New York transplant Brian D’Ambrosio, author of the new book “Shot in Montana,” picks his Top 5 movies filmed in Montana:
1. “Northfork,” a 2003 film by Mark and Michael Polish, was shot in the Glasgow area and includes iconic views of the Fork Peck Dam. D’Ambrosio called the film a visionary epic set that goes deeper than constructing a dam and displacing a Montana town.
“It’s got angels, the death of a family and a cemetery being moved. There are so many parables in it and gorgeous shots of Fort Peck Dam. It’s the most visually interesting film.”
2. The 2013 film, “Winter in the Blood,” transposes the late Montana author James Welch’s book into a story fit for the big screen. It is directed by Alex and Andrew Smith, Montana natives who grew up living near James and Lois Welch. D’Ambrosio points out that Welch’s book is so popular it has never been out of print because the story is so authentic.
3. The 1971 film, “Evel Knievel,” features George Hamilton in the title role. After portraying the larger-than-life Knievel, Hamilton dubbed the Butte native “the father of extreme sports.”
“To see George Hamilton portray Knievel with Butte in the background — that’s a treasure,” D’Ambrosio said.
4. The 1992 drama “A River Runs Through It,” starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford, is as iconic as any film could possibly be, D’Ambrosio said. Many fly fishing guides have had requests from clients to go to spots on the river so they could look at where Brad Pitt’s character cast his fly line in the film.
5. “Damnation Alley,” a post-apocalyptic World War III story with exploding cockroaches and other epic scenes, was shot in Lakeside and Bigfork in 1976.
Flathead Lake fills the part of New York’s shore where the surviving souls are saved. The $7.2 million budget for the film, including assembling a 12-foot-all-terrain “Landmaster."
“It gives you the chance to see a 20,000-pound Tonka truck driving across a frozen pond,” D’Ambrosio said.