We found another filming location from the movie Brokeback Mountain. In this scene, a flashback, a young Ennis is lead by his father to view the body of a murdered rancher. The movie location is set in Wyoming, but in reality the scene was shot in the badlands of Alberta, near the almost ghost town of Dorothy.
In spite of the website findingbrokeback.com, which lists all the of filming locations within the province, for this series we decided it would be more fun to use our detective skills to track down these spots. It’s a long and challenging process and the only tools at our disposal were the movie, our extensive knowledge of the province and Google Maps. That’s it! We did it as a challenge.
I spent many hours on the computer examining various valleys and roads in the Drumheller and Red Deer River Valley area before I found this one. From the satellite view, I could see the road and topography matched – jackpot!
As it turns out were had just come from Dorothy where we shot its two famous churches and the dilapidated elevator (watch for a report soon), so a quick side trip to shoot this was no problem at all.
The location is a gully with a gravel road heading up the bluffs to the prairie above. It’s directly south of Dorthy just across the spindly bridge that spans the Red Deer River.
Back to the movie – the dead rancher they came to view was supposedly killed for being homosexual, and it’s suggest that Ennis’ father had a part in this. This dusty lifeless gully (actually muddy on our visit due to heavy rains) is the perfect location to shoot this depressing scene. It’s not just the rancher who’s dead, the whole place seems that way, This event has a great impact in Ennis and it will forever haunt him and shape his life.
Oddly, this appears to be the only scene shot in the area. The valleys here are instantly recognizable with their layered strata and no other chapters or scenes from the movie show landscapes like this.
This was a quick and fairly insignificant then and now, but we felt it was worth doing anyway since we were in the area visiting the near ghost town of Dorothy Alberta. Stay tuned for more! I don’t feel we did a great job of lining this one up – it’s okay but not as good as hoped. You can see all the key landmarks, but I shot with too wide a lens. Note how similar the cloud formations were between the two shots.
Images from the movie are copyright Focus Features.
To see some other Brokeback Mountain then and now posts we’ve done, click the links below…
Brokeback Mountain then and now – Riverton WY bar.
Brokeback Mountain then and now – getting married and drive in movie.
If you wish more information about this place, by all means contact us!
Date: May, 2013.
Location: Dorothy, AB.