Thelma & Louise
1991. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), MGM Home Entertainment, Color, Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1, 130 minutes, Rated R
Release Date: May 24, 1991
Thelma & Louise is available at Amazon.com on DVD, Blu-ray, and VHS.
Movie Synopsis: Two Arkansas women plan a weekend cabin trip, but when surprisingly caught up in a murder, they turn into wild and crazy fugitives on the run from law enforcement in a journey across the American Southwest.
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt, Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, Stephen Tabolowsky, Lucinda Jenney, Timothy Carhart
Director: Ridley Scott
Thoughts on the Movie:
Lets get real. Thelma & Louise was not only a Hollywood blockbuster, it is without a doubt the most basic kind of good entertainment. Its got it all: extremely likable characters, a dramatic storyline, breathtaking scenes of the Great Southwest (the top priority here!) and enough action-adventure for anybodys lifetime. This movie is one of my favorites and it just keeps popping out of the DVD drawer. Thelma & Louise is a perfect Saturday night sit-back-and-enjoy movie. And forget about calling this a chick flick. Its for everyone.
Im so glad this movie made it to the screen; it was a long journey to its fruition (see Movie Trivia details below). Its such a classic that its hard to believe it didnt just exist some place in time and space forever. The casting is right on: Susan Sarandon was made for her role as Louise, as was Geena Davis (as Thelma). Everything in this movie just seems so real, despite the fact that its clearly over the top. I think we all have a bit of wonderlust in our hearts, and this movie allows us to experience that vicariously. Funny how there wasnt a sudden outbreak of crazy copycat female bankrobbing duos in 1992. This is simply good, clean fun for all. ~Jean
Dead Horse Point, near Moab, Utah (see Map)
This location was used for the end of the movie, when Thelma and Louise go flying into the canyon in the Thunderbird convertible. The end credits begin with the car frozen in the air, as it flies off the ground and towards the river below. Dead Horse Point is a part of Dead Horse Point State Park.
Right: The amazing location of Dead Horse Point was chosen for the climatic final scene in Thelma & Louise.
About Dead Horse Point State Park:
Dead Horse Point State Park is located on State Route 313, 18 miles off Highway 191, and about 30 miles southwest of Moab, Utah. To reach the area, drive north from Moab on Highway 191, for about 9 miles. At the Dead Horse Point State Park, turn left onto SR 313. Youll come upon a series of hairpin curves, and then at about 14.5 miles from where you turned onto SR 313, a left fork in the road leads to Dead Horse Point State Park.
The Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway, on Highway 313, takes about two hours to drive and passes through about 35 miles of red rock canyons. Dead Horse Point is open every day from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Visitor Center/Museum is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The area includes a campground thats open year-round, nearly a dozen miles of hiking trails, a nature walk, and picnic areas. Camping reservations for the park can be made at the Utah State Parks website, which also includes a list of daily activities at the park. Please take water with you... all water has to be trucked into Dead Horse Point Park.
The legend regarding how Dead Horse Point got its name is quite literal. Cowboys would run wild horses into the Point, which served as a natural corral. But on one occasion, which no one can explain, horses were left on a portion of the Point where theres no water, and they died of thirst. Hence, Dead Horse Point.
About Moab, Utah:
Moab, Utah (population 4,779; elevation 4,026 feet; 38° 34 21 N, 109° 32 59 W) is located in the southeastern part of the state on State Highway 191. Moab is located on the Colorado River nestled in a linear valley lined with precipitous red rock cliffs. The town is an oasis surrounded by an extremely rugged and beautiful terrain, with predominantly desert features. Moab is approximately 8 miles away from Arches National Park and 32 miles away from the Islands in the Sky entrance to Canyonlands National Park, making it a major tourist destination. Since 1949, the Moab area has been a popular location for Hollywood movies. In existence for 60 years, the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission holds the title of the longest running film commission in North America.
Right: Another spectacular view of Dead Horse Point, a pivotal location in the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise.
Lodging & Dining:
The Moab Diner. 189 South Main, Moab, Utah
Locals love this diner and so do the visitors to Moab. For breakfast: pancakes, omelettes, french toast, biscuits-n-gravy or a breakfast burrito. For lunch or dinner: kokopelli chicken sandwich or specialty burgers, like a miners mushroom or green chile burger. For dessert: sundaes, banana splits, and ice cream cones. All the fun of an old-fashioned diner in the beautiful setting of Moab.
