Ten movies and TV shows set in Colorado -- but filmed somewhere else

Categories: Film and TV

red dawn movie poster.jpg
Colorado has a rich film history. Nearly 400 movies have been shot here in more than 100 years. But, as explained in this week's cover story "The Reel West," Colorado is experiencing a bit of a film drought lately, something that lawmakers and industry folks hope to reverse. Instead of shooting in the Centennial State, moviemakers often venture to cheaper locales -- even when the films are set in Colorado.

Here, we present 10 movies or TV shows set here but filmed elsewhere.

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Take Me Home: The John Denver Story
Filmed in Vancouver
Really? Really? His name isn't John Canada! The biopic, starring Chad Lowe as Denver, aired on CBS in 2000. In 1999, Michael Klein, then-director of the Colorado Film Commission, told Westword, "We were heavily into negotiations when they decided it was cheaper to shoot in Canada. ... I challenged them to prove it, and they did point out some areas where they got better breaks, but it was merely a function of money, plain and simple."

Red Dawn
Filmed in New Mexico
Patrick Swayze brings his hot ass to Colorado -- except not really. Shot in New Mexico, 1984's Red Dawn tells the story of a group of Centennial State teens (Lea Thompson! Charlie Sheen!) who flee to the mountains after Soviet and Cuban troops land on their school's football field and start effing stuff up. "Wolverines!"

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The Hallelujah Trail
Filmed in Hollywood
The plot of this 1965 Burt Lancaster film? That the winter of 1867 is predicted to be a tough one and -- the horror! -- Denver might run out of whiskey. According to the Internet Movie Database, "Chaos ensues as the Temperance League, the U.S. cavalry, the miners and the local Indians all try to take control of the valuable cargo." Too bad all chaos and hilarity (the flick was a comedy) was shot in California and New Mexico.

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There are many films which are set somewhere but filmed elsewhere. I saw one movie which was set in New york but the movie was actually filmed in Switzerland. We must appreciate the works of directors and camera men who made these films without letting people to doubt the place.

Sandra Murray
Sandra Murray

Just signed up to this newsletter.  Film will explode in Colorado, but let's rally all of us from the industry and see what films we have that can qualify for the incentive.  Plan a gathering.  I can help!  Join us for a gathering for the 10th annual SummerToast event on August 9th at Jackson's in LoDo...and CFVA will be joining us this year! Westword and many other sponsors.  Let's work on completing what we have.

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