The Top 5 Movies Filmed in Wyoming
Normally, you wouldn't think of Wyoming as a hotbed for big budget Hollywood movies. However, you might be surprised how many legendary films have either been filmed in, or based in, our great state.
In fact, at least six films filmed in Wyoming have gone on to win Academy Awards. That number is likely to rise next year, when famed director Quentin Tarantino releases his new Wyoming based western The Hateful Eight.
Here's our completely subjective list of the Top 5 Movies Filmed in Wyoming.
1. The Outlaw Josey Wales - This 1976 western is widely considered to be one of Clint Eastwood's greatest roles. Although it did not win an Academy Award, it was selected by the Library of Congress to be part of their National Film Registry. Wyoming was one of several locations used in the movie, which was also filmed in remote parts of Utah, Arizona and California.
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind - This 1977 Steven Spielberg movie remains one of the highest grossing science fiction films of all time. It went on to gross over $300 million worldwide and includes several famous scenes filmed near the Devils Tower Monument outside of Moorcroft, Wyoming.
3. Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Although it wasn't well received by critics and it didn't win any awards, this 1979 movie makes our list for being the first full length film in an iconic franchise. Producers chose Minerva Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park as the setting for the mythical planet of Vulcan only after running out of money to film at their initial location, which was located in Turkey.
4. Every Which Way But Loose - The second Eastwood film to make our list was also panned by critics, but scored big at the box office in 1978. For Eastwood, the movie marked a comic departure from his roles in westerns and as the lead in the Dirty Harry franchise. The film follows Eastwood across the country and was shot in several states, including California, Colorado and in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
5. Rocky IV - What does Wyoming have in common with Russia? When Rocky Balboa was sent to the Soviet Union to train for his epic 1985 bout versus Ivan Drago, several areas near Grand Teton National Park were used to represent the frozen Russian landscape.
Honorable Mention: Interestingly enough, several Academy Award winning films didn't make our list of Wyoming's most iconic movies.
Recent Oscar winner Nebraska filmed several scenes on location in Buffalo.
The Grand Tetons provided a scenic backdrop for Tarantino's Django Unchained.
Although it was primarily filmed in Alaska, Brokeback Mountain was based in Wyoming and a handful of scenes were shot here.
Parts of another Academy Award winning film, Dances With Wolves, were filmed in Jackson Hole.