Entertainment

Did You Know These 16 Films Are Set In North Dakota?

by on Dec 4, 2015
 

While the famous film “Fargo” is widely known, it isn’t the only film that was set in North Dakota.

After researching movies and reading through their detailed descriptions, we have found 16 films, including “Fargo,” that are set in North Dakota. Some of these titles will seem familiar, but some of them may not jump out at you.  Check out our list of films and consider taking a peek at them.

Dakota

Released in 1945, Dakota is set in 1871 Dakota and is about two crooked businessmen who oppose the local wheat farmers and the railroad development going on. The businessmen oppose the farmers and railroads in order to control the town of lovely Fargo, North Dakota.

Dakota was directed by Joseph Kane and was originally written by Carl Foreman. Lawrence Hazard wrote the screenplay for the film and Howard Estabrook was responsible for the adaptation. The cast of the film includes John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, On a Munson and several more actors.

 

Dakota

Fargo

Released in 1996, Fargo follows the crime committed by Jerry Lundegaard, whose “inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen’s bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.”

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film is homespun murder story. Actors and actresses in Fargo include William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrud, Harve Presnell,Tony Denman and several more.

Fargo

Bugles in the Afternoon

Bugles in the Afternoon was released in 1952. The film’s story line follows the life of cavalry Captain Kern Shaftner who violently attacked fellow officer Lt. Edward Garnett and was then court martialled. He later rejoins the army with “Custer’s regiment at Fort Lincoln, Dakota,” as a sergeant and runs into his old foe, Lt. Edward Garnett.

Roy Rowland directed the film, and written by Daniel Mainwaring and Harry Brown who based the film off of the novel by Ernest Haycox.  The cast includes Ray Milland, Helena Carter, Hugh Marlow, Forrest Tucker, Barton MacLane and several others.

Bugles in the Afternoon

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp, released in 2006, is a documentary film that follows kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

The film was directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. The cast, who all played themselves, consist of Lou Engle, Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard and Mike Papantonio.

Jesus Camp

Three Faces West

Three Faces West was released in 1940.  The movie, which is another John Wayne film, is about Viennese surgeon Dr. Braun and his daughter Leni who come to a small town in North Dakota as refugees from Hitler. When the winds of the Dust Bowl threaten the town, John Phillips leads the townsfolk in moving to greener pastures in Oregon. During the movie, Phillips falls for Leni, but she is betrothed to the man who helped her and her father escape from the Third Reich. This leaves Leni with a difficult decision, she must choose between the two men.

Bernard Vorhaus directed the film and the original screenplay was written by F. Hugh Herbert, Joseph Moncure March and Samuel Ornitz.  Actors and actresses in the film include John Wayne, Sigrid Gurie, Charles Coburn, Spencer Charters, Helen MacKeller, Roland Varno and many more.

Three Faces West

Pinching Penny

Released in 2011, Pinching Penny is about a British hypochondriac who turns to crime after becoming addicted to consumerism. His obsession gets worse and his life quickly falls “into the absurd and he continues to spend himself deeper and deeper into depravity.”

Pinching Penny was directed by Dan Glaser, who also wrote the film with the help of Timothy J. Meyer. The cast includes Steven Molony, Timothy J. Meyer, Maddisyn Carter and many more actors and actresses.

Pinching Penny

Leprechaun

The 1993 horror film Leprechaun follows an evil, sadistic Leprechaun who goes on a killing rampage while searching for his beloved pot of gold.

Mark Jones is the director of the film and the cast includes Warwick Davis, Jennifer Anniston, Ken Olandt, Mark Holton and several others.

Leprechaun

Flight of the Red Tail

The Flight of the Red Tail was released in 2009 and follows the reconstruction of a partially destroyed P-51 Mustang named “Tuskegee Airmen.” The film “details the efforts, and sacrifices of a small group of aircraft restorers to tell the story of forgotten American veterans, the Tuskegee Airmen, using this antique plane. A group inspired by the perseverance of those veterans’ acts some 60 years ago. Just as the aircraft begins to take shape, tragedy strikes when head restorer Gerry Beck is killed in an accident. Now as the restoration team recovers from another lost friend, their pilot Brad Lang prepares to be a pilot of the rebuilt Mustang. A journey to be compared to the trailblazers he’s hoping to honor.”

