Route 66 News

Best Picture nominee was filmed in three Route 66 towns


Hell or High Water still

“Hell or High Water,” one of nine films nominated Tuesday for Best Picture in the Academy Awards, lists the New Mexico Route 66 towns of Tucumcari, Moriarty and Albuquerque as among the locations where the movie was shot.

The movie also was nominated for three other Oscars.

The Western bank-heist movie stars Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster. Bridges earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and the movie itself was nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay. provided a succinct summary of the film:

A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.

Here is the trailer:

“Hell or High Water” proved to be one of the most-praised movies of 2016, including an outstanding 98 percent “fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

The low-budget “Hell or High Water” earned respectable business at the box office. Its budget was a bit north of $12 million, and it grossed more than $31 million worldwide, according to the latest figures.

“Hell or High Water’s” plot takes place in West Texas, but actual shooting took place in New Mexico — presumably because of the state’s generous film tax-credit program.

When the movie was being filmed in Tucumcari in the late spring 2015, reports listed its title as “Comancheria.” The shooting area was north of Route 66, near downtown.

The film’s stars showed up off the set in Tucumcari at Tee Pee Curios and Rockin’ Ys’ Roadhouse, both on Route 66. A fire destroyed Rockin’ Y’s about six months later.

Other shooting locations for the film, according to the Albuquerque Journal, included the eastern New Mexico towns of Portales, Estancia and Clovis, along with the Caprock areas of Quay and Guadalupe counties.

As for the Oscars, oddmakers list “Hell or High Water” as the longest-shot of the Best Picture nominees. However, the same oddsmakers favor Bridges to win Best Supporting Actor, and the film’s chances of winning Best Original Screenplay are decent.

So while I expect “La La Land” to take home a bushel of statuettes during the Feb. 26 Oscars telecast (mostly because it’s a well-crafted love letter to old Hollywood), it may be a more eventful night for a certain New Mexico western than you might expect.

“Hell or High Water” can be viewed for a fee on-demand on YouTube or Amazon.

(Screen capture image from the “Hell or High Water” trailer)


One thought on “Best Picture nominee was filmed in three Route 66 towns

  1. chris

    There are at least 2 shots of the large abandoned Shell Station at Western end of Tucumcari. They are in a montage of sights that the 2 brothers see while driving.

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