Django Unchained (2012)

Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 western “Django Unchained” is set in various locations across the USA.  The filming locations also span across several states, including California, Wyoming and Louisiana.  In the opening of the film, Django, played by Jamie Foxx, is shown as a slave.  The was filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.  Alabama Hills is a staple of old westerns, having been used in dozens of films, such as “How the West Was Won” and “The Gunfighter.”  It appears in more modern films as well, such as “Iron Man,” “Tremors,” “Gladiator” and more.

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LOCATION: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz,  arrives with Django in the town of Daughtrey, Texas.  This was actually filmed at Melody Ranch in Newhall, California.  The sets are sometimes moved around at Melody, depending on the needs of the latest production.  So it can be tricky matching up every shot, but there remains a lot of areas that do match up almost exactly.  The same ranch is also briefly seen in the early scenes of Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” on the set of the fictional “Bounty Law.”

The two are first seen arriving into the town between these two buildings.

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LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

They are seen passing this building.

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They proceed down this main street, as the locals stare them down.  This section has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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Schultz parks his wagon in front of the building on the left.  Most of this area still looks the same as it did in the film.

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The enter this saloon, where the bartender quickly runs out to fetch the sheriff.  The doors were switched to swinging doors in the film.  This same set was featured prominently in the TV show “Westworld,’ as the brothel where Thandie Newton’s character works.

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After the bartender runs out, Schultz prepares some beer for himself and Django.

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Here are some views from upstairs.

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Dr. Schultz has a confrontation with the sheriff between these two buildings.  The boardwalk on the left is where Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt sit for their “Bounty Law” interview at the beginning of “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood.”

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The marshall, played by Tom Wopat, has a short standoff with Dr. Schultz and Django in front of these buildings, before Schultz reveals he is a bounty hunter with a valid warrant.  Schultz and Django are also seen walking past these buildings earlier when they first entered the town.

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Later in the film, Dr. Schultz and Django make their way to Tennessee.  Django picks out a new set of clothes for himself at the Chattanooga Haberdashery.  This was also filmed at Melody Ranch.

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Unlike most movie ranches in Southern California, Melody Ranch does in fact offer tours to the public.  However, the challenge is simply finding availability.  The ranch is sometimes booked for months or years at a time, hosting such shows as “Deadwood,” “Westworld” and “Peaky Blinders,” as well as numerous films and commercials.  With such high demand as a filming location, the opportunities for tours are quite limited and require much diligence or good timing.

In search of the Brittle Brothers, Schultz and Django make their way to a plantation owned by Big Daddy, played by Don Johnson, supposedly located in Tennessee.  This was filmed at the Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana.  The Evergreen Plantations is available for tours to the public.  This main house can actually be seen from the road, but it is a busy road, so it’s not the safest area to try to grab photos.  We recommend booking a tour, where you can also see other locations from the film not visible from the road.

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LOCATION: 4677 LA-18, Edgard, LA 70049

The pair are seen entering through this front gate.  The dirt trail leading to the house has since grown back over with grass.

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There is a flashback scene of the Brittle Brothers beating Django’s wife Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington.  This was filmed at the back of the Evergreen Plantation, where real housing communities were set up for slaves.

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Django confronts the Brittle Brothers in this area, also located behind the main house at the Evergreen Plantation.  John Brittle is about the beat a woman who is tied to the base of the tree located next to the white barn.  After Django exacts his revenge, Dr. Schultz soon joins him at the scene.

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As Django and Schultz gear up and mount their horses to go in search of Broomhilda, we are back at Melody Ranch.  They first ride out of this building.

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Candyland, the estate of Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was a set constructed for the film.  The exterior was built on the grounds of the Evergreen Plantation, which has since been removed.  The interiors were filmed at Second Line Stages in New Orleans (800 Richard St, New Orleans, LA 70130).

Back in Lone Pine, where the opening of the film takes place, you’ll find the excellent Lone Pine Film History Museum.  During the production, Tarantino would hold screenings for crew members at the museum’s screening room.  At the completion of the film, Tarantino donated the dentist wagon of Dr. Schultz, where it is currently on display.  If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend visiting the museum, which dives deep into the history of the many films shot in the Lone Pine area.

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LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

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Also on display at the museum is a photo of Tarantino and the cast, as well as a signed copy of the script.

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Here is a director’s chair from the film.

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Over at Melody Ranch, they also have their own museum, known as the Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studio Museum.  The collection contains a mixture of memorabilia acquired by the owners over the years, as well as items donated by productions shot at the ranch.  There is a small area focused on “Django Unchained.”

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Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)

Iron Man (2008)

The 2008 film “Iron Man” famously launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is regarded not only as one of the finest Marvel films, but one of the best superhero films ever made.  Early in the film, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr., demonstrates his latest weapon, the “Jericho” missile.  Supposedly set in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, these scenes were actually filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.  Many classic western films have also filmed there over the years, along with more recent films, such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and “Gladiator.”

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LOCATION: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA 93545

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Tony’s iconic Malibu house doesn’t actually exist, it is rather a CGI creation.  However, the land where it’s located is very much real.  Point Dume in Malibu is a public park that is thankfully devoid of any homes.  Instead there is a foot trail and biking path which leads to a beautiful ocean view.  The closest actual home, located directly across the street, is the “Circles on the Point” mansion, another property frequently featured in film and television productions, such as “Color Of Night,” “Glow” and more.  The CGI design of the Stark home is rumored to have been inspired by another mansion; the The Razor House in La Jolla (9826 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037), near San Diego.  The gated access and high cliff walls do not make for convenient photography of the Razor House, however.

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LOCATION: Point Dume, Cliffside Dr / Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

More CGI trickery was used with the Stark Industries building.  The main building is the Masimo headquarters, formerly known as the Nikken Building, in Irvine.  However, the wider shot is a composite of other streets and buildings, including portions of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.  The Masimo building has been used in many other productions, including “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” and “You, Me and Dupree.”

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LOCATION: 52 Discovery, Irvine, CA 92618

Tony attends a charity ball at the Walt Disney Concert Hall near downtown Los Angeles.  The unmistakable design is the work of legendary architect Frank Gehry.

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LOCATION: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tony first conceives the Iron Man suit after he is captured by terrorists.  Once he escapes and builds the suit, he returns to do battle with the Gulmira terrorists.  The bombed out ruins where he makes short work of his enemies was actually a set located on the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita.  As is always the case with movie ranches, the sets are often changed around to meet the needs of the latest productions, but several portions of the Iron Man set still remain recognizable.

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LOCATION: 20019 Blue Cloud Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Some additional views of the area where Iron Man battles the terrorists.

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Here is the spot where Iron Man blows up the tank and walks away, as famously featured in the film’s trailer.  It was dressed heavily by the production to look more war-torn.

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In 2019, the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles held a limited exhibition called “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” which featured Tony’s 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster from the film.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Not far from Alabama Hills in Lone Pine is the excellent Lone Pine Film History Museum.  Props and memorabilia from the many films shot in Lone Pine can be found there, with their primary focus on classic westerns.  They even have a small section of the museum dedicated to Iron Man.  Here are some of the items on display.

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LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Some merchandise promoting the film.

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Some posters and prop recreations.

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This is the suit worn by Robert Downey, Jr. during his “Jericho” missile scenes, filmed in Lone Pine.

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