Adam N. White directed the film and the cast, who played themselves, consists of James Kisicki (narrator), Ben Hinz, Mark Tisler, Brad Lang, Doug Rozendaal and Cindy Beck.

Flight of the Red Tail

Wooly Boys

Released in 2001, Wooly Boys is the story of “a sheep rancher’s visit to the big city triggers a mischevious adventure with his teenage computer-whiz grandson.”

The film was directed by Leszek Burzynski and written by Max Enscoe, Annie DeYoung, Glen Stephens, George ‘Buck’ Flower and Ed Hansen. The cast includes Peter Fonda, Kris Kristofferson, Joseph Mazzello, Keith Carradine, Robin Dearden and several others.

Wooly Boys

The Purchase Price

The 1932 film The Purchase Price follows the life of a torch singer who becomes a mail-order bride for a farmer.

William A. Wellman directed the film and his cast included Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Lyle Talbot, Hardie Albright and more actors and actresses.

The Purchase Price

The Far Horizons

The Far Horizons was released in 1955 and is set when the U.S. acquired Louisiana from France. The film follows “an expedition led by Lewis and Clark is sent to survey the territory and go where no white man has gone before.”

The movie was directed by Rudolph Mate and was written by Winston Miller and Edmund H. North who based the film off of the novel by Della Gould Emmons. The actors and actresses in the film include Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston, Donna Reed, Barbara Hale, William Demarest and more.

The Far Horizons

Northern Lights

Released during 1978, Northern Lights is about the “bitter-sweet story of young lovers caught up in an political struggle waged by farmers against the grain trade, the banks and the railroads.”

The film was directed by John Hanson and Rob Nilsson, and the cast includes Robert Behling, Susan Lynch, Joe Spano and several others.

Northern Lights

The Messengers

Released in 2007, The Messengers is a drama, horror, thriller film that is set at a sunflower farm in North Dakota. The story line follows an ominous darkness that takes over the peaceful farm that the Solomon family lives at. The family is then ripped a part by suspicion, mayhem and worst of all, murder.

Danny Pang and Oxide Chnun Pang directed the film and it was written by Mark Wheaton and Todd Farmer. The cast includes Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, Kristen Stewart and many more actors and actresses.

The Messengers

My Father's Garden

My Father’s Garden was released in 1996 and is a documentary about the use and misuse of technology on American farms. The main focus of the film is on Fred Kirschenmann, an organic farmer and leader in the sustainable agriculture movement. Kirschenmann’s message is deep and serious, which you will come to understand from the film.

Intertwined with Kirschenmann’s story is the personal narrative of the filmmaker, Miranda Smith, which is told through home movies from the 1950’s. Smith’s father was a successful and innovative farmer who was present during the chemical era in agriculture. “His use of the new miracle sprays enabled him to utterly transform their Florida farm into a man-made paradise.”

“My Father’s Garden is a story about hope. By examining the central philosophies that guide our relationship with nature, the film shows how each of us can bring health and beauty back into the Garden, our planet.”

As mentioned before, the film was directed by Miranda Smith and written by Nathaniel Kahn and Abigail Wright.

My Father's Garden

With the Students of the North Dakota Agricultural College

The documentary film With the Students of the North Dakota Agricultural College, was released in 1913 and is one of Selig Polyscope Company’s “educational pictures, showing a notable trip of the students of the North Dakota Agricultural College on a trip through the great Northwest. The students show their practicability in caring for every detail on this trip.”

This film is a silent, black and white film.

Abolition of Shame: A North Dakota Homecoming

Abolition of Shame: A North Dakota Homecoming was released in 1993 and takes a look at the ARC lawsuit against the state of North Dakota. The lawsuit that was filed by the ARC was for the historical warehousing of those at the San Haven State Hospital, specifically those who were mentally ill.

The film was directed by Art Phillips and written by Dan Lien.

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