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.
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.
LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321
They are seen passing this building.
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.
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.
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.
After the bartender runs out, Schultz prepares some beer for himself and Django.
Here are some views from upstairs.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545
Also on display at the museum is a photo of Tarantino and the cast, as well as a signed copy of the script.
Here is a director’s chair from the film.
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.”
When word began to spread that Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood” would be using practical set dressing to convert Los Angeles back to 1969 block by block, we knew this rare occurrence was something we should capture as much as possible for the fleeting moments it took place.
We typically avoid visiting filming locations while a project is in active production. There are so many moving pieces, restricted areas and things in the way, it almost always proves best to wait until a production has left. However, this film proved to be an exception. Documenting the locations in real time made for a much different, more challenging process. Some areas, such as Hollywood Blvd, were lined with large crowds actively watching for nights on end. Other places, such as the Spahn Ranch set, were quite low profile and known to very few. The locations were so impressive, we’ve deviated a bit from our usual format to show some set dressing and behind the scenes photos. Not everything made it to camera, so we thought it was worthwhile to showcase the level of detail that went into the project. While there are some minor spoilers in this article, we did our best to avoid any major ones.
The early scenes of Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, on the set of “Bounty Law” were filmed at Melody Ranch in Newhall, California. This is not Tarantino’s first time filming at Melody Ranch. Some scenes from”Django Unchained” were also filmed there. Melody Ranch does offer tours to the public, which is a rarity among movie ranches in Southern California. However, the challenge is that it’s a very popular filming location, often booked for months at a time. There are only a few opportunities a year you can successfully book a tour and it is typically on very short notice. Here’s a look at several buildings seen in the film during the “Bounty Law” advertisement.
LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321
Rick and Cliff sit down for an interview along the boardwalk in front of this building. The interior was used extensively as the brothel where Thandie Newton’s character works in “Westworld.” The interior of this building was also featured in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” where Dr. King Schulz has a confrontation with the sheriff.
Rick and Cliff head to Musso & Frank Grill to meet Marvin Schwarzs, played by Al Pacino. Musso & Frank Grill is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, founded over 100 years ago. The restaurant has popped up in numerous films, including “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ed Wood” and “Swingers,” as well as the TV shows “Mad Men” and “Bosch.”
LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Rick and Cliff sit at the bar when Marvin first arrives.
After the meeting, Rick and Cliff head to the parking lot in back and have a quick chat in front of this sign.
The flashback of Rick crashing his car is in front of the Frolic Room on Hollywood Blvd. The same bar was used in such films as “L.A. Confidential” and “The Little Things.”
LOCATION: 6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Rick Dalton lives on Cielo Drive next door to Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. The real entrance to Cielo Dr is seen multiple times in the film. The houses seen in the film are not actually located on the real Cielo, but the Tate house is a pretty close representation of what was there in 1969. Most of Cielo is actually public, but the path up to the former Tate residence is private. The entrance area seen in the film is visible from the public portion of the road.
LOCATION: Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The actual home used as the exterior for Rick Dalton’s house can be found in a cul-de-sac in Studio City. It’s actually one of three locations used in the film to composite Rick’s home, as each of the individual locations lacked specific features needed for the story. The Studio City home was used extensively, however, with many scenes recognizable to it. Unlike Cielo Dr, Alto View Dr is a public road.
LOCATION: 10969 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
The driveway is featured in many scenes in the film, with a large painting of Rick placed on the left side.
Here is the front entrance of the home. The door was painted green in the film.
Rick’s pool overlooking the city is a real pool at the home.
Here is an alternate view of the pool, along with the area where Rick stores his flamethrower.
As Rick is memorizing his lines for an upcoming role at his pool, the camera shifts over to the Tate/Polanski house, which is a geographically accurate shot.
The house next door serves as the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. The home is a departure from how the real house on Cielo appeared, but it serves Tarantino’s story well.
LOCATION: 10974 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
Here is a view of Rick Dalton’s house on the right and the Tate/Polanski gate on the left.
Here’s a closer look at the gate to the Tate residence.
Here is the area where Charles Manson, played by Damon Herriman, parks a Twinkies delivery truck. Cliff observes him from the roof as he goes looking for Terry Melcher.
Here is the road leading into the cul-de-sac of the Dalton and Tate/Polanski residences, which is seen a few times in the film.
After dropping Rick off at his home, Cliff drives at high speeds down Hollywood Blvd as he heads home.
LOCATION: Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Here is Brad Pitt waiving to the crowd on the street.
Tarantino acknowledging the crowd of onlookers as well.
