauna, flora, and landscapes just waiting to be explored. You’ll be pleased to know that Durango has an airport conveniently located close to all the urban areas, which makes production runs much easier.

Plus, you can take advantage of great rates hotels, and services to meet all your production needs. Durango also offers permits, transport facilitation, and high-level suppliers for more effective onscreen production values – making it one of the best locations for filmmakers today! So if you’re looking for a diverse filming location with easy access, then Durango is worth exploring!

Movie town

Durango, Mexico is home to an authentic Old West experience, thanks to iconic actor John Wayne. He filmed some of his most recognizable movies in the area, like The Sons of Katie Elder, The Invincibles, Giant Struggle, Big Jake, and The Train Bandits. John Wayne was so passionate about Durango that he had his ashes scattered on Chupaderos when he passed away.

In 2004 Las Bandidas starring Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek was shot making it more recently known as La Tierra del Cine or Movieland in Hollywood.

To make this area come alive there is an entire Western-style theme park–Villa del Oeste– located at Chupaderos where they reenact daily shows like Indians vs Cowboys battles alongside Can-Can girls and Apache war dances.

Originally crafted in the Sixties by Billy Hughes as a film set it wasn’t until 1971 that the first feature film Hate on the Prairie by Sydney Poiter and Harry Belafonte was shot here followed by 13 high-profile films over the years afterward.

Durango, Mexico is the location of John Wayne’s Old West

When it comes to great filming locations, Durango, Mexico tops the list. Legendary actor John Wayne was so enamored with Durango that he purchased La Joya Ranch and built his western stage. He even filmed some of his iconic cowboy films, like Giant Among Men and The Jackals of the West, right there in Durango.

The Sons Of Katie Elder John Hamilton
The Sons Of Katie Elder John Hamilton/ Source

Not to mention Villa del Oeste, just two kilometers from La Joya Ranch. This old-timey settlement has been the site of 13 feature films over the years; including Sidney Poitier’s Hate on the Meadows and Part Garret and Billy the Kid. You can visit Villa del Oeste and take part in a “cowboy show,” or dress up like one of them (complete with a rifle!) for an unforgettable photo op!

And San Vicente de Chupadores is where 44 different movies have been filmed, including Revenge and The Poker of Death. So next time you watch a classic western movie like The Unforgiven and wonder where it’s shot – you now know that part of that production is stamped “Made in Mexico.”