Filming Locations of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Ballad of Buster Scruggs location
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs are actually six separate stories oscillating between comedy and drama. The anthology western film is the new project of Joel and Ethan Coen for Netflix.

All the tales have in common to be set in 19th-century American West, and somehow the death is always present in each episode. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was filmed in some stunning locations in New Mexico, Colorado and Nebraska. The production required from classic desertic landscapes to evergreen mountain scenery. Here is a selection of the most relevant filming locations for the movie:

Ballad of Buster Scruggs filming locations
The first act, aslo called The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, is the hilarious short story of singing-cowboy. After the initial establishing shots showing Monument Valley (also featured as a Westworld filming location), our hero goes through the dramatic landscapes of New Mexico playing guitar. We can recognize the basalt cliffs of Diablo Canyon near Albuquerque (picture below) and the chimney rocks in Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, a perfect setting for the cantina in the middle of nowhere.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs town location
The town of Frenchman's Gulch was filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe in New Mexico. This is a veteran western movie town location built in 1955. It has hosted many productions from Walker, Texas Ranger or John Carpenter' Vampires to 2017's Netflix series Godless or 2020 Disney's movie Stargirl set in Mica, Arizona. Image courtesy of Netflix - Google Maps

Where was Buster Scruggs filmed
Near Algodones is the tale of a bank robber (James Franco) with intermittent good luck. According to The Location Guide, the western towns of Eaves Ranch and San Cristobal Ranch in New Mexico and surroundings were used to film some sections of the movie. Image courtesy of Netflix

Ballad of Buster Scruggs filming
The third episode Meal Ticket with Liam Neeson and Harry Melling, is about a limbless performer and his manager. They travel remote towns in a wagon convertible into a small theatre stage. The mountainous scenery was filmed in Colorado. Image courtesy of Netflix

Ballad of Buster Scruggs shooting location
All Gold Canyon is based on a Jack London story. Tom Waits plays a prospector arriving to a pristine valley looking for a vein of gold, Mr. Pocket. This extraordinary landscape is also in Colorado. Doing some research we found out that the Coen brothers filmed in Piney river, a hundred miles west of Denver. There is a hiking trail starting at Piney Lake, you can find more information about the Upper Piney River area following this link.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Google Maps

Ballad of Buster Scruggs drehort
The Gal Who Got Rattled starring Jefferson Mays as Gilbert and Zoe Kazan as Alice Longabaugh, is the story of a woman on the Oregon Trail who needs help after his brother passed away during the journey. The Credits reports that to film this section of the movie the team constructed 15 period covered wagons from scratch in New Mexico. Then they were transported to the filming location west of Scottsbluff on the North Platte River, Nebraska. The episode was shot in several locations including FX Bar Ranch and the Hughson Ranch in Sioux County.

Did you like this new dark comedy from the Coen brothers? What is your favourite episode?
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  1. Wonderful work, thank you RA Moon.

  2. I loved the movie, locations were beautiful

  3. Very good work, thanks!

  4. Fabulous. New, refreshing, and a fun watch! Thank you Cohen brothers & Netflix.


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