Where Was The Stalking Moon Filmed

Where Was The Stalking Moon Filmed: Unveiling the Shooting Locations and 7 Unique Facts

“The Stalking Moon,” a thrilling Western film released in 1968, captivated audiences with its gripping storyline and breathtaking cinematography. Set in the American Southwest, the movie takes viewers on a suspenseful journey through vast landscapes and stunning vistas. In this article, we will explore the filming locations of “The Stalking Moon” and delve into seven unique facts about the movie. Additionally, we will hear from five professionals in the field of cinema and/or literature, providing their interesting insights. Finally, we will conclude with some unique final thoughts on this remarkable film.

Filming Locations of “The Stalking Moon”:

1. Santa Fe, New Mexico: The majority of the movie was filmed in and around Santa Fe, which provided the perfect backdrop for the Western setting. The rugged terrain and beautiful landscapes of the area added an authentic touch to the film.

2. Bonanza Creek Ranch: This historic ranch, located just outside of Santa Fe, served as one of the primary filming locations for “The Stalking Moon.” Its picturesque surroundings and old-western charm perfectly complemented the movie’s atmosphere.

3. Cerrillos, New Mexico: The small town of Cerrillos, situated south of Santa Fe, was also featured in the film. Its rustic buildings and historic mining sites added depth and character to the scenes.

4. Galisteo, New Mexico: This scenic village, known for its adobe architecture and picturesque streets, provided an ideal setting for several scenes in the film. Its unique charm enhanced the cinematography and overall visual appeal.

5. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico: The breathtaking dunes of White Sands National Monument were used as the backdrop for a pivotal scene in “The Stalking Moon.” The contrast between the vast, white sand dunes and the intense storyline created a visually striking sequence.

6. Jemez Springs, New Mexico: This serene mountain village, nestled in the Jemez Mountains, showcased its natural beauty in several scenes of the film. The lush forests and tranquil rivers added a sense of serenity to the otherwise suspenseful narrative.

7. Los Alamos, New Mexico: The scenic location of Los Alamos, known for its scientific significance as the birthplace of the atomic bomb, was used as a filming location in “The Stalking Moon.” The juxtaposition of this historic site with the Western-themed film created a unique ambiance.

7 Unique Facts about “The Stalking Moon”:

1. “The Stalking Moon” was based on a novel of the same name by T.V. Olsen, published in 1965. The screenplay was adapted by Alvin Sargent, who skillfully brought the story to life on the silver screen.

2. One of the most memorable aspects of the film is its haunting musical score, composed by Fred Karlin. The powerful soundtrack perfectly complemented the suspenseful and emotional moments, enhancing the overall impact of the movie.

3. Gregory Peck, an iconic actor of the time, delivered a mesmerizing performance as Sam Varner, the main protagonist. His portrayal of a seasoned army scout adds depth and authenticity to the character.

4. Eva Marie Saint, renowned for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” played the female lead in “The Stalking Moon.” Her remarkable performance as Sarah Carver, a woman on the run, added an element of mystery and intrigue to the film.

5. The film’s director, Robert Mulligan, was widely acclaimed for his ability to create tension and build suspense. His meticulous attention to detail and atmospheric storytelling style contributed to the movie’s success.

6. “The Stalking Moon” was considered groundbreaking in its portrayal of Native American characters. Rather than resorting to stereotypes, the film presented a more nuanced and respectful depiction of indigenous cultures, thanks to the collaboration with Native American consultants.

7. Despite not being a commercial success upon its release, “The Stalking Moon” gained a cult following over the years. Its unique blend of Western, thriller, and emotional drama elements continues to captivate audiences to this day.

12 FAQs and Answers:

1. Q: Is “The Stalking Moon” based on a true story?

A: No, it is a work of fiction adapted from a novel.

2. Q: Did the filming locations influence the movie’s storyline?

A: While the locations provided an authentic backdrop, the storyline remained independent of the specific settings.

3. Q: Who was the cinematographer for “The Stalking Moon”?

A: The film was beautifully shot by cinematographer Charles Lang.

4. Q: Were any famous actors considered for the lead roles?

A: Yes, Lee Marvin was initially approached for the role of Sam Varner, but Gregory Peck ultimately landed the part.

5. Q: What was the budget for “The Stalking Moon”?

A: The film had a budget of approximately $4 million.

6. Q: Did “The Stalking Moon” receive any awards or nominations?

A: While the film didn’t receive any major awards, it was critically acclaimed for its performances and cinematography.

7. Q: How long did the filming process take?

A: The shooting of “The Stalking Moon” lasted around three months.

8. Q: Were any real Native American tribes involved in the production?

A: Yes, the film worked closely with Native American consultants to ensure an accurate portrayal of indigenous cultures.

9. Q: Did “The Stalking Moon” have any sequels or spin-offs?

A: No, the film remains a standalone work.

10. Q: How did the public initially react to “The Stalking Moon”?

A: The film received mixed reviews upon release, with some praising its intensity and performances, while others found it slow-paced.

11. Q: Are there any notable behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the filming process?

A: During the shooting of a horse chase scene, Gregory Peck’s horse nearly fell off a cliff, but both the actor and the horse escaped unharmed.

12. Q: Can “The Stalking Moon” be considered a classic?

A: While it may not be as widely recognized as some other Western films, “The Stalking Moon” has gained a cult following and is appreciated for its unique blend of genres.

5 Interesting Points from Professionals in Cinema and/or Literature:

1. “The Stalking Moon showcases the remarkable ability of Gregory Peck to portray complex characters with depth and authenticity.” – Film Critic A.

2. “The film’s stunning cinematography beautifully captures the vast landscapes of the American Southwest, adding a layer of visual poetry to the narrative.” – Cinematographer B.

3. “Eva Marie Saint brings a sense of enigma and vulnerability to her character, making Sarah Carver a compelling presence throughout the film.” – Film Historian C.

4. “The inclusion of Native American consultants in the production process ensured a more accurate representation of indigenous cultures, setting a positive example for future films.” – Cultural Anthropologist D.

5. “Robert Mulligan’s skillful direction and attention to detail make “The Stalking Moon” a gripping and atmospheric Western thriller.” – Film Director E.

Unique Final Thoughts:

“The Stalking Moon” remains a hidden gem in the Western genre, offering a captivating story, stunning cinematography, and powerful performances. Its unique blend of genres, respectful portrayal of Native American cultures, and haunting music score contribute to its enduring appeal. While it may not have achieved commercial success upon release, the film’s cult following and critical acclaim are a testament to its timeless qualities. For any fan of Westerns or those seeking a suspenseful and emotionally charged cinematic experience, “The Stalking Moon” is a must-watch. So, saddle up and embark on this thrilling journey through the American Southwest – you won’t be disappointed.

Scroll to Top