Famous Films in Ouray

Hollywood Loves Ouray County

Ouray County is a favorite among film buffs, especially those that love westerns. Our iconic mountains and charming historic small towns have been the backdrop for a number of classic films over the years. Many westerns were filmed in Ouray County including the original production of "True Grit" starring John Wayne. During filming, the nearby town of Ridgway was turned into a railroad town in the 1880s and Ouray’s own historic courthouse was featured for the courtroom scene in the film.

Ridgway offers a fun tour of local “True Grit” sites that leaves the Ridgway Visitor's Center every Friday at 11 AM through the end of October. This walking tour includes the cottonwoods in town park, the paddy wagon at the Visitor’s Center and the firehouse and Rooster Cogburn’s house. Nearby meadows in Owl Creek (with Chimney Peak in the background) and wide vistas along the Dallas Divide will be immediately recognizable to film fans.

ouray county courthouse

A great YouTube video shot in 2007 by JeepsterGal showcases the locations from Ouray and Ridgway, then and now.

Other famous movies filmed in and around Ouray are listed below. For a full list of southwest Colorado film history, check out the location finder at IMDB here.

One Thousand Miles Through the Rockies 1912; Ouray; silent film, documentary
Across the Wide Missouri 1951; Durango, La Plata Canyon, Ouray County, Molas Lake, Haviland Dam, Little Boyce Lake; Clark Gable
The Naked Spur 1953; Durango, San Juan Mountains; James Stewart, Janet Leigh
Tribute to a Bad Man 1956; Ridgway; James Cagney
How the West Was Won 1962; Ridgway, Montrose, Silverton, Durango; Henry Fonda
True Grit 1969; Ridgway, Ouray, Montrose, Owl Creek Pass, Gunnison; John Wayne
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969; Durango, Silverton, Telluride; Robert Redford, Paul
Over the Top 1987; Ouray; Sylvester Stallone
Dennis Weaver’s Earthship 1990; Ridgway; Dennis Weaver
Carving the White 1993; Telluride
Ice Climb 1993; Telluride
The Sunchaser 1996; Ouray; Woody Harrelson
Alferd Packer: The Musical (aka Cannibal! The Musical) 1993; Ouray, Lake City, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park; Stan Brakhage
Scrapple 1998; Gateway, Telluride, Ophir, Placerville
Durango Kids 1999; Ouray, Durango;
Permian Flow 2004; San Juan Mountains; documentary
Jeep King of the Mountain 2007; Telluride
Aspen Gold: The Locations of True Grit 2007; Ouray, Ridgway; Documentary included in the 2007 Paramount Special Collector’s Edition of True Grit
The Drama Kids 2008; Ouray
Darling Companion 2012; Telluride; Kevin Klein, Diane Keaton
Flow State (aka Warren Miller’s Flow State) 2012; San Juan Mountains
Long-Distance Runners: A Cross-Cultural Love Story 2014; Telluride; documentary
The Hateful Eight 2015; Telluride
Written Images 2016; Telluride 





This project is supported by a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office, a state agency.


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