Unveiling The Allure Of Southern Utah: A Magnet For Filmmakers
Southern Utah is known for its stunning red rock and its expanse of natural beauty which makes it the perfect place for filming movies.
And there have been a lot of movies filmed in Southern Utah.
IMDB lists 127 titles with St. George, Utah as the location. In fact, Kevin Costner was in St. George in mid-March for a new Western film called Horizon. Southern Utahns flocked to the casting call to be extras even though this is not one of the first movies filmed nearby.
The most famous movies to be filmed in the area are mostly movies that came out before 2000 according to IMDB.
Here are the top 5 movies filmed in St. George:
Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969)
In first place, this classic is for any Western film lover who enjoys high stakes and legendary actors. Starring Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid and Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, this film tells the story of a pair of outlaws who end up running away to Bolivia after a train robbery takes a turn for the worst. The film used Zion National Park, St. George, and Snow Canyon State Park for scenes in Utah.
Romancing The Stone (1984)
An 80s classic with a bit of humor, action, and romance. A romance novelist (Kathleen Turner) must travel out of the country to save her kidnapped sister. With the help of a roguish stranger (Michael Douglas), a treasure hunt begins. Again, St. George and Zion National Park were used.
High School Musical 2 (2007)
Though this movie is listed in third popularity-wise on IMDB, any Millennial or Genz-er knows that the High School Musical movies were a part of growing up. This vacation-themed musical depicts summer vacation for some high school kids who are focused on maturing, relaxing, and singing. Troy (Zac Efron) gets hired for the summer at a country club owned by the family of the school’s mean girl.
Famous to locals, The Entrada in St. George is always a topic when passing by with out-of-town family. It's where High School Musical 2 was filmed! The country club scenes were filmed inside, and it's still talked about to this day. Five out of six filming locations were in Utah including Salt Lake City and Midvale.
The Wizard (1989)
To compete in the ultimate video game championship, a boy (Fred Savage) and his brother (Luke Edwards) run away from home. A drive-in theater and a local favorite, Judd’s General Store were movie locations. Even back in 89 Judd’s was a beloved stop.
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
This movie used quite a bit of Southern Utah for its background and this mountain-man classic shows off many of the area's natural views. This is a frontier western film about a man (Robert Redford) who is forced into a conflict with the Crow Tribe and its warriors. Zion National Park and St. George were filming locations and even Leeds.
Sundance Ski Resort, Snow Canyon State Park, and Uinta National Forest are some of the other locations used.
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Gallery Credit: Aine Givens