Sun Valley films:
A match made in celluloid heaven
Express Staff Writer
Given the natural
beauty of the Wood River Valley and Idaho in general, it is no surprise that a
few movies have been made here. Sometimes the Sawtooth Mountain Range
represented the Alps, and sometimes the Sun Valley Lodge stood in for a
glamorous European lodge.
While in town, itís
always fun to see one or two of these gems, particularly "Sun Valley
Serenade," which plays at 5 p.m. daily at the Sun Valley Opera House, plus
The following is
a partial list of movies that have been shot here and other parts of Idaho, as
well as a few television specials and shows.
Stake," 1922, and the shorts called "Little Dramas of the Big
Country," were silent films shot in the 1920s, by and with Nell Shipman at
Lionhead Lodge, her wilderness film studio at Priest Lake, Idaho.
Him in Paris," 1937, was filmed in Sun Valley with Claudette Colbert.
She portrayed a dress designer from New York who sets off on a European vacation
where she finds two equally ardent admirers, Melvyn Douglas and Robert Young.
Guess what stood in for the alps?
and Livingstone," 1939, was shot in the area with Spencer Tracy as the
19th-century journalist who travels to the mysterious jungles of Africa to find
the famed Scottish missionary, played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Jungles in Idaho?
Storm," 1940, with Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart was based on a
Phyllis Bottome novel about a pair of young lovers torn apart during early days
of the Nazi takeover. Legend has it that Hitler saw this movie and promptly
banned MGM flicks in Nazi Germany,
Pursuit," 1943, a Canadian Mountie portrayed by Errol Flynn infiltrates
a Nazi spy ring.
Valley Serenade," 1941, starred skating phenom Sonja Henie as a man
chasing Norwegian war refugee. Itís one of only two movies that the Glenn
Miller Orchestra appeared in. A young Milton Berle has a nearly straight role.
It co-starred John Payne, Dorothy Dandridge, Lynn Bari and the Nicholas
Brothers. The songs include "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "In the
Mood," "I Know Why and So Do You."
Face," 1941, is an intense melodrama starring Joan Crawford and
directed by George Cukor. Shot in Sun Valley.
Valley Cyclone," 1946, is a two reeler with Wild Bill Elliott as Red
of Idaho," 1950, was an MGM comedy with Esther Williams, Amanda Blake,
John Lund, Eleanor Powell, Lena Horne and Van Johnson. Out on the snowy slopes
of Sun Valley, a beautiful girl tries to help patch up her roommate's romance,
but ends up falling in love herself. With friends like theseÖ.
Party," 1965, the Beach Party gang goes to Sun Valley for a little ski
vacation romp. A pair of college men, one of whom is Frankie Avalon, pose as
girls to find out why a fellow classmate is so successful in his romantic
Miracle of Todd-AO," 1955, is a documentary showing new film making
technology filmed here and in the Tetons in western Wyoming.
1956, based on a Broadway hit by William Inge, is a comic drama about a rancher,
Don Murray, who falls for a nightclub singer, Marilyn Monroe, in her
breakthrough movie. The pivotal scenes of the couple stranded at a bus stop in a
blizzard were shot at the North Fork store, just north of Ketchum.
Heads," 1980, was filmed in Sun Valley.
Rider," 1985, Clint Eastwood plays a gun toting preacher who arrives to
save prospectors terrorized by a large mining company. It was shot in the
Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
of Champions," 1999, with Albert Finney and Bruce Willis, was shot in
Twin Falls with some local actors.
the Hunter of Death," 2001, with Albert Finney as Ernest Hemingway on a
scientific safari in the late 1950s, and the ascent of Mount Kenya, was shot in
Transfer," 1973, Peter Fonda directs Keith Carradine at the Craters of
the Moon as one of a group of teens who travels in time to Idaho in 2044. (What
do you bet the Wood River Valley has an eight-lane highway?)
for the Game," 1990, Edward James Olmos portrays a former baseball
player, and soon-to-be discarded talent scout. Breaking down on a drive through
Idaho with his girlfriend, Lorraine Bracco, he discovers a sensational pitching
prospect. It was shot in Genesse, Coeur d'Alene and Moscow.
Horse," 1991, was directed by former Sun Valley resident, David
Hemmings, with Ed Begley, Jr. and Mimi Rogers.
Signals," 1997, won several Sundance Awards in 1998, including Filmmaker's
Trophy winner, Director Chris Eyre, Audience Award winner, Grand Jury Prize
nomination. It is the story of two young Native Americans, based on Sherman
Alexie's story of friendship, love and loss, and was filmed at the Coeur d'Alene
Indian Reservation in northern Idaho.
& Country," 2001, starred Warren Beatty, Garry Shandling, Goldie
Hawn, Diane Keaton, Jenna Elfman and Charlton Heston. Two silly husbands, whoíre
having affairs, come to sort out life on a ski trip to Sun Valley, and donít.
TV shows filmed
in Idaho, include:
Fleming Special," 1971
goes to Sun Valley," 1958
Crosby Christmas," 1974
Ken Burns "Lewis
& Clark," 1991
Christmas On Ice," 1992
Some of the
movies are available at The Community Library in Ketchum, while many are
available at the video rental shops in the valley. Many also still show up on TV
movie channels such as AMC.