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The first film made in Sedona was a silent movie named, Call of the Canyon. The book was written by Zane Grey and he insisted that they film the screenplay in the setting he had used for the book. It was produced by Famous Players - Lasky. The director was Victor Fleming, who later directed Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. The movie ran about 70 minutes and took up several film reels.

The plot of Call of the Canyon is not your normal western story.

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One of my favorite movies that was made in Sedona is “Angel and the Badman.” This was the first film that John Wayne starred in and produced. Republic let him start producing, because they feared losing him to another studio. His co-star was Gail Russell. The supporting cast included Harry Carey, Bruce Cabot, Irene Rich and Lee Dixon. James Edward Grant wrote the screen play and directed. The filming started the middle of April and continued until late June of 1946. The film premiered in February of 1947.

In the film, John Wayne is Quirk Evans, the ‘badman,’ who is nursed back to health by a Quaker family after being shot and falling from his horse. As he recuperates he learns about the family’s moral values and religious beliefs. Of course, a romance starts with the daughter, Penny, played by Gail Russell. Quirk’s friend, Randy McCall, played by Lee Dixon, shows up and Quirk tries to return to his previous life, but is drawn back to Penny and her simpler life style. Harry Carey plays Marshal Wistful McClintock. The film was well received, even though it was a little different than other westerns of the time.

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Filmed In Sedona

It is hard to pin down exactly how many movies, television shows and commercials were filmed in Sedona, as different sources vary. However, it appears that about 100 movies have filmed in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. Some of these movies were filmed entirely in Sedona, some were shot in Sedona and surround areas, and some only filmed a few key scenes in Sedona.

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