Movies About Utah

Movies About Utah (List)

Utah, with its stunning landscapes and diverse natural beauty, has served as a captivating backdrop for numerous Hollywood movies. The state’s unique scenery has made it a popular choice for filmmakers, attracting both classic westerns and iconic films set in its national parks. Join us as we delve into Utah’s vibrant film history and explore the movies that have showcased the beauty of this remarkable state.

Key Takeaways:

  • Utah’s diverse landscapes have made it a favored destination for filmmakers.
  • Many classic western films, including “Stagecoach” (1939) and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), were shot in Utah.
  • Iconic films such as “Footloose” (1984) and “127 Hours” (2010) were set in Utah.
  • Southern Utah, with locations like Moab and Dead Horse Point State Park, has been a popular choice for filmmakers.
  • Utah’s national parks, including Zion National Park, have served as stunning backdrops for films like “Billy The Kid” (1930) and “Forrest Gump” (1994).

Western Classics Filmed in Utah

Utah’s stunning landscapes have provided the backdrop for numerous classic western films, showcasing the state’s natural beauty while captivating audiences worldwide. From iconic locations like Monument Valley to picturesque canyons and national parks, Utah has been a favorite choice for filmmakers throughout history.

Let’s take a look at some of the best movies set in Utah and the locations that made them unforgettable:

1. Stagecoach (1939)

Considered a masterpiece in the western genre, “Stagecoach” was filmed in Monument Valley, a breathtaking region known for its towering sandstone formations. This John Ford-directed film catapulted the legendary John Wayne to stardom and showcased the dramatic landscapes of Utah.

2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

This iconic film, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, used various locations in Utah to bring the legendary outlaws to life. From the ghost town of Grafton to the stunning Snow Canyon, St. George, and Zion National Park, the movie captured the essence of the Old West against the backdrop of Utah’s scenic grandeur.

Here is a table highlighting the key films and their filming locations in Utah:

Movie Filming Locations
Stagecoach (1939) Monument Valley
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Grafton, Snow Canyon, St. George, Zion National Park

Utah’s contribution to the world of cinema goes beyond western classics. In the following sections, we’ll explore more iconic films set in Utah, southern Utah’s film locations, and the role of Utah’s national parks in the big screen.

Iconic Films Set in Utah

Utah has provided the picturesque backdrop for several iconic films, showcasing its stunning landscapes and captivating audiences around the world. From beloved classics to gripping true stories, these movies have left a lasting impression on both film enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Footloose (1984)

One of the most famous films shot in Utah is “Footloose,” a dance-centric drama that captured the hearts of millions. Filmed in various locations throughout the state, including the historic Lehi Roller Mill and the captivating Utah backdrop, this movie tells the story of a rebellious teenager challenging a small town’s ban on dancing. With its iconic soundtrack and unforgettable dance sequences, “Footloose” continues to be a favorite among fans.

127 Hours (2010)

Based on the true story of Aron Ralston’s remarkable survival in Bluejohn Canyon, “127 Hours” is an intense and gripping film that showcases the breathtaking beauty of Utah’s rugged terrain. Directed by Danny Boyle and featuring James Franco in a critically acclaimed role, the movie takes audiences on a harrowing journey of determination and resilience. Utah’s striking landscapes serve as a fitting backdrop for this incredible tale of human strength.

Utah is not only famous for being a film location but also for hosting renowned film festivals. The most notable among them is the Sundance Film Festival, which has gained international recognition for its celebration of independent cinema.

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival, founded by Robert Redford in 1978, has become a cornerstone of the film industry, showcasing groundbreaking independent films and launching the careers of many talented filmmakers. Held annually in Park City, Utah, the festival attracts industry professionals, movie enthusiasts, and celebrities from around the world. It provides a platform for emerging voices and innovative storytelling, making it a must-attend event in the film calendar.

Celebrating cinema and the beauty of Utah’s diverse landscapes, these iconic films and renowned film festivals have solidified the state’s place in cinematic history, attracting both visitors and filmmakers to experience the magic of Utah firsthand.

Southern Utah’s Film Locations

Southern Utah’s breathtaking landscapes have captivated filmmakers and provided the perfect backdrop for numerous movies. From action-packed adventures to dramatic scenes, these film locations showcase the stunning beauty of southern Utah. Films like “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) ventured into the diverse landscapes of Moab, Colorado, and New Mexico, while the iconic “Thelma and Louise” (1991) filmed unforgettable scenes in Dead Horse Point State Park and other areas in southern Utah.

Exploring Utah through film allows viewers to experience the natural wonders and unique charm of the region. The striking red rock formations, majestic canyons, and vast desert landscapes highlight the distinct character of southern Utah. Whether it’s a thrilling chase scene through the rugged terrain or a quiet moment of reflection amid the awe-inspiring beauty, these films capture the essence of this captivating region.

As you watch these movies, you’ll be transported to the heart of southern Utah, immersing yourself in its enchanting scenery. The sweeping panoramic shots and breathtaking vistas are a testament to why southern Utah has become a favored destination for filmmakers seeking truly awe-inspiring locations.

Next, we’ll delve into the impact of Utah’s national parks on the silver screen, revealing more cinematic wonders that have been set against the backdrop of these iconic natural wonders.

Utah’s National Parks on the Big Screen

Utah’s national parks, such as Zion National Park, have provided breathtaking backdrops for some of the best movies set in Utah. From iconic classics to modern blockbusters, filmmakers have been captivated by the natural beauty and unique landscapes that define these stunning locations.

One notable film that showcased Zion and its surrounding areas is “Billy The Kid” (1930). The movie captured the spirit of the American West as it unfolded against the picturesque backdrop of Zion National Park. Its stunning vistas and dramatic cliffs added an unforgettable dimension to the film’s storytelling.

