The equality state is not heavily populated, but many movies are set or filmed in Wyoming. The mountain ranges and uninhabited spaces make the state the perfect backdrop for many cowboy flicks and other fare. Whether you are a Wyomingite or just a curious movie buff, these are great films set in the 44th state.
Gunslingers, saloon girls and shoot outs are staples of Western films, and Wyoming is often a less known but critical aspect of these stories too. These are the best westerns to come from Wyoming.
A Great Duo
Even those who hate westerns have heard of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid because this classic is a lively epic starring the legendary Paul Newman and Robert Redford. This dynamic duo comprised of a smooth talker and expert marksman lead a gang that have big plans for a train heist, but this is only the beginning as these notorious crooks become infamous and wanted dead all over the globe.
A Virginian In Wyoming
Many great westerns were filmed before color pictures were invented, so The Virginian is a great pick for those who enjoy black and white movies. Gary Cooper is tough rancher in Medicine Bow, Wyoming who tries to find love and run his ranch but finds trouble when a gang steals cattle from him. Cooper has to deliver justice to the gang, which includes a friend of his, and his decisions might end up costing him love or his life.
No Forgiveness For Clint Eastwood
There cannot be a list of outstanding westerns without at least one project by Clint Eastwood. Unforgiven involves a huge bounty that shakes up life in a Wyoming town that prohibits guns. The movie is important because it is the third western to win an Oscar and Eastwood’s last western. Instead of focusing on moral cowboys or nostalgia for a simpler time, this tale delves into the darker aspects of life in the old west.
Not many dramas take place in Wyoming, but that just makes these two well crafted, poignant films more special. Try these movies when you are in the mood to think and get wrapped up in emotional struggles.
Care To Dance?
Dances With Wolves is also a western, but it appeals to all audiences regardless of one’s feelings about cowboys. This Kevin Costner vehicle proved it had mass appeal when it was nominated for several Academy Awards and Golden Globes in 1991, and it took home awards for best picture, screenplay, director and more. The story focuses on a lone American solider manning an army base and interacting with Lakota Indians in 1863.
Based On Real Events
Every state suffers from violence, but some tragedies become national news. The 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard was devastating for those who knew the University of Wyoming student, but Laramie citizens turned a horrific act into a powerful story with The Laramie Project. A theater troupe used interviews with townspeople, news reports and their own commentary to create this play that later became a movie. The Larmamie Project is a captivating, chilling film that is still influential today when educating people about hate crimes and homophobia.
If you are not in the mood for tearjerkers, grab the popcorn and unwind with these funny films.
Say “I Do” To Bridesmaids
Most films with wild people and crazy antics take place in busy cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Chicago, but a layover in Casper brings some of the action to Wyoming in Bridesmaids. This comedy featuring many wedding woes only seen in nightmares became hugely popular because of the hilarious cast of women like Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and Rebel Wilson.
Hustle And Bustle
Wyoming might not have the same kind of congested highways that more populous cities do, but Wyoming got to experience its own rush hour when scenes for Rush Hour 2 were filmed in the state. The Rush Hour series is a zany, easy-going franchise centered around an odd pairing between a detective who excels at martial arts (Jackie Chan) and a street smart cop (Chris Tucker).
Kid Friendly Movies
These movies show the friendly side of Wyoming that is free of shoot outs and coarse language, and parents might also enjoy these cute tales.
A Horse Of Course
Flicka presents a modern day view of life on a ranch, but obstacles are still present as a young girl wants to prove herself worthy of running things once her father retires. The girl forms a connection with a wild mustang she names Flicka and learns about growing up, loyalty and being true to what she believes in. This film teaches lessons while incorporating rodeos, ranch life, mountains and more.
A New E.T.
Two nerdy Englishmen travel through Wyoming and across the country as they try to tour famous alien sites like Roswell but find themselves harboring an extraterrestrial who is being hunted while he attempts to return home instead in Paul. Paul uses a lot of science fiction cliches that will appear fresh to younger audiences, but adults will not mind the tropes because of the humor and familiar names like Seth Rogen, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Bateman, Simon Pegg and more.
Whether you want to experience cowboy drama or talking aliens, have fun watching these movies that could not have existed without Wyoming.