10 Movies You Didn't Know Were Filmed in Arizona

star-wars-dunes-yuma-lucas-studios.jpg
Courtesy of LucasFilm.
Boy do these dunes look familiar.
At this point, most Arizonans should know that Alfred Hitchcock filmed the opening sequences of Psycho in downtown Phoenix. You also probably remember seeing our freeways in Little Miss Sunshine. Since Arizona used to offer generous tax breaks for people looking to shoot films in the Grand Canyon State, a lot of classics were shot here -- some that might surprise you. From desert locales in faraway lands to sci-fi landscapes, our state has lent its scenery to some great movies.

Here are 10 of our favorite movies shot in Arizona.

See also: 12 Celebrities Who Live in Arizona

casablanca-hotel-flagstaff.jpg
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
We'll always have Paris, er, Flagstaff.

Casablanca

While most of this classic tale of love and longing was shot in a studio in Van Nuys, California, one of the film's hotel scenes was shot in Flagstaff's Hotel Monte Vista, which was a common lodging spot for famous actors during Hollywood's golden age.


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99 comments
Dan Fleck
Dan Fleck

How did Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure get overlooked?

Rick Vaughn
Rick Vaughn

And meanwhile, the Coen Bros.' "Raising Arizona" was filmed in.... New Mexico?

Chris Brady
Chris Brady

That part of star wars with the worm was shot at glamis dunes in Cali.

Nicholas Babcock
Nicholas Babcock

Part of Midnight Run was filmed in Arizona. "like" our page www.facebook.com/jerseysnjersey

Drew Rotherham
Drew Rotherham

Filming locations for National Lampoon's Vacation include: Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Schnebly Hill Road Overlook in Sedona.

Tramell Salkey
Tramell Salkey

National Lampoons Vacation... Or was that just a green screened grand canyon

Joel Valera
Joel Valera

U-turn with Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton and Jennifer Lopez

Shadi Mirza
Shadi Mirza

I still think the omission of Used Cars is a huge mistake.

Josh Skora
Josh Skora

It's the New Times what do you expect? Credible journalism? Lol

Drew Rotherham
Drew Rotherham

Wild Wild West makes this list but Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure doesn't? That movie was shot all over the valley!

M David Carlton
M David Carlton

Some exterior airport scenes shot at Burbank, but the shots with the plane in the deep back ground was shot on stage with a to scale airplane and little people in costume around working around it.

Prescott Film Festival & Monthly Series
Prescott Film Festival & Monthly Series

Please let me know if you need crew. Aside from the Prescott Film Fest, I am also the director of the Sedona Film Scool at Yavapai College and have some newly minted grads who would love to work on their first non-student film!

Open Wide The Movie
Open Wide The Movie

"Open Wide" the movie will also be filming in Arizona. Late summer 2014.

billndotnet
billndotnet

Stargate was also filmed in the sand dunes outside Yuma, AZ, but just like when Star Wars desert scenes were filmed nearby, that area is actually California. Yuma, rests directly against the California border. Those scenes were filmed at the Imperial Sand Dunes.

AllanC
AllanC

Worked on an upcoming film about the robot kids at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix. Filmed in NM and a bit in CA. The even used a NM high school in Albuquerque and fixed up the front to be Hayden. AZ lost a lot of TV and movie filming when the legislature withdrew the incentives. The filming company hires a LOT of local extras, set crew, caterers, hotels, etc.

Gen Baker
Gen Baker

I knew about Natural Born Killers. I didn't live here then, but I know the motel in Winslow where some of the folks stayed...Apparently Woody Harrelson was a real D-bag to my aunts who worked there...But I noticed Starman wasn't on the list. Meteor Crater was where the big finale was set and shot, and that 'Las Vegas' train yard? Nope. A little movie magic applied to the yard here in Winslow.

Steve Dreiseszun
Steve Dreiseszun

I remember the "Jedi" set vividly. Was assigned to photograph it when the production was attempting to secretly shoot near Yuma. Flashback. ;))

Anthony Boyd
Anthony Boyd

Also Bill and Ted. The Circle K where they got their time machine was right down the street from my old house, on Hardy and University.

Angie Johnson-Schmit
Angie Johnson-Schmit

The important thing here is the TAX CREDIT offered during those years. Now that it's gone, big movies are heading over to NM. *SIGH*

Shadi Mirza
Shadi Mirza

You forgot about Used Cars. Kurt Russell was hilarious.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Nope, sorry not going to click on 10 pages to read anything, its irritating, wish NT would stop doing that. 

Steve Stunatra
Steve Stunatra

Wish they'd film a great TV show here like Breaking Bad

Kellye Trickett Serrano
Kellye Trickett Serrano

Unfortunately the last few years we are losing movies made to be filmed here, AZ won't offer the tax benefits that New Mexico does, the new "western Hollywood"

Matt Hayes
Matt Hayes

On a drunken evening I remember seeing Sylvester Stallone jogging down 4th ave in Yuma with two body guards. That dude is SHORT!

Cori Smith
Cori Smith

Bad Santa wasn't filmed in Phoenix. It's some Southern Cali towns posing as Phoenix.

glyphhunter
glyphhunter

Harry and Tonto, great flick if you like grumpy old men and cats (and 60's Sedona).


Jen Lee
Jen Lee

Can't buy me love used Tucson high.

Andrea Zumsteg
Andrea Zumsteg

You know why they do that, right? Their website will get more "clicks" ...so they can charge more for ads.

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