Although the setting for the film is a fictional route between Arkansas and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the movie was filmed almost entirely in the states of California and Utah. Scenes for the film were also shot in Bakersfield, California; Bedrock, Colorado; Silver Bullet Saloon, Long Beach, California; Vagabond Inn, Los Angeles, California; and Howard Johnsons Lodge, Thousand Oaks, California.
Callie Khouri won an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
Callie Khouri won a Golden Globe for Best ScreenplayMotion Picture.
Callie Khouri won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
Right: This breathtaking special effects scene was shot at Dead Horse Point for the action film Thelma & Louise.
Callie Khouri was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best ScreenplayOriginal.
Susan Sarandon won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress.
Susan Sarandon won the London Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the Year.
Susan Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Susan Sarandon was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion PictureDrama.
Susan Sarandon was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress.
Geena Davis won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress.
Geena Davis was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Geena Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion PictureDrama.
Geena Davis was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress.
Ridley Scott won the London Critics Circle Film Award for Director of the Year.
Ridley Scott was nominated for an Oscar for Best Directing.
Ridley Scott was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Direction.
Ridley Scott was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
Harvey Keitel won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Adrian Biddle was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography.
Adrian Biddle was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Cinematography.
Thom Noble was nominated for an Oscar for Best Film Editing.
Thom Noble was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Editing.
Thelma & Louise won the London Critics Circle Film Award for Film of the Year.
Thelma & Louise was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion PictureDrama.
Thelma & Louise was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Film.
A total of five identical 1966 Thunderbird convertibles were used throughout the shoot: one star car, one camera car, one back-up car, and two stunt cars.
Callie Khouri first conceived the project of Thelma & Louise in 1979, and her original plan for the film was to direct it herself, on a very low budget, with a documentary feel to it. However, she was hired by Ridley Scott around 1980, and they were turned down by many studios, until MGM purchased the rights in 1981. The movie was originally announced for a 1983 release.
Originally, Scott and Khouri wanted Natalie Wood for Thelma, and Tuesday Weld as Louise. However, Wood died in 1981, and Weld quickly dropped out from the project.
A number of filmmakers were attached to Callie Khouris script, including Brian de Palma, John Carpenter, Richard Donner and Sidney Lumet.
Right: Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) are trapped by law enforcement in one of the final scenes in the action-drama Thelma & Louise.
By 1988, Ridley Scott spoke of casting Mia Farrow, Cher, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Candice Bergen, Tuesday Weld, Meryl Streep, Liza Minnelli Jessica Lange, Isabella Rossellini or Jodie Foster for the role of Thelma; Melanie Griffith, Vanessa Redgrave, Glenn Close, Mary Steenburgen, Kim Basinger, Ellen Barkin, Goldie Hawn, Anjelica Huston, Sigourney Weaver or Lorraine Bracco for the role of Louise; Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Robert de Niro, Steve Martin, David Bowie, Beau Bridges, Tim Curry, Richard Gere, Pierce Brosnan, or James Woods for the role of Hal; Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, Rick Moranis, or Chevy Chase for the role of Jimmy; Jon Voight, Willem Dafoe, or John Travolta for the rold of Max; and Christopher Atkins for the rold of J.D.
Michelle Pfeiffer, Debra Winger, and Kathleen Turner were offered the role of Thelma, but they all turned it down.
Kris Kristofferson was offered the part of Jimmy, but he turned it down.
Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep wanted to make a movie together, and Thelma & Louise was one of the scripts they considered. Ultimately, they decided to star in Death Becomes Her instead. Oh, dear.
Susan Sarandon and her longtime partner, Tim Robbins, reworked most of the dialog in the sequence between Louise and her boyfriend, Jimmy, at the motel in Oklahoma City. Originally, that scene called for Louise and Jimmy to make love and conduct an impromptu mock wedding ceremony. Sarandon felt that having sex would be the last thing Louise would be interested in at that point in the story.
For the more intimate sex scenes between Brad Pitt and Geena Davis, director Ridley Scott had assumed that a body double would be needed for Geena. Davis learned of Scotts intentions shortly after hed begun auditioning prospective doubles, and insisted that no double would be needed.
Then-struggling actor George Clooney auditioned five times for Ridley Scott for the part of J.D. It went to Brad Pitt.
Other movies filmed in the Moab area include: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Breakdown, City Slickers, City Slickers II, and Con Air.
Right: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as the rough and tumble outlaws in Thelma & Louise.
Character Quote: I know its crazy, but I just feel like I got a knack for this shit. ~Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis)