Arizona June 19, 2015
13 Places You Recognize From Arizona That Showed Up In Famous Movies
No one has to tell us twice that we live in one of the most beautiful states in the country, so it’s no wonder Hollywood has shot so many of their movies in Arizona. In fact, listing all of the movies and locations would take way too long. Here are just a few of the most recognizable locations caught on film.
1. Downtown Phoenix
The most notable example was seen at the beginning of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “Psycho” in which you can see sights like the Westward Ho and Jefferson Hotel.
2. Grand Canyon
The state’s impressive icon played an equally great role in films like “Thelma & Louise” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation” for a few comedic seconds.
3. Hoover Dam
Sitting along the Arizona-Nevada border, Hoover Dam has been the plot-driving catalyst of movies like recent “San Andreas” and not-so-famous “Fools Rush In.” Can we also get more movies that take place inside the dam?
4. Red Mountain Freeway AKA Loop 202
East Valley residents can clearly identify the red freeway interchange in the quirky indie hit “Little Miss Sunshine.”
5. Old Tucson Studios
If you’ve ever had the chance to visit the famous movie studio site, you’ll know that it was featured in dozens of Westerns, including “Tombstone,” “McLintock!,” and the original “3:10 to Yuma.”
The red formations seen at the beginning of the 1984 version of “The Karate Kid” are instantly recognizable as part of Sedona. It was also one of the sites for the trippy black and white film "Dead Man" with Johnny Depp.
7. Arizona State University
The 1963 version of “The Nutty Professor” starring Jerry Lewis was filmed on location at ASU. Campus sightings include Discovery Hall and the Matthews Center.
8. Sun Devil Stadium
Speaking of ASU, Sun Devil Stadium was also featured in several movies including “Raising Arizona” and “Jerry Maguire.”
9. Imperial Sand Dunes (AKA Yuma Sand Dunes)
You can also refer to this area as Tatooine because both “A New Hope” and “Return of the Jedi” filmed scenes here. It was also one of the filming locations for “Dune” and “Stargate.”
10. Glen Canyon
To some people this area looks foreign and exotic--which made for a great setting to the 1968 version of “Planet of the Apes”--but to us Arizonans it’s just an impressive extension of our backyard.
11. Arizona State Fairgrounds
Ever heard of this actress/model named Marilyn Monroe? She starred in a film called “Bus Stop” and a portion was filmed in the Grandstand area.
12. Metrocenter Mall
Remember the scenes in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” where various historical characters were running amok in the mall? That was filmed at Metrocenter Mall although we can’t guarantee you will find Socrates, Freud, and Billy the Kid looking for dates today.
13. Monument Valley
While Monument Valley National Park stretches between Utah and Arizona, we like to imagine classic movies like “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and “Forrest Gump” were actually shot on the Arizona side.
What do you think of our list? As I mentioned above there are so many more examples that could go on this list. What would you have liked to see added? Which was your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.