Here’s a deeper look at the set dressing around Hollywood Blvd, which was completely transformed back to 1969 for the film.
Cliff’s trailer, supposedly located on the grounds of the Van Nuys Drive-In Theatre (a real drive-in theater long since closed), was a combination of two locations. The drive-in sign was built by the production at the Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, which now serves as the site of the Santa Clarita Swap Meet. Cliff drives past the white fencing and enters here.
LOCATION: 22500 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350
The camera cranes up over the sign, which was a creation of the production and we’re seamlessly transported to a second location. The drive-in itself is the Paramount Drive-In Theaters.
LOCATION: 7770 Rosecrans Ave, Paramount, CA 90723
Sharon Tate and husband Roman Polanski attend a party at the Playboy Mansion. This was filmed at the real Playboy Mansion (10236 Charing Cross Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90024). The property sits in a residential neighborhood and if you didn’t know what you were looking for, it would be very easy to drive past without any idea. It should be noted this is a private residence and from the street you can mostly just see the front gate.
The scene where Cliff fights Bruce Lee supposedly takes place on a studio backlot. In reality, it was filmed at a high school, with heavy set dressing added to make it appear like a backlot. The school is Excelsior High School in Norwalk, which was also featured in the film “Grease 2.” Cliff sits outside of Rick’s trailer, which is parked in this lot. Randy, played by Kurt Russell, speaks with Rick in his trailer and reluctantly agrees to hire Cliff onto the stunt team.
LOCATION: 15711 Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
Here is the area where the fight between Cliff and Bruce Lee takes place.
Janet, played by Zoë Bell, comes across the two men sparring and insists Cliff be fired on the spot.
The Manson Family girls are introduced digging through the dumpsters at the Super A Foods market. The same market was seen in the films “A Star Is Born” and “Crossroads.”
LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
It’s difficult to see, but the actresses playing the Manson girls, including Harley Quinn Smith, are gathered by the dumpster in the center of this shot.
The Manson girls then walk away with their haul, making their way past this mural of James Dean from the film “Giant.” This was located at a pharmacy just across the street from the Super A Foods market. It was added by the production and is unfortunately no longer painted on the actual location.
LOCATION: 2922 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Here’s a look at some more of the shoot from Super A Foods.
Cliff and Rick stop at this intersection, where Cliff first sees Pussycat, played by Margaret Qualley, crossing the street with the Manson Family girls.
LOCATION: Corbin Ave / Greenbriar Dr, Los Angeles, CA 91356
While driving, Cliff again spots Pussycat sitting in front of the Pandora’s Box nightclub looking for a ride. Pandora’s Box was a real nightclub in West Hollywood, which was at the center of protests over a curfew in 1966. The building was eventually demolished in 1967. For the film, the production recreated the former nightclub at Jospeh’s Cafe on Ivar Ave. Here’s a view of when the production was setting up for the scene.
LOCATION: 1775 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
From the reverse view at the same location, Cliff can be seen in his car with the Capitol Records building in the background.
Here’s a couple more shots from when the Pandora’s Box shoot was prepping.
On her way to the theater, Sharon picks up a hitchhiker on Wilshire Blvd.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Wilshire Blvd / S Beverly Glen Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Sharon stops by the Bruin Theater to watch herself in the film “The Wrecking Crew” with Dean Martin. The Bruin is still in operation, though the marquee is now digital. Fatboy Slim’s music video for “Praise You” shot in front of the same theater.
LOCATION: 948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
The Fox Theater right across the street is also seen in several shots.
LOCATION: 961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Here’s a closer look at the Fox Theater, with the finished marquee for the film.
Here is the view across the street from the Bruin Theater, when it was dressed for filming.
Here is the exterior of the book store Sharon Tate visits. It’s not a book store in realty, but this is what it looked like when it was fully dressed.
LOCATION: 10909 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
This travel agency was also seen in the film. It was another creation of the production and not an actual travel agency.
Here are some more views of the area when production was in progress.
Cliff takes Rick down Hollywood Blvd and they pass the famous Pantages Theater.
LOCATION:6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cliff runs into Pussycat once again in front of Jackalope Pottery in North Hollywood.
LOCATION: 10726 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Here is the area when filming was taking place. It was overflowing with crew at the corner.
Just across the street, Quentin Tarantino stood on the right, along with Rick Dalton’s car on the street.
