What Hit Us?

Long Before "Asteroid," moviemakers made their mark on Colorado. A guide to some high and low points.

As they do in Asteroid, Colorado and Denver have often doubled for other locales:

* Korea: Target Zone (1955). American troops battle between enemy lines during the Korean War. With Chuck Connors and Charles Bronson.

* Switzerland: A 1972 TV pilot for an "international detective show" called Intertect was shot in Glenwood Springs.

* The Future: Woody Allen made use of the famous "Flying Saucer" house in the mountains off I-70, just east of Denver, for his sci-fi parody Sleeper (1973).

* South Dakota: Terrence Malick's Badlands (1974), about the Charles Starkweather-Carol Fugate murder spree in 1958 (which occurred chiefly in Nebraska) was shot around Lamar with Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen.

* Washington, D.C.: Stapleton International Airport filled in for Dulles Airport in Die Hard 2 (1990).

* Chicago: Point the cameras east, and no one will ever know TV's Father Dowling Mysteries were filmed in Denver.

* Dallas: Larimer Square stood in for the Big D in NBC's Asteroid.
* Kansas City: Asteroid again; while hundreds of extras were evacuating downtown Denver at 16th and California, upper Larimer was about to be wiped out by a flood (re-created with studio models).

Colorado Territory (1949) and Denver and the Rio Grande (1952) were both shot in-state, but many films that ostensibly take place in Colorado were shot on the backlots of Hollywood:

* Call of the Rockies (1944), in which Sunset Carson teams up with some Westernesque Robin Hoods who steal from an evil mining-equipment man.

* Colorado (1940), a Roy Rogers tale about a plot to keep Colorado out of the Union that stirs up Indian uprisings.

* The Denver Kid (1948), about a border patroller who lures a killer into the arms of the law.

* Colorado Sundown (1951), starring Slim Pickens, about the inheritors of a ranch who are unscrupulous about getting rid of their competitors.

* The Hallelujah Trail (1965), a Western satire with Lee Remick and Burt Lancaster. Remick is a temperance leader trying to stop shipments of whiskey from reaching Denver miners. Shot in New Mexico.

* Red Dawn (1984), in which Commie forces invade America and overrun a small Colorado town; we fight back. Shot in New Mexico.

* Cliffhanger (1993): Though filmed in the Italian Alps, the Sylvester Stallone mountain action flick supposedly took place in the Rocky Mountains.

Zeroing in on specific sites used by moviemakers:
* For The Glenn Miller Story (1953), the first feature-length movie ever shot in Denver, Lowry Air Force Base was turned into the site of a World War II USO show, and the corner of West Colfax and Fourteenth Street became a 1926 gas station.

* In Cold Blood (1967), in which a Colorado prison filled in for the Kansas State Penitentiary.

* Downhill Racer (1969), in which Robert Redford starred as an arrogant Olympic hopeful who was eventually cut down to size. Filmmakers shot in Conifer and parts of Clear Creek County.

* The feminist epic Stand Up and Be Counted (1972), in which Jacqueline Bisset memorably burns her bra, featured scenes shot at the State Capitol and the U.S. Mint, as well as on East Sixth Avenue, along the stately parkway of homes just east of Colorado Boulevard.

* Scarecrow (1973), in which Gene Hackman and Al Pacino decide to journey from San Quentin to Pittsburgh: Scenes were shot at Turk's Supper Club on Denver's north side and an unnamed LoDo tavern, where Hackman does a striptease for Pacino.

* I Want to Keep My Baby, a 1976 TV movie with Mariel Hemingway, was shot at George Washington High School.

* TV's Mork and Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982, helped put Boulder and Robin Williams on the map. The goalposts at Folsom Field never looked so good. Na nu, na nu.

* Continental Divide (1981): Blair Brown is a Rocky Mountain woman in touch with the eagles, and John Belushi is a struggling Chicago reporter sent to get her story. Shot in Pueblo and Custer counties.

* Dynasty (1981-1989): Though Blake Carrington's mansion was actually an estate south of San Francisco, this glamorously trashy soap opera, which starred Joan Collins, Linda Evans and John Forsythe, was set in Denver. One episode featured former prez Gerald Ford and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger at the Carousel Ball.

* Breaking Away redux: American Flyers (1985) included scenes of the then-annual Coors International Bicycle Classic in Golden.

* Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Clint Eastwood's orangutan classic, featured Eddie Bohn's Pig-N-Whistle on West Colfax, the Zanza Bar, a country-Western joint on East Colfax, and Sid King's strip lounge on East Colfax, where Westword staffers played extras. (Former Westword writer John Ashton popped up Sunday night in Asteroid as a hospital patient.)

* City Slickers (1991): Billy Crystal wrestles with cattle and Jack Palance in La Plata County.

* Die Hard 2: The filmmakers staged a big snowmobile shootout in Mead, a little town off I-25 north of Denver. Filmmakers blew up a false front and steeple built onto the Highland Lake Church.

* Under Siege 2 (1995): Navy SEAL Steven Seagal is a chef at the Wynkoop Brewing Company.

* Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995): What film list would be complete without it? Locales included the Casino Cabaret on Welton Street in Five Points (it emerged as the Silver Naked Lady); scenes were also shot outside Coors Field and the Denver Museum of Natural History.

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