Deadwood

The David Milch TV series “Deadwood,” despite garnering critical acclaim and a loyal fan base, prematurely ended after three seasons back in 2006.  Since then, various attempts to tie the story up have been made, with many doubts it would ever happen.  In 2019, however, it finally did and the show was given the opportunity to reach a satisfying conclusion with “Deadwood: The Movie.”  Please note if you’ve not watched the film, this article contains spoilers.

While set in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota, both the original TV series, as well as the movie, were primarily shot in Newhall, California at Melody Ranch.  Another renowned HBO series, “Westworld,” shot at the same ranch, where it served as the town of Sweetwater.  The production designers did a great job of giving each show a much different look from one another.

Melody Ranch is private property, inaccessible to the general public most of the time.  However, the ranch does in fact offer tours (something of a rarity for movie ranches), with the caveat being that no tours occur whenever active production is taking place on the ranch.  The challenge is the fact that production is almost always taking place there.  So opportunities for the general public to see it are rare and not something you can plan much in advance.  You simply need good timing or a lot of persistence.  In years past, the ranch also hosted the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, which also allowed the public inside, but due to the heavy demand of productions over recent years, the festival has relocated elsewhere.

Given that the “Deadwood” show and movie are tied together as one narrative, this article is intended to cover both, but once it was clear the original show would not return after the third season, many of the sets were remodeled, dismantled or shifted around, as often happens on studio lots.  When filming for the movie finally got up and running in 2018, much of the sets had to be recreated.  Since the story in the film picks up 10 years later, as South Dakota is entering into statehood, many of the sets also had to be updated to reflect the passage of time.  The photographs in this article showcase the movie’s sets.

Much like the original show, most of these sets have since been repurposed or dismantled after filming completed, in order to make way for new productions coming in.  Here we offer a glimpse into that brief moment in time where Deadwood stood in full glory once again.

LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

The most famous location is of course the Gem Saloon, owned by Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), who would often stand on the balcony overlooking the activities of the town.

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The Grand Central Hotel is where the villainous Senator George Hearst, played by Gerald McRaney, takes residence.  He too often stood out on the balcony, engaging in verbal jousts with the residents of Deadwood.

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Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant, lives in this house at the end of the main street of Deadwood.  This location had long been demolished since the original show, with the original blueprints lost.  The production designer had to study the original show footage in detail in order to rebuild the set for the film.

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Here is a look inside Seth’s house, where he is seen walking down these stairs.

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Here are the train tracks and station platform where visitors arrive.

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After running a hardware store with Seth, Sol Star, played by John Hawkes now lives with Trixie at the Bullock & Star Hotel.  In the film, as Hearst rides through the streets in a parade, Trixie stands on the hotel balcony and berates him.

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The Bella Union, owned by Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) in the series, is now owned by Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens) in the film.  The same building was famously used as the brothel in Westworld where Thandie Newton’s character works.  It’s also seen in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” when Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters are interviewed on a western set.

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Here is the interior of the Bella Union, which viewers of “Westworld” should immediately recognize as the The Mariposa Saloon, where Maeve works.  It also appeared in the film “Django Unchained.”

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Here is a view of the upstairs.

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This is the bar where Wild Bill Hickok, played by Keith Carrodine, is killed in the show.

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In the film, Calamity Jane, played by Robin Weigert, returns to the bar to pay her respects.

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The outside of the jail of Marshall Seth Bullock.

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The interior of the jail.

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This is the area where Seth tracks down Charlie’s killers and has a brief standoff with them.

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Mr. Wu is relieved when his son escapes unharmed.

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We leave you with a view down the main street of Deadwood, where the sets stood tall one last time.

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Color Of Night (1994)

Much of the 1994 film “Color of Night” takes place at a mansion belonging to Bob, played by Scott Bakula, but which is occupied by Bill, played by Bruce Willis, for the majority of the film.  The house is known as the Circles on the Point mansion and can be found directly across from Point Dume in Malibu, California.

The mansion has appeared in several other productions, including the TV series “GLOW” and “Jean-Claude Van Johnson,” as well as the low-budget 2000 drama “Ritual.”  It is also worth noting that the house of Tony Stark in the “Iron Man” films, while a CGI creation, was superimposed to be located at Point Dume, which is directly across the street from this home, making it the closest actual residence Stark’s fictional home.

Here is the driveway to the house, which is seen several times in the film, including when Bill opens the mailbox to discover a rattlesnake inside.  It’s no longer the same mailbox, as the one seen in the film was built into a rock, but it’s located in the same area.

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LOCATION: 29377 Cliffside Dr, Malibu, CA 90265

Here is a view of the front of the house.  The circular opening on the left is where arguably the most famous scene from the film takes place; Bill’s sex scene with Rose, played by Jane March.  The camera pulls back through the opening as the two fall into the pool.  The pool is the same one shown in the film, but is not visible from the street.

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Point Dume is directly across the street, which is also seen in the film, when Bill and Bob ride their bikes up the trail.

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

Bill meets Anderson, played by Eriq La Salle, as the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.  A popular eating spot, Grand Central Market has appeared in many films, including “La La Land,” “National Treasure,” “Midnight Run” and many more.

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LOCATION: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Bill visits Casey and climbs the fire escape to enter this building.  It is perhaps most famously know and the location of Paddy’s Pub from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” although the view on that show is from Palmetto St and the angle seen here is from Mateo St.

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LOCATION: 544 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Halloween II (2009)

For Rob Zombie’s 2009 sequel, “Halloween II,” various towns in Georgia were used as a composite for the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois.  The opening scenes of the film, however, used footage from the first film for Smith’s Grove Sanitarium.  The location is a Veteran’s Hospital in North Hills, California.  There are quite a number of buildings on site and it can be tricky finding the exact spot used in the film. To locate it, you must first turn onto Puller Rd.  Each building has a large number on it.  A bit down Puller Rd, you’ll see the building from the film, which is building 4.  It can be easily identified by the long wall surrounding the yard in front of it.

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LOCATION: 16111 Plummer St, North Hills, CA 91343

The story picks up moments after the first film, even though the two productions took place far across the country from one another.  Laurie walks the streets of the town square of Covington, Georgia, which has been seen in dozens of productions, such as “Cannonball Run,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Vampire Diaries” and many more.  This shot is from Covington Square, looking toward the courthouse.

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LOCATION: 2101 Washington St SW, Covington, GA 30014

The Myers house can also be found in Covington, not far from the town square.

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LOCATION: 2166 Conyers St SE, Covington, GA 30014

Sheriff Brackett’s house can be found over in Newborn, Georgia.  The house sits far back from the road.

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LOCATION: 1981 Broughton Rd, Newborn, GA 30056

Back in Covington, Laurie come across a new book by Dr. Loomis at a local bookstore.

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LOCATION: 1113 Floyd St NE, Covington, GA 30014

The Haddonfield Police Department is actually a courthouse, located in Madison, Georgia.

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LOCATION: Morgan County Court House, Madison, GA 30650 (at the corner of Hancock St / Jefferson St)

Last, but not least, we leave you with Rob Zombie’s star paver, located in Covington, Georgia.  Sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood of the South,” Covington began their own walk of fame, lining the sidewalks with engraved pavers noting the many stars and productions that have graced the town.

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Related articles: Halloween (2007), House Of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005), 3 From Hell (2019)