When it comes to the big screen, the whole state of Idaho hasn't been used quite as often big cities like Chicago, New York and Atlanta. A few film makers dared to take a chance on the Gem State and these are their masterpieces!

The Idaho Film Office says explains that Idaho has everything a filmmaker could want to use in their films: mountains, whitewater, dusty back roads, farms, lava flows and quaint towns.  Plus, it doesn't hurt that you get natural sunlight to shoot well into the evening in the summer months. It's also an attractive state to film in because most of Idaho's cities don't require you to file any film permits.  Here's a look at four of the movies you didn't know were filmed in the Gem State and one that you most definitely know was!

The Film You KNEW Was Shot in Idaho

Napoleon Dynamite

I forget what movie we were watching the other night, but when it was over Napoleon Dynamite came on and I couldn't hold in my wildly inappropriate comment.  "Napoleon Dynamite, the last time Preston, Idaho was known for being a movie set instead of feeding puppies to snapping turtles."  According to Locations Hub, not only was the 2004 film set in Preston, it was shot in Preston and Franklin. I know. Too soon.  I'm going to go hide in a corner now.

4 Films You Didn't Know Were Shot in Idaho

Bronco Billy

Released in 1980, this Western starred Clint Eastwood as the "fastest gun in the West" in a rundown traveling circus show.  This is most definitely not The Greatest Showman.  There's train robberies, bar fights, ex-convicts, alcoholics, murders and more in this circus story.  The movie was shot here in the Treasure Valley with sets in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Garden City and Nampa.


"You can commute." "Baby, it's 2,000 miles!" This 1988 film start Richard Prior as a transportation engineer living in New Jersey.  After his company merges with another, he find himself as out of a job.  When he eventually tracks down a new gig, he finds out that it's in Boise.  During the move, the family runs into some really off the wall problems with the crew moving them across the country and the retirees who sold them their new home in Boise. It also starred SNL alum Dana Carvey and Randy Quaid.

Dante's Peak

Don't let the actual plot of the movie fool you.  The 1997 disaster film may have been set in Washington, but it was shot in Wallace, Idaho! Starring Pierce Brosnan, the residents of a fictional town must out run a volcanic eruption. Filmmakers had a budget of $115 million to bring the Pacific Northwest set story to life.

Wild Wild West

I mostly wanted to point this one out because I LOVED every 90s Will Smith song, including "Wild Wild West" which ended up on the soundtrack of the film he starred in.  Years later, my husband would ruin the song for me by pointing out that the song is actually a sample of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish." In fact, almost all of my favorite Will Smith songs are samples...something I didn't know until a few months ago.  My childhood is ruined. According to IMDB, the Camas Prairie Railroad near Pierce is where the crew shot the train exterior shots for the 1999 film.


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