A surprising number of movies have been filmed in the Silver State. From the silent footage of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight in Carson City in 1897, considered the first movie to film in the state, to “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2,” filmed in Las Vegas in 2015, Nevada has been the setting for hundreds of films, both good and bad.
The following are a few questions to determine just how well you know your Silver State movie trivia.
- What was the name of the fictional Nevada town that was terrorized by giant, mutated worm-like creatures in the 1990 film “Tremors” (as well as in its sequels)?
- What lake in Nevada served as a stand-in for the Sea of Galilee in the 1965 biblical epic film, “The Greatest Story Ever Told?”
- In what Nevada state park was Star Trek’s Capt. James T. Kirk stabbed to death?
- In what Nevada saloon did Marilyn Monroe famously play a vigorous game of paddleball in the 1961 film, “The Misfits?”
- In what city did actor John Wayne meet his maker in the 1976 film, “The Shootist?”
- In what Reno hotel did screenwriter Mario Puzo work with film director Francis Ford Coppola to finish the screenplay for the movie “The Godfather Part III?”
- What Northern Nevada hamlet served as a stand-in for the community of Silver Creek, Colo. in the 1990 horror film “Misery?”
- The film “Top Gun” was set at a Naval airbase in San Diego, Calif., but much of the aerial footage in the film was shot in the skies near what Nevada community?
- In the 1996 blockbuster movie “Independence Day,” an alien spaceship is said to have been captured and studied in a secret base at Area 51 in Nevada. Since Area 51 is closed to the public, what location on the Nevada-Utah border was used as a stand-in for Area 51?
- In the dark, romantic 1995 film “Leaving Las Vegas,” a Laughlin resort served as a stand-in for a fictitious Las Vegas hotel-casino called the Gold River Casino and Resort because no Las Vegas hotel wanted to be associated with the film about an alcoholic who comes to Sin City to drink himself to death. What was this Laughlin hotel-casino?
- Perfection, Nev., is the name of the fictional town in the “Tremors” series of films. The movie was actually filmed in Lone Pine, Calif. and Darwin, Calif.
- Pyramid Lake appeared as the Sea of Galilee in the film “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
- The site of Kirk’s demise was Valley of Fire State Park. In the 1994 film “Star Trek: Generations,” Kirk, played by William Shatner, was fatally impaled by his adversary Tollan Soran (actor Roddy McDowell). Valley of Fire was a stand-in for the planet Veridian III.
- Marilyn Monroe played paddleball in Dayton’s historic Odeon Saloon (until a frisky cowboy interrupted her game with his wandering hand). Other Nevada locations appearing in the film included Reno’s Mapes Hotel (demolished in 2000), Pyramid Lake and the Washoe County Courthouse in Reno.
- Carson City was the setting for the film “The Shootist,” which was not only John Wayne’s final film but one of the few in which his character also dies.
- According to the Los Angeles Times, Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola stayed at the Peppermill in Reno for two weeks in 1989, putting the finishing touches on the script for “The Godfather III.” The two also lost more than $40,000 in the casino.
- “Misery,” starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, partially was filmed in Genoa, Nev. The film crew actually erected four fake-front buildings on Genoa’s main boulevard.
- The film was “Top Gun,” released in 1986 and starring Tom Cruise. Much of the aerial photography, including a scene where hotshot pilot Cruise buzzes a control tower, was filmed in Fallon.
- The World War II-era Wendover Airfield on the Nevada-Utah border served as a stand-in for Area 51.
- The Laughlin property that served as a substitute for Las Vegas was the River Palms Resort Casino, which provided the location for the interior shots of the Gold River Casino and Resort.