Canmore, Alberta is known for clear skies and mountain silhouettes at night. We’ve also been known to see stars during the day – movie stars that is! Today, let’s look at 5 Surprising Movies filmed in and near Canmore.
Many international film productions have realized this and sought out Canmore and its surrounding area as a filming location. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was here recently filming for Jumanji 2, and even Game of Thrones filmed some wolf scenes just down the road in Banff. When word gets out there’s a production in town, it doesn’t take long for news to spread and for stars to be spotted.
If you’ve ever visited Canmore and the Alberta Rockies, you know exactly how scenic this amazing location is. It’s hard to walk out your door or look out a window without catching breathtaking mountain vistas. I often say one of the best views in town is actually from the doors of our local grocery store. We are so lucky here!
Stars: Russell Crowe, Burt Reynolds, Mike Myers
In the small town of Mystery, Alaska, hockey’s the pride and joy. When reporter Charles Danner, who moved to New York many years ago, returns for, and meets mayor Scott Pitcher. Danner proposes a challenge match against the NY Rangers – to be broadcast live. The captain (and also, town sheriff) John Biebe warns the Rangers are a a pro-team, and this might end up doing more damage than good to Mystery. In spite of this, the challenge is accepted. Who’ll win the game?
Filming Locations: Various town scenes in Canmore, including a purpose-built “village” just outside of Canmore. Skating scenes up in Spray Valley and in the Bow Valley. Any local will recognize the scenery! (but not these buildings hmm…)
Stars: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Anne Hathaway
In 1963, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) are hired by rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) as sheep herders in Wyoming. One night on Brokeback Mountain, Jack makes a drunken pass at Ennis that is eventually reciprocated. Though Ennis marries his longtime sweetheart, Alma (Michelle Williams), and Jack marries a fellow rodeo rider (Anne Hathaway), the two men keep up their tortured and sporadic affair over the course of 20 years.
Filming Locations: The spectacular ‘Brokeback’ country seen in the film is the Kananaskis Range around Canmore, on the Trans-Canada Highway southeast of Banff, about 60 miles west of Calgary. The various peaks seen in the film include such landmarks as Windtower and Three Sisters, near Canmore, Moose Mountain to the east and Fortress to the south.
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin
The plane carrying wealthy Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) crashes down in the Alaskan wilderness. Together with the two other passengers, photographer Robert Green (Alec Baldwin) and assistant Stephen (Harold Perrineau), Charles devises a plan to help them reach civilization. However, his biggest obstacle might not be the elements, or even the Kodiak bear stalking them — it could be Robert, whom Charles has reason to believe is having an affair with his wife and would not mind seeing him dead.
Filming Locations: Among the Alberta locations were Banff National Park, Canmore, Edmonton, Thunderstone Quarries, and Fortress Ski Resort. Fun fact: Anthony Hopkins nearly got hypothermia after falling in a river during production. Could it have been the Bow?!
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins
In early 20th-century Montana, Col. William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) lives in the wilderness with his sons, Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn) and Samuel (Henry Thomas). Eventually, the unconventional but close-knit family encounters tragedy when Samuel is killed in World War I. Tristan and Alfred survive their tours of duty, but, soon after they return home, both men fall for Samuel’s gorgeous fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond), and their intense rivalry begins to destroy the family.
Filming Locations: The World War I battlefield scenes took two weeks to film and were shot near Morley, Alberta, with hundreds of locals and a few Canadian Forces soldiers recruited as extras. The Ghost River Wilderness Area in Alberta served as the filming location for the Ludlow ranch; additional outdoor scenes, as well as the funeral and cemetery scenes, were shot at the Bow River near Banff National Park.
Stars: Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hardy
While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member (Tom Hardy) of his hunting team kills his young son (Forrest Goodluck) and leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, the legendary fur trapper treks through the snowy terrain to track down the man who betrayed him.
Filming Locations: Kananaskis Country, Dead Man’s Flats, Canmore, and Banff. Many of the mountain scenes were shot at Fortress Mountain. Many Banff & Canmore locals were also cast in the film as extras! Fun fact: The final days of production had to move to Argentina due to a lack of snow in the spring here in Alberta! The director also had cranes and horses brought to the top of Fortress Mountain for some scenes.
Looks like in the end, the only thing Leo needed to finally win the Oscar was a visit to the Canadian Rockies! These are are only a few of the films and TV series filmed here throughout the years. With no shortage of scenery, I’m sure there will be many productions yet to come. Cheers!
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