Movie Locations And Notes
Jasper National Park Becker’s Bungalows
(5 kms south of Jasper on Hwy 93) Marilyn Monroe stayed at this historic accommodation during the filming of River of No Return during late July and early August, 1953. Baseball star Joe DiMaggio, her fiancée, visited her while she was there.
Sunwapta Gorge viewpoint
(6.5 kms north of Icefield Centre on Hwy 93) Bing Crosby yodeled his way along this elevated section of the old Banff – Jasper Highway during the filming of Emperor Waltz in the summer of 1946 (The film was released two years later.) The glacierclad mountains of the Icefield and Jasper doubled for the movie’s setting of Austria.
Stoney Indian Reserve
Though natives from the Stoney Reserve served as extras in numerous films from 1921 through 1953, the first major motion picture to utilize the scenic, foothills location of their reserve was Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man (1970) starring Dustin Hoffman. Many films and movie stars followed, including Buffalo Bill and the Indians with Paul Newman, Legends of the Fall (1993) with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, Open Range (2003) with Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, and Annette Bening, and The Assassination of Jesse James (2006) with Brad Pitt.
Starting in the late 1970s, the town of Canmore on the eastern boundary of Banff Park, became a centre for film-making activity. Among the movies filmed within town boundaries are Death Hunt (1981) starring Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin, The Last of the Dogmen (1995) with Tom Berenger and Barbara Hershey, Mystery, Alaska (1999) with Russell Crow and Burt Reynolds, and Snow Dogs (2002) with Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Coburn.
Upper Kananaskis Lake (Peter Lougheed Park)
The shores of this scenic lake have been trod by numerous stars, including Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin in The Edge (1996), Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry in X-Men 2 (2003), and Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the award-winning Brokeback Mountain (2005).
Many people were surprised to learn that this motion picture was actually shot in southern Alberta – not in Wyoming. The film and economic development departments of the Alberta government are so excited about the buzz that this film has created that Travel Alberta has added great “Brokeback content” to their web site. You’ll get tons of detailed background information on the locations used both within and outside of the mountain parks. They have even built a section entitled, “Design your own Brokeback tour”.
Check it out at www.travelalberta.com,but in case you aren’t close to your computer, here are a few tidbits for you right now.
A few of the key scenes that tourists seem to want to replay involve some of Alberta’s finest campgrounds. One is a shot of Upper Kananaskis Lake – actual sites at Elbow Falls and Canyon Creek. Then there’s the bridge along the Galatea hiking trail, in Kananaskis Country, where Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) picks up supplies. And Ennis encounters a black bear at King Creek-near the junction of Highway 40 and the Smith-Dorrien Road, in Kananaskis.
Want to know where the cast and crew stayed during filming?
In Canmore, many stayed at The Marriott and ate at the Grizzly Paw. And when they were filming the campsites, Kananaskis Village was used as the base of operations by the crew.
Other important venues in the movie were Fort Macleod, Cowley and the jagged backdrop of the Three Sisters mountain peaks. Actually, more than 90 per cent of the scenes in Brokeback were shot within 21 m (70 ft.) of a road. That’s perfect for travellers who want to experience grand wilderness without hoofing over mountain passes (though you can do that too!).