Montana On The Big Screen
Have you ever been sitting in a movie theater watching the movie and thought that you recognized a clip of scenery that looks like Montana? Chances are you could be correct.
There have been several movie directors and producers that have used Montana as a backdrop for part of their filming.
Here are a list of five of the most recognizable movies that have been partially filmed in Montana or the Billings area that might surprise you.
What other movies can yo think of that have been filmed or partially filmed in our beautiful state?
Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field starred in this 1994 film. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted but kind-hearted, good-natured man.
Forrest Gump jogged through Montana on his trek across the United States and back. Two scenes shot in Montana appear in the movie. Both were filmed in northwestern Montana in or near Glacier National Park. The golden wheatfields that appear briefly on screen are near Cut Bank.
In another scene, Forrest runs across a stone bridge, with jagged snow-covered mountain peaks in the background. This scene was filmed at the St. Mary Entrance to Glacier National Park. The famous Going-To-The-Sun Road, which crosses Glacier Park, runs from St. Mary on the east side to Apgar Village (where scenes from Beethoven's 2nd were filmed) on the west side.
Footage that didn't make it into the move, was shot along the Going-To-The-Sun Road, sadly it ended up on the cutting room floor.
Fun fact for you, Jim Hanks, Tom Hanks' real-life brother, doubled as Forrest Gump for the scenes shot in Montana.
This 1987 movie is based on the book The Untouchables (1957), the film stars Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro and Sean Connery as Irish-American officer Jimmy Malone (based on the real life Irish-American agent and "Untouchables" member Marty Lahart).
The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, Connery received an for Best Supporting Actor.
Montana doubled as Canada in the film, with the Hardy Bridge on the frontage road between Cascade and Wolf Creek serving as the Canadian border. Actual filming in Montana took about a week,
The movie crew found several bridges in Montana that wouldn’t work, there was one, at Thompson Falls that was beyond repair. The Dearborn Bridge, on the back road to Augusta, was also considered for possible use, but lost out because of low water in the Dearborn River. One of the bridges was too narrow. They also looked at the bridge between Red Lodge and Billings, but it had way too much traffic on it.
They were on the last bridge that they had time to scout in Montana before they were heading to Washington, when some suggested the Hardy Bridge (built 1930), located on the frontage road between Cascade and Wolf Creek. That is the bridge you see in the movie .
Based on the 1995 novel The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans, this 1998 film is directed by and starred Robert Redford..
Redford plays as Tom Booker, a talented trainer with a remarkable gift for understanding horses, who is hired to help an injured teenager (played by Scarlett Johansson) and her horse back to health following a tragic accident.
The principal location for the filming of the movie was the working cattle ranch of the Engle family which is located about an hour from Livingston.
In the movie they also needed to recreate the Little Bighorn Battlefield monument as a stop along Annie and Grace's drive to Montana. The movie version was built not far from Livingston in an area much like that of the rolling terrain of the actual monument which is far to the southeast on the Crow Indian Reservation.
The movie also starred Kristin Scott Thomas as Annie MacLean, Sam Neill as Robert MacLean, Dianne Wiest as Dianne Booker and Chris Cooper as Frank Booker.
A River Runs Through It is the true story about the Maclean brothers, Brad Pitt as Paul Maclean and Craig Sheffer as Norman Maclean, growing up in Missoula, Montana with their father, John a Presbyterian ministerplayed by Tom Skerritt..
A common theme in the film is the men's love of fly fishing for trout in the Blackfoot River and how it impacted their lives.
Set in and around the city of Missoula in western Montana, the story follows two sons of a Presbyterian minister as they grow up and come of age in the Rocky Mountain region during a span of time from roughly World War to the early days of the Great Depression, including part of the Prohibition era.
The movie was filmed in south central Montana in Livingston and Bozeman and on the nearby upper Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Boulder Rivers.
The waterfall shown is Granite Falls in Wyoming. and the church scenes were filmed in the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Livingston.
The Shining, is based on Stephen King's 1977 novel by the same name.
Filmed in 1980 is a psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and Scatman Crothers.
While most of the interior shots, and even some of the overlook exterior shots were done on studio sets, a few exterior shots were done on location.
Saint Mary Lake with Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park, Montana was the filming location for the aerial shots of the opening scenes, with the Volkswagen Beetle driving along Going-to-the-Sun Road.