The Uncompahgre Valley and surrounding area has not only played a supporting role in numerous Hollywood movies, it has produced at least one notable name, too...
Red, White and Blacklisted
Born in Montrose, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo wrote “Spartacus,” “Roman Holiday,” and “The Brave One,” among other films. Trumbo was one of the infamous Hollywood Ten who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, during the committee's investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry. Blacklisted, he continued to work using pseudonyms or other authors' names. His uncredited work won two Academy Awards for Best Story: for Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956). A dramatization of Trumbo's life, also called Trumbo, was released in November 2015 starring Bryan Cranston as the screenwriter.
Sylvester Satallone’s forgettable 1987 action movie “Over the Top,” about a long-haul truck driver who tries to win back his alienated son by becoming a champion arm wrestler, opens with Lincoln Hawk (Stallone) driving his rig down into Ouray via the Million Dollar Highway. He inexplicably arrives in town from the north end, having just descended from the south end!
Henry Hathaway’s 1969 western classic, “True Grit” is much more well known. Starring John Wayne, it was filmed in several locations in the Valley, including right in Ridgway’s Hartwell Park ,the setting for the film’s infamous hanging scene. One of the interior walls of the True Grit Cafe is one of the exterior walls of a building that can be clearly seen in the film. There are stories of Wayne bartending in the area for fun during filming, as well as all kinds of other tales about the Duke. Parts of “How the West Was Won” and “The Sheepman” were also filmed in the area.
Film Festivals in the Unc
Ouray International Film Festival
Mountainfilm on Tour
Bow Wow Film Festival on Tour
Ridgway Independent Film Festival