Another famous film that ventured into Utah’s national parks is “Forrest Gump” (1994). In one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, Tom Hanks’ character, Forrest Gump, concluded his cross-country run in the breathtakingly beautiful Monument Valley. The iconic buttes and mesas of this Utah landmark provided a fitting backdrop for this remarkable moment in cinematic history.

Utah’s national parks continue to attract filmmakers seeking to capture the majesty and grandeur of the American landscapes. These films not only entertain but also serve as a window into the natural wonders that make Utah cinema unforgettable.

Kanab, Utah: Little Hollywood

The town of Kanab, Utah, has played a significant role in Utah’s cinema and film industry as a popular filming location for Westerns. With its picturesque landscapes and Old West charm, Kanab has earned the nickname “Utah’s Little Hollywood.” Over the years, many notable Western films have been shot in and around Kanab, showcasing the town’s unique character and serving as a testament to its contribution to the Utah cinema and film industry.

Some of the iconic Western movies filmed in Kanab include:

  • Western Union (1940)
  • The Outriders (1950)
  • Westward the Women (1951)
Movie Year
Western Union 1940
The Outriders 1950
Westward the Women 1951

These films not only captured the essence of the American West but also helped put Kanab on the map as a prime location for Western film production. Today, the town continues to embrace its film history and attracts visitors who want to experience a taste of the Wild West firsthand.

Utah’s Contribution to Comedy Films

While known for its stunning landscapes and iconic western films, Utah has also made its mark in the world of comedy movies. Let’s take a look at some of the best comedic productions set in the state.

“Dumb and Dumber” (1994)

One of the most beloved comedy films of the 90s, “Dumb and Dumber” showcases Utah’s vibrant cities and picturesque towns. The movie utilized locations in Salt Lake City, Sandy, Heber, and Park City to bring the hilarious adventures of Lloyd and Harry to life.

“Napoleon Dynamite” (2004)

A cult classic that captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, “Napoleon Dynamite” is set in Preston, Idaho, but the majority of the film was actually shot in Preston, Utah. This quirky and endearing comedy perfectly captures the eccentricities of small-town life.

Utah’s contribution to comedy films goes beyond these two popular movies. With its picturesque landscapes and vibrant cities, the state continues to be a sought-after location for filmmakers looking to add a touch of humor to their stories.


Utah’s diverse landscapes and stunning natural beauty have made it a favored destination for filmmakers, establishing it as a prominent player in the Utah film industry. The state’s picturesque settings have provided the backdrop for a wide range of movies, attracting filmmakers from Hollywood and beyond. From western classics shot in Monument Valley to iconic films set in Utah’s national parks, the cinematic legacy of Utah is undeniable.

With its rich film history, Utah has cemented its status as a go-to location for filmmakers seeking breathtaking scenery and unique visual storytelling opportunities. Films such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “127 Hours” have captivated audiences and showcased the state’s remarkable beauty.

As the Utah film industry continues to thrive, the state remains a vibrant and integral part of the film landscape. Utah’s commitment to supporting the arts, hosting film festivals like the renowned Sundance Film Festival, and providing the necessary infrastructure for film production ensures that the industry will continue to flourish and contribute to the state’s economy.

With its remarkable landscapes and ongoing dedication to the film industry, Utah will undoubtedly continue to inspire filmmakers and mesmerize audiences for years to come. The movies about Utah will serve as lasting testimonies to the state’s stunning natural surroundings and its significant impact on the world of cinema.


What are some notable movies that were filmed in Utah?

Some notable movies filmed in Utah include “Stagecoach” (1939), “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), “Footloose” (1984), “127 Hours” (2010), “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989), “Thelma and Louise” (1991), “Billy The Kid” (1930), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “Western Union” (1940), “The Outriders” (1950), “Westward the Women” (1951), “Dumb and Dumber” (1994), and “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004), among others.

Where were western classics filmed in Utah?

Western classics like “Stagecoach” (1939) and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) were filmed in locations such as Monument Valley, Grafton, Snow Canyon, St. George, and Zion National Park.

Which iconic films were set in Utah?

Iconic films set in Utah include “Footloose” (1984) and “127 Hours” (2010), which featured the Lehi Roller Mill, Utah backdrop, and Bluejohn Canyon respectively. Utah is also known for hosting film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival.

Where are the film locations in southern Utah?

Southern Utah has been a popular choice for filmmakers. Films like “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) used locations in Moab, Colorado, and New Mexico, while “Thelma and Louise” (1991) featured scenes filmed in Dead Horse Point State Park and other areas in southern Utah.

Which movies showcased Utah’s national parks?

Utah’s national parks, such as Zion National Park, have served as stunning backdrops for numerous films. Examples include “Billy The Kid” (1930), filmed in Zion and surrounding areas, and “Forrest Gump” (1994), where Tom Hanks famously stopped his marathon run in Monument Valley.

What is Kanab, Utah known for in the film industry?

Kanab, Utah, is known as “Utah’s Little Hollywood” and has been a popular filming location for Westerns. Movies like “Western Union” (1940), “The Outriders” (1950), and “Westward the Women” (1951) were filmed in Kanab.

Which comedy films were filmed in Utah?

Utah has also been featured in comedy films, with notable examples including “Dumb and Dumber” (1994), which used locations in Salt Lake City, Sandy, Heber, and Park City, and “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004), set in Preston, Idaho, but filmed primarily in Preston, Utah.

What is Utah’s contribution to the film industry?

Utah’s diverse landscapes and stunning natural beauty have made it a favored destination for filmmakers. Their contribution to the film industry includes providing unique movie locations, hosting film festivals like Sundance, and being featured in various iconic films.

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