Pussycat takes Cliff to Spahn Ranch, which was a very accurate recreation built at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley. Originally the production hoped to film at the real Spahn Ranch, but due to the fact that the entrances were bulldozed over, it made the land difficult for building sets. Much like Spahn Ranch, the nearby Corriganville is also a former movie ranch which hosted many westerns in during the 1950s and 1960s, before being destroyed by widlfires. The land now operates as a public park, but there are many signs explaining the land’s film history and the frames of the old buildings are still in the ground.
The Spahn Ranch set took a couple months to build, but when it was finished, it shot very quickly and was demolished just a few weeks later. Having done plenty of research on the real Spahn Ranch and The Manson Family long before this film was ever announced, we were quite well versed in the subject matter. Standing in person at what was a near exact, full scale replica of Spahn Ranch remains one of the most memorable location experiences we’ve ever had. The production design and attention to detail was incredible. If you go there now, it’s empty land again, but here we’ll take a look at when the set existed.
LOCATION: 7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063 (Spahn Ranch sets now demolished)
George Spahn’s house plays a key role in the scene, as Cliff insists on speaking with the old man, played by Bruce Dern.
Some more views of the Spahn house.
Here is a view of the front of the Spahn set, including the famous truck. The signs for the Longhorn Saloon and Rock City Cafe are spot on to the original ranch.
Here is the horse stable area where Clem sits on the fence.
Here are some more views around the ranch.
After leaving Spahn Ranch, Cliff picks up Rick in front of the Columbia Pictures building. This is actually in front of Paramount Pictures Studio Tour building.
LOCATION: 5515 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Rick is photographed with a new love interest in tow at a restaurant, supposedly located in Rome, Italy. This is actually the Cicada Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. The interior is also seen in another scene of Marvin Schwarz calling Rick as he sits at the bar. The restaurant has been featured in numerous films, such as “Mank” “Pretty Woman,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Indecent Proposal,” “Suicide Squad” and “Bruce Almighty,” as well as such TV shows as “Mad Men, “The Morning Show” and “American Horror Story.”
LOCATION: 617 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Rick returns from Italy with his costar. The couple is seen walking past the wall tiles of Terminal 6 at LAX Airport. These tiles can be found along the pedestrian tunnel in the lower level and are only accessible to airline passengers and staff, as they make their way to baggage claim or the exits. Tarantino also filmed Pam Grier in this area in the opening of “Jackie Brown.”
LOCATION: Terminal 6, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (lower level, arrivals area)
In the third act, a montage of businesses are shown turning on their neon lights as night falls, leading up to the conclusion of the film.
An old Taco Bell is also shown. This was located much further south in Tunstin. The building was abandoned and the production came and made it look like an operational Taco Bell from 1969.
LOCATION: 14232 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780
The famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood is seen next.
LOCATION: 6360 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Vine Theater on Hollywood Blvd is also seen. This was part of the production design for when Cliff is seen driving home early in the film.
LOCATION: 6321 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Supply Sergeant sign is also seen illuminating. This remains an active business on Hollywood Blvd.
LOCATION: 6664 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Chili John’s in Burbank is also briefly seen.
LOCATION: 2018 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506
Der Wienerschnitzel is actually a taco stand today, which the production altered to make it appear like it did back in the 1960s.
LOCATION: 1910 W Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90810
Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski have dinner that evening at the El Coyote restaurant. This is where the real people ate that night and the film shot at the actual location.
LOCATION: 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Here is a view of the front entrance of El Coyote, which remains in business to this day.
Rick and Cliff have dinner at the same evening at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.
LOCATION: 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
The location actually appears twice in the film, with one of the booths inside also standing in as a restaurant supposedly in Spain.
We leave you with Quentin Tarantino’s hand and foot prints in front of the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. While in no way a filming location, we felt it was nevertheless fitting to include.
LOCATION: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
It was a unique experience walking through 1969 with the production and we hope these photos help you share in that experience. There’s actually many locations we captured where the production shot, but were not featured in the final film. Perhaps there will be a longer or alternate cut someday. For now, we’ll keep to the places that made it into the film.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a look inside Seth’s house, where he is seen walking down these stairs.
Here are the train tracks and station platform where visitors arrive.
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.
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.
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.”
Here is a view of the upstairs.
This is the bar where Wild Bill Hickok, played by Keith Carrodine, is killed in the show.
In the film, Calamity Jane, played by Robin Weigert, returns to the bar to pay her respects.
The outside of the jail of Marshall Seth Bullock.
The interior of the jail.
This is the area where Seth tracks down Charlie’s killers and has a brief standoff with them.
Mr. Wu is relieved when his son escapes unharmed.
We leave you with a view down the main street of Deadwood, where the sets stood tall one last time.