The very first John Wayne production, Angel and the Badman, put Sedona on the movie-making map. As producer, Wayne had his first Western town built below Coffeepot Rock in West Sedona. Several other movie productions, like the classic Johnny Guitar, took advantage of it before it was finally  torn down in 1959, to make way for a residential community. 

The place where John Wayne's western street in Angel and the Badman stood. Today it's the location of West Sedona school, beneath Coffee Pot Rock. The distinctive rock formation is visible from Hwy 89A South. 

The homestead of Gail Russell's Quaker family in Angel and the Badman was built in the Chapel Area of Sedona

The area of the Quaker farm in Angel and the Badman is now several subdivsions of private homes. The exact place of this John Wayne location would be on Cathedral Lane. 

The same Chapel area where producer John Wayne (seen here with Republic boss Herbert J. Yates) had built the Quaker farm in Angel and the Badman was later home to another Republic picture, the classic Johnny Guitar. Joan Crawford's saloon was built at what is now the parking area of the Chapel of the Holy Cross. 

The vantage point from Schnebly Hill, called the Merry-Go-Round-Rock, has provided numerous filmmakers with this dramatic views (for instance, this is where Richard Widmark was pulled up, hanging on the wagon wheel, in The Last Wagon, and it was also a location for Elvis Presley's Stay Away, Joe). John Wayne used this spot in Angel and the Badman for a romantic scene with Gail Russell.

Merry-Go-Round-Rock, high up on Schnebly Hill, was the scenic spot for the first kiss between John Wayne and Gail Russell, in Angel and the Badman. In coming years, this filming location was visited again and again, although it was difficult to access.

The outcropping seen from Merry-Go-Round Rock at Schnebly Hill provided the background...

...for this next shot in Angel and the Badman: John Wayne is about to kiss his gal, Gail Russell. 

John Wayne's first short visit to Sedona was in 1944: establishing shots for Tall in the Saddle were shot here, while the largest junk of the movie was lensed on the RKO Ranch in Encino. 


John Wayne experiences a bumpy ride on a stagecoach (driven by Gabby Hayes). They found a thrilling location for this sequence high up on Schnebly Hill. The race down the hill starts here...

 this vantage point, a place called Schnebly Vista, an awesome overlook, featured in dozens of classic westerns as well. 


Follow Schnebly Road from Merry-Go-Round-Rock a little piece further up - and you'll find the spot that John Wayne kept in his pocket for a location in the later Angel and the Badman : Schnebly Vista is the starting point for this runaway stagecoach ride in Tall in the Saddle.

The same spot was used in a number of westerns, such as Firecreek with Henry Fonda. 

On the wild ride down Schnebly Hill Road, John Wayne, riding shotgun on Gabby Hayes' stagecoach, passes this rock formation.

Schnebly Hill is a steep and rustic road. The background plates for Tall in the Saddle were shot up here, overlooking Sedona's red rocks. 

That same rock is actually seen twice during the stagecoach ride in Tall in the Saddle. 


...there it is again, as seen from Schnebly Hill, as the road winds all the way down to US 179. 

The last surviving part of the Sedona West movie town set is the “Telegraph Office”, and the only construction of Angel and the Badman still standing. The building was actually one hundred years old when the Republic production trucked it from the railroad depot in Winona, Arizona, to the set in Sedona. The historic building was moved again and left to deteriorate outside Sedona. The Sedona Heritage Museum restored and relocated it, this time to the museum site at 735 Jordan Rd. 

The historic telegraph office is seen early in Angel and the Badman when John Wayne’s badman needs to send an urgent telegram. Gail Russell drives him to the town, below Coffeepot Rock. 

The inside of the historic Telegraph Office, restored to its orginial appearance in Angel and the Badman. It is part of the Sedona Heritage Museum and houses as small exhibit about the westerns shot in Sedona. 

The layout of the telegraph office in Angel and the Badman, when wounded gunman John Wayne needs to send an urgent message before collapsing, has remained the same in the restored building which is preserved by the Sedona Historical Society at 735 Jordan Road.

Even some of the original props of that scene in Angel and the Badman remain in the telegraph office...

...if you look closely you will recognize the printing apparatus sitting on the desk.

This production still from John Wayne's first venture as a producer, Angel and the Badman, was taken in the Village of Oak Creek, with Cathedral Rock looming prominently in the background. 

This view is seen in numerous westerns: Red Rock Crossing, with the majestic Cathedral Rock providing the background. From SR 89A in West Sedona, turn south on Upper Red Rock Loop Road, follow it to Chavez Ranch Road.  

The Sedona Lodge was originally built on John Wayne's request, so, as the producer of Angel and the Badman, he wouldn't have to shuttle his crew back and forth from Flagstaff. It was the only permanent complex in the U.S. ever developded specifically to service movie companies on location. This greatly incresed the opportunity for movies to be filmed in Sedona, which totaled 33 films from 1946 - 1964.  

The orginal Sedona Lodge had twenty cabins plus barracks. When it was razed in 1963, it made room for more housings. Today, the Hotel Arabella stands on this property. John Wayne had also ordered the construction of a sound stage for Angel and the Badman which allowed the crew to film some interor shots right on location. It stood close to the original Sedona Lodge, on Brewer Road

Inside the Hotel Arabella which was built on the grounds of the original Sedona Lodge, movie star pictures remind visitors of the hotel's past.

The Cowboy Club, in Uptown Sedona, has been the social center of Sedona for over seventy years. When the tavern originally opened in 1946, John Wayne was one of the first movie stars to unwind at the bar after a long day on location, during production of Angel and the Badman. The restaurant at 241 N State Route served as the meeting place, pool hall, saloon and grocery. 


John Wayne put Angel and the Badman on production in mid-April 1946 in Sedona. He stayed in a little cabin at the Sedona Lodge. However, as the producer of the film, he would drive to the nearby town of Cottonwood to view the rushes in the local movie theater. On these occasions he rented a room at the Cottonwood Hotel (photo courtesy of Cottonwood Hotel).



According to the oral history of Cottonwood, John Wayne and Gail Russell would sometimes secretly check into the Cottonwood Hotel, just a few doors from the movie theatre, at 930 N Main Street. 

The entrance to the historic Cottonwood Hotel, where John Wayne rented rooms on the first floor. This very spot was also used as a filming site for the film noir classic shot in Cottonwood one year before Angel and the Badman went into production, Desert Fury, starring Burt Lancaster.

Today, the Cottonwood Hotel advertises a John Wayne suite where Wayne and his leading lady, Gail Russell, supposedly stayed together. Location shooting for Angel and the Badman lasted from April 22 to July 6, 1946.

The living room of the John Wayne Suite in the historic Cottonwood Hotel. The rooms have been remodeld since the star stayed here in 1946. 

View from the terrace of the Cottonwood Hotel where John Wayne stayed in 1946. The building on the left was a filming site for the classic film noir Desert Fury, starring Burt Lancaster, it was then a pharmacy. 

As the producer of Angel and the Badman, John Wayne viewed the rushes at the Rialto Theater in the little town of Cottonwood. After a fire, the former movie house is now the location of the Tavern Grill, 914 N Main Street. However, memories of the orginal cinema remain. Back in 1946, when Wayne was sitting in this cinema hall,  these niches in the walls were used to put lamps in.