13 Iconic Landscapes of Western Movies

The American West is one of the most popular subjects of the silver screen, but where were these classic films shot?

By Google Arts & Culture

A Dash for the Timber (1889) by Frederic RemingtonAmon Carter Museum of American Art

The frontiers of Western America provided rich source material for filmmakers in early Hollywood and in Europe. Scroll on, and use the click and drag feature, to discover the real places that became the Wild West on screen...

Monument Valley

Director John Ford made 10 films set around Monument Valley, helping establish these rock formations in the Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Arizona and Utah as the quintessential image of The Wild West, for actor John Wayne, this was, "where God put the West".

Lone Pine, California

The snow-capped peaks of Lone Pine, California are conveniently close to the studios of Los Angeles. Take a right turn along Movie Road to see the hills where Blue Steel (1934), Comanche Station (1960), and How the West Was Won (1962) were filmed.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Hold on there, put down your weapons and take a walk through the incredible mountains and forests of Grand Teton National Park, as seen in Shane (1953), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and Django Unchained (2012).

Kanab, Utah

This town has played a part in so many film that it's been nicknamed 'Little Hollywood'. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Lone Ranger (1956), and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) were all made here, and the Parry Lodge (pictured) was a favourite of many actors.

Chimayó, New Mexico

El Santuario de Chimayó is today recognised as a National Historic Landmark. While it hasn't starred in any movies, the church, and the nearby fortified village of Plazo del Cherro, have inspired the sets of many more

Cinecittà Studios, Rome

You might not imagine it, but amongst the busy streets and ancient monuments to Roman glory was once a small piece of America. The Cinecittà Studios in Rome, Italy were from the 1960s onwards one of the main filming locations for Spaghetti Westerns.

Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Andalusia

Similarly, it didn't take much work to turn the mountains and scrub of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in south-eastern Spain into the arid deserts of western America. Shooting here was, of course, much cheaper for the smaller European studios.

Los Albaricoques, Andalusia

This alleyway, just off Calle Lee van Cleef and Calle San Francsico in southern Spain, is where Clint Eastwood, playing Manco in A Fistful of Dollars (1964), first walks into the pueblo blanco of Agua Caliente. The final climactic showdown occurs in the centre of the village.

Torre de los Alumbres, Andalusia

The Torre de los Alumbres was built in 1510 to help protect the Spanish town of Rodalquilar from pirate raids. In Sergio Leone's For a Few Dollars More (1965) it was the hideout of the ruthless villain Indio.

Guadix, Granada

The small Spanish town of Guadix played the role of Mesa Verde in the 1971 film, Duck, You Sucker! also known as A Fistful of Dynamite, which tells the story of a group of amoral outlaws during the Mexican Revolution.

La Calahorra, Granada

This nondescript field played the backdrop to the iconic opening scene of Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). The almost-deserted train station that the hero arrives at was a set built specially for the film.

La Calahorra, Granada

Nearby, another field housed the fictional town of Flagstone, where a battle over a valuable water hole has pitted gangs against each other, and a man known only as Harmonica has come to enact revenge. These brick ruins are all that remains of the set.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Veneto

The 1968 spaghetti western epic Il grande silenzio (The Great Silence), was filmed almost entirely on location in the Italian Dolemites. In the film, this alpine village played the part of the blizzard-struck frontier town Snow Hill.

Los Angeles (1992)LIFE Photo Collection

Continue your tour behind the scenes with these 9 Iconic Los Angeles Film Locations

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