1. The Searchers (1956) Inspired by the real-life abduction of Texan Cynthia Ann Parker by Comanche warriors, The Searchers is a tail of revenge and racism. John Wayne stars as Ethan Edwards hunting for his abducted niece (Natalie Wood).
Shot in Monument Valley and other southern Utah locations, The Searchers was named the greatest western film of all time by the American Film Institute.
2. 127 Hours (2010) True-life adventurer Aron Ralston (James Franco) falls into a remote slot canyon just outside Canyonlands and gets his arm pinned by a boulder. Over five days, Ralston examines his life, his mother’s poor decision to give him a knock-off multipurpose tool, then amputates his own arm and makes his way back to civilization.
Aside from southern Utah locations and the Homestead Crater in Midway, much of the film was shot on a set at the old Granite Furniture warehouse in Sugar House.
3. Outlaw Josey Wells (1976) The iconic Clint Eastwood western, the film chronicles Josey Wales, a Civil War rebel hunted by bounty hunters. Near the Kanab location, an angry Eastwood pushed out the studio director and personally directed the film.
Shot in Southern Utah, including the old Paria film set near Kanab, it’s Eastwood’s favorite of all his movies and it’s in the National Film Registry.
4. Thelma and Louise (1991) Submissive housewife Thelma (Geena Davis) and gutsy Louise (Susan Sarandon), flee the law after Louise kills a would-be rapist. Beware the cliff!
Utah scenery includes the La Sal Mountains, Route 46, southeast of Moab; Arches and Canyonlands national parks, Cisco; Thompson Springs and Dead Horse Point State Park for the infamous cliff scene.
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Based on Utah’s true-to-life LeRoy “Butch Cassidy” Parker (Paul Newman) and Harry “Sundance Kid” Longabaugh, (Robert Redford). Two of the most lovable desperadoes in Western film, the duo robs banks and trains in the American West and Bolivia.
Shot in Zion National Park, the Grafton ghost town, Snow Canyon and St. George.
5 ½. The Sandlot (1993) Considered a classic baseball film, The Sandlot follows the adventures of a group of baseball-obsessed kids in the summer of 1962.
Shot entirely on locations from Ogden to American Fork. The legendary sandlot is in Salt Lake City, between Glenrose Drive and Navajo Streets.
See more inside our 2018 Mar/Apr Issue.