Many fine feature films and television series have been shot in Alberta. Come along on a reel adventure and put yourself in the scene.
We start our Alberta Hollywood road trip in West Edmonton Mall by the Sea Lions’ Rock, where Patrick Swayze and Tim Curry watched Carmen Electra plunge into the lagoon in Christmas in Wonderland.
At nearby Fort Edmonton Park, where scenes of The Assassination of Jesse James starring Brad Pitt were filmed, you can board the train used in the robbery sequence. And before we reached Highway 16 to head west from Edmonton, we got a chill as we drove by the Film Alberta Studios where Dylan McDermott filmed Freezer, a 2014 release.
Monroe, Rocky Mountain Style
Our next stop is the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, where numerous movies have been shot since the 1920s, including classics like The Emperor Waltz, starring Bing Crosby, in 1948, The Far Country, with Jimmy Stewart and River of No Return, with Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum, both filmed in 1954. The Point Cabin where Monroe and Mitchum stayed was booked but we took a couple of souvenir shots of the exterior. Then we headed south to Banff National Park via the magnificent Icefields Parkway to get to the Fairmont Banff Springs where the Cascade Ballroom played host to both Fred Astaire and Marilyn.
Canmore and Kananaskis Country
Leaving Banff, we headed east on the TransCanada (Hwy1) into the Canmore region, home to tons of films including X2: X-Men United, The Bourne Legacy, Superman, Superman II, and Robin Williams’ RV. The Revenant, with Leo DiCaprio – he loves Alberta – used locations in K-Country, Canmore and Calgary.
Back in our four-wheeled saddle we realize we’re in Brokeback Mountain territory. Alberta’s high ranch country never looked so good. This winter we’ll come back to Fortress Mountain for our own version of the Inception ski chase inspired by On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
As we rolled into Calgary, we stopped for dinner at the Fairmont Palliser where Brokeback director Ang Lee stayed. And that’s a wrap.
Want more? Fans of these stars, movies and television shows are in luck:
- Interstellar: Starring Matthew McConaughey, Michael Caine and Jessica Chastain, shot some scenes at Ha Ling peak near Canmore and used lots of other Alberta locations including Calgary, Lethbridge, Okotoks, Nanton and Fort Macleod.
- Heartland: Millarville Racetrack is used by the CBC hit TV show, while High River stands in for the fictitious town of Hudson.
- Hell on Wheels: This AMC western with Colm Meaney shot at Albertina Farms south of Calgary for five years.
- Fargo, the TV series: Calgary, Strathmore and High River stand in for Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota
- Unforgiven: Clint Eastwood’s signature film was shot in Longview, Drumheller, Brooks and High River.
- Shanghai Noon: Jackie Chan’s film used a number of Alberta locations including Drumheller, Calgary, Morley and Springbank.
- Self Drive