3 Famous Movies and Films Set in North Dakota

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Alright, let's admit it: North Dakota isn't strictly Hollywood. There haven't been many movies filmed here. After removing the documentaries about the state's current state of affairs, you're left with only these five. One of them is technically a documentary, but not about North Dakota. I find this surprising. The badlands would be an excellent backdrop for a western, wouldn't it? We also have a lot of picturesque small towns that are perfect for feel-good movies.

Check out these famous movies and films set in North Dakota:

Valley of Bones (2017)

As a disgraced paleontologist struggles to raise her son, a recovering meth addict tells her about a groundbreaking dig site in the Badlands, but his ties to the cartel threaten to destroy them both.

The adventure thriller "Valley of Bones" takes place in the oil-rich Badlands of western North Dakota. McCoy, a meth-addicted oil worker, and Anna, a single mother, and paleontologist, form an unlikely bond as they struggle to atone for their criminal pasts. But, it was a T that held their hopes. The discovery of a T. rex fossil could be worth millions. To restore Anna's career and relationship with her son, she needs to stumble upon this once-in-a-lifetime find. The money McCoy needs will enable him to repay a local cartel boss and save his unfortunate daughter. Anna and McCoy are at odds over the bones, but can they trust one another, or will they soon become adversaries themselves?

Filming locations:

  • Bowman, North Dakota, USA
  • Pitchfork Ranch, Amidon, North Dakota, USA
  • Badlands, North Dakota, USA

A Different American Dream (2016)

A nation of Indians in North Dakota finds itself at a critical point in its long history. A recent oil boom on the Fort Berthold Reservation has caused catastrophic damage to the land and culture of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

A Different American Dream examines the impact of the recent oil boom on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota. Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations (MHA), the reservation, sit on the banks of Lake Sakakawea, a body of water that covers sacred lands threatened by fracking waste. Amidst the chaos of the oil boom, the film opens with trucks, rigs, pumps, tankers, trains, and sirens. These people on the edge of the Badlands are inextricably linked with the dystopian landscape in the film, whose lives are inextricably linked to a splendid place. On Fort Berthold Reservation, the oil industry has caused tremendous cultural and environmental damage. The book addresses the urgent social, ecological, and spiritual threat facing the ancestral homelands of the MHA Nation.

Filming location: 

  • North Dakota, USA

Pinching Penny (2011)

Pinching Penny is a story of two small-time crooks, Alex and Murphy try to support their spending habits by robbing and stealing until one ill-fated heist brings them face-to-face with Teddi, their new femme fatale. The two small-time crooks Alex and Murphy, try to support their spending habits by robbing and stealing until one ill-fated heist brings them face-to-face with Teddi, their new femme fatale.

An addict of consumerism turns to crime after becoming a hypochondriac in the UK. His obsession worsens, and his life falls into absurdity as he plunges deeper and deeper into depravity.

Filming location: 

  • Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Bonus: Here are more famous movies and films set in North Dakota that you should watch right now!

  • Dakota (1945)
  • Fargo (1996)
  • Three Faces West (1940)
  • Leprechaun (1993)
  • Wooly Boys (2001)

Have you watched any films set in North Dakota? Please share them in the comment section below! I would really love to read form you.









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