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The Shining and four other Colorado-set movie impostors

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Last week, we told you about the Seven Best TV shows set in Colorado. And, indeed, there are some awesome movies and shows set in our glorious home state. Unfortunately, though, Hollywood is often more content just to talk about Colorado than to actually come over here; Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining, for example, was supposed to be set at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park -- but wasn't. It was filmed almost entirely on a giant sound stage, with exterior shots filmed in Mount Hood, Oregon and Montana. Stephen King himself expressed disappointment that Kubrick elected not to use the real Stanley Hotel, and so, in honor of King's birthday, which is today, we're bringing you five other films purportedly -- but not really -- set in Colorado.

4. Red Dawn As sexy as Patrick Swayze is and will always be in our memory, his sexiness can't reconcile his one appearance in Colorado, which was marred by not actually being in Colorado -- although to the film's credit, it came close. Set in Calumet, Colorado (which, interestingly, is a real place, but is in reality uninhabited -- it's a ghost mining town Northwest of Walsenburg, wherever the hell that is), the movie was actually filmed on location in Las Vegas -- but not that Las Vegas -- the one in New Mexico. Well, you may have gotten Patrick Swayze, New Mexico, and the tax revenue, but you know who got the credit? We did. Because we're better than you.
3. The Stand miniseries Another one by Stephen King. Originally, the parts of the book set in Boulder were supposed to be filmed on location in Boulder. Then, admittedly, we kind of ruined it. That same year, in 1992, Colorado narrowly passed an amendment to the state constitution that essentially nullified the power of municipalities to enact gay rights legislation. In protest, filmmakers moved the production to -- weirdly -- Utah, which is kind of like moving to Canada to get away from all the Canadians.
2. Cliffhanger To its credit, some of the scenes from Cliffhanger were indeed filmed in Durango -- but apparently unable to find some mountains in that area, filmmakers felt compelled to film a lot of the scenes around Dolemites, Italy. Possibly because the Italian Stallion could not find a meat-a ball a-spicy enough in Durango. STELLA!
1. Dynasty Not a movie, but certainly the most egregious example on this list -- not one scene of the long-running soap opera about a sad, Denver-based rich family and their sad, Denver-based problems was ever filmed even anywhere close to Denver. Sure, there's some Colorado-based stock footage in the opening credits, but the exterior shot of that mansion? Not in Colorado. It's some mansion in California -- which is where we wish they'd have set the show anyway, because that show sucked.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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