Durango and the Silver Screen

Since 1925, nearly 30 films have been filmed on location in and around Durango, Colorado. Durango’s sunny and warm weather, coupled with fantastic scenery and the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad make the city of Durango the ideal location for movie making. Durango’s debut on the Silver Screen was in 1925 with the film Ticket to Tomahawk, a railroad western that closely paralleled Durango’s own wild west history. The film featured drama of the old west, focusing on a railroad and a stage coach line competing for business.

Drama, comedy, and adventure are the themes of movies filmed in the Durango Area. Two memorable Hollywood productions with filming in Durango include City Slickers with Billy Crystal and National Lampoon’s Vacation with Chevy Chase. Action and drama films from Durango include Sylvester Stallone’s Cliffhanger and Downhill Racer starring Robert Redford. And of course, the most memorable film of all is another Redford film, an Academy Award winning western buddy film that paired Redford with Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The 1969 film is based on the historic exploits of Butch Cassidy and his Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. Here’s a complete chronology of films with scenes filmed on location in Durango:


On Location in Durango

1925

Limited Mail, The (1925)

1950

Ticket to Tomahawk, A (1950)

1951

Across the Wide Missouri (1951)

1952

Denver and Rio Grande (1952)

1952

Viva Zapata! (1952)

1953

Lone Hand (1953)

1953

Naked Spur, The (1953)

1954

Three Young Texans (1954)

1955

Run for Cover (1955)

1956

Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)

1956

Maverick Queen, The (1956)

1957

Night Passage (1957)

1962

How the West Was Won (1962)

1965

Sons of Katie Elder, The (1965)

1969

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

1969

Downhill Racer (1969)

1972

When the Legends Die (1972)

1978

Avalanche (1978)

1983

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

1987

Abduction of Kari Swenson, The (1987) (TV)

1991

City Slickers (1991)

1993

Cliffhanger (1993)

1994

Great American Train Rides (1994) (V)

1999

Durango Kids (1999)

2000

Claim, The (2000)

2000

Nurse Betty (2000)

2002

Dobe and a Company of Heroes (2002) (TV)

2002

Motorcycle Women (2002) (TV)

2006

Connecticut Kid, The (2006)