Movies Filmed (in part) in Apache Junction
Thanks to the neighboring Superstition wilderness and the history and folklore associated with the Superstitions, Apache Junction has provided the backdrop for a handful of films shot in the area. If you’re a longtime movie buff (especially of westerns) then you might have seen places you recognize in the films. Here’s a list of movies shot right here in Apache Junction.
The King, himself, spent some time in Apache Junction while filming 1969’s Charro! In Elvis Presley’s only role that didn’t feature any singing on screen, the King plays Jess Wade, a former member of a gang of outlaws who is tricked into going to a Mexican saloon under the pretense of meeting an old flame. Presley signed up to the project with high hopes after reading the serious, song-free script. The film, although a hit, was not as popular as Presley’s other films. Fans were disappointed by the lack of songs, but the film still made a good profit. Charro! was shot on location at Apacheland Movie Ranch just outside of the Superstitions.
Shot entirely in Arizona, the 1994 film stars Armand Assante as Canaan, a gunfighter who is left nearly blind from fighting in the Civil War. Canaan has sworn to protect an orphaned baby through Mexico on the way to a town where a family will supposedly adopt the baby. Blind Justice was the last full-length movie to be filmed in Apacheland Studio.
The comedy duo comprised of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis also made the trek to Apacheland studios for the filming of Pardners back in 1955. Loosely based on a 1936 Bing Crosby film, Martin and Lewis portray both fathers murdered by masked raiders and the sons who set out to avenge their deaths. During the filming of Pardners, rumors of a split between Martin and Lewis were spreading. When “The End” title appears on the screen, Dean and Jerry address the audience and exclaim: “We’re not ready for ‘The End’ yet!” Then they shoot the letters off the screen with their guns.