The West Sedona set during the filming of The Half Breed in 1952, starring Robert Young, Janis Carter and Jack Beutel.

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. Around 30 television shows have used Sedona as a back drop, some for an episode and some for the entire run of the show. Numerous commercials have also filmed in Sedona.

The first movie filmed in Sedona was Zane Grey’s, Call of the Canyon in 1923. There was a 7 year break before the movie industry came back to Sedona, perhaps because a thunderstorm washed out some roads during filming of Call of the Canyon making it difficult to complete the project. However, in 1930, they did come back and for many years following that movies were being shot in Sedona with some regularity. John Wayne, James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Donna Reed, Richard Widmark, Sterling Hayden, Joan Crawford, Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda and Elvis Presley all filmed movies in Sedona.

In 1945, a western town set was built in West Sedona in front of Coffee Pot Rock. It featured several buildings and a train on a short stretch of track. It was built for Angel and the Badman, which starred John Wayne, Gail Russell and Harry Carey. John Wayne also produced this film. The set continued to be used for movies, until it was torn down in 1959.

A second set was built on the Bradshaw Ranch in 1967, for the filming of Stay Away, Joe, which starred Elvis Presley, Burgess Meredith and Joan Blondell. Bob Bradshaw who owned the 140 acre ranch worked on many of the western movies as a film location scout, stuntman, actor, photographer, and he supplied cattle and horses as needed. The ranch set was used in 5 movies, 2 television series, and numerous commercials. In 1986, the Bradshaw Ranch set was burned over the course of several days for a Well Fargo Bank commercial.

As the making of western movies declined, so has the number of movies made in Sedona. However, some movies are still shot in the area, just not as often as in the past.

©2017. Dawn Gould, Owner of Sedona Olde Time Photos. All rights reserved.

Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda, Chill Wills and director Burt Kennedy during the filming of The Rounders in 1965.