The pastoral setting and historic buildings of the acclaimed living history museum El Rancho de las Golondrinas (“The Ranch of the Swallows) have appeared in numerous films and television series.
Devoted to the region's Spanish, Mexican and Territorial heritage, the museum is yours to explore on a self-guided film tour when it's open, June through October.
Highlights include locations for the 2020 Western News of the World starring Tom Hanks, who visits a 19th-century schoolhouse and farm field. When he rescues the young girl Johanna, who's fallen into a river, the scene was actually shot in the museum's parking lot, with giant green screens creating the illusion of water. The 2003 Western The Missing, starring Tommie Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett and set in 1885, was filmed at the museum's rustic Mora House, where Jones crashes through a movie glass window and Val Kilmer puts in a cameo appearance playing a U.S. Army officer in charge of a group of Apaches. (Kilmer was then living on a nearby ranch.)
A night scene in the 2000 Western All the Pretty Horses, based on the novel by Santa Fe resident Cormac McCarthy and starring Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz, was filmed at the museum's Sierra Village. The bright lights from the tall cranes kept the neighbors up. The director of the 1994 Western biography Wyatt Earp, starring Kevin Costner as the legendary lawman, had to yell “Cut” when lightning struck the ground close to where the hero was walking away from his wife's grave.
Other productions filmed at El Rancho de las Golondrinas include:
Better Call Saul, Season 5, 2019
The Kid, 2019
Godless, 2017 (Diablo Canyon)
Comanche Moon, 2006 (Bonanza Creek Ranch, private movie ranches)
Into the West, 2005
Young Guns, 1988 (Los Cerrillos)
Walker Texas Ranger, 1993-2001 (Diablo Canyon)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, (1969)