Thelma and louise road trip map

What may possess the Twelve Mile Circle to look at a 20-year-old chick flick virtually frame-by-frame for many of a weekend? Blame it on a skewed sense of curiosity fanned by random search engine queries I’d noticed in my internet logs. I’d talked about the film Thelma and Louise solely as soon as on 12MC, and solely as an apart in a single put up. I’d merely famous that the director filmed a number of the scenes in Colorado’s Paradox Valley.

I’ve obtained a small however regular string of holiday makers to that web page ever since. All of them appeared to be devotees of Thelma and Louise seeking to replicate the route vicariously. The world should be critically missing in particular info if serps maintain sending individuals to my humble web page. It so clearly conflicts with their intent.

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I felt compelled to create a map to fill this momentous hole in human information. I scrounged by way of my spouse’s assortment of cheezy movies from the 1990’s however did not discover a copy. Luckily, she agreed to go to our native public library and verify one out on my behalf. She glad my map-making compulsion whereas saving me from the humiliation of strolling in public with a replica.

So I Created the Map

Let’s set expectations. Repeat after me: it is a film. Usually talking, Thelma and Louise does a significantly better job aligning itself to precise, real bodily geography than the common Hollywood manufacturing. Even so, it nonetheless harbors a couple of inconsistencies. There are time shifts. Mountains rise in locations that don’t have mountains. Roads and settlements exist with no correlation to the real-world.

Filming places included suburban Los Angeles, California’s Central Valley, southeastern Utah, and to a lesser diploma, Colorado together with the Paradox Valley. None of those websites corresponds to a narrative location. You’ll do significantly better for those who settle for that, take a deep breath and float.

It’s unattainable to find out a precise route adopted by Thelma and Louise as they ran from the legislation. I made some educated guesses that I’ll clarify. Nevertheless, different theories and potentialities may work equally nicely. No person can clear up this definitively except Callie Khouri — the screenwriter who received an Oscar for this film — provides an opinion. I’m presenting my effort as “ok” and never as a definitive supply. Be happy to debate finer factors amongst yourselves and within the feedback.

Geography is my main focus. I received’t have room to debate components of the film that don’t determine locations or create momentum in direction of new places. That features a complete plot line involving the police investigation. I’ll do my greatest to supply context however it’s best to go to the Web Film Database in order for you a plot abstract. I’ll additionally assume that no person minds if I spoil the ending, proper? I determine I’m fairly protected with a film that hasn’t seen a theater display in 20 years.

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Let’s Begin in Arkansas

Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis) and Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) plan a short street journey collectively in Louise’s 1966 Thunderbird convertible. They want somewhat free-time away from the flawed males of their lives; Thelma’s over-controlling husband Darryl and Louise’s take-it-for-granted boyfriend Jimmy. Male characters show numerous dysfunctional behaviors on this film. They’re adulterers, misogynists, scoundrels, buffoons, self-absorbed egotists, and all-purpose jerks. Hal Slocumb (Harvey Keitel), a detective who tries to maintain the scenario from spiraling uncontrolled, will be the solely exception.

Thelma and Louise stay in Arkansas, most likely a suburb of Little Rock. This film doesn’t state this explicitly however the capturing script (accessible from quite a lot of sources on the Intertubes) features a deleted scene. In that scene, Hal says, “I gotta go to Little Rock”. Then he instantly seems at Thelma’s home within the subsequent scene to interview her husband.

It might be any suburb anyplace and maybe that’s the purpose. The duo start the film as “everywoman” characters main bizarre lives that forge a right away connection to the viewing viewers. Nonetheless, we have to begin the map someplace and I chosen Little Rock.

The Mountains

Ozark Mountains

The duo intends to drive as much as “the Mountains” (at minute 5:53 on the DVD model) with fishing gear (6:02). From Little Rock, potentialities embrace the Ozark Mountains to the North or the Ouachita Mountains to the West. I discounted different instructions as a result of, as you will notice, the motion compels them in direction of Oklahoma Metropolis. These selections place them higher. In the end I chosen the Ozarks. It appeared to be about the proper distance based mostly on the implied size of the preliminary drive. Additionally, Area and Stream journal referred to as it “the nation’s second greatest fishing city.”

Thelma and Louise by no means arrive at their supposed vacation spot. As a substitute, they cease on the Silver Bullet, a honkey-tonk saloon and evening membership (11:35). Initially they intend to remain briefly however then they determine to affix the boisterous crowd. The predatory, lecherous, womanizing Harlan Puckett forces himself on an intoxicated Thelma within the Silver Bullet car parking zone. Louise shoots him lifeless (21:30).

Callie Khouri creates a plot factor right here that can information the duo geographically for the rest of their more and more determined journey. One thing by no means absolutely defined occurred to Louise years earlier in Texas, one thing much like what simply occurred to Thelma. It possible triggered her swift and extreme response to Harlan, leading to his dying. It additionally leads Louise to imagine that she should flee as a result of the authorized system will fail her whatever the info. So she has to seek out security in Mexico. Lastly, she has an aversion to Texas and he or she is not going to cross its boundaries. Louise’s previous expertise defines a momentum that can propel the duo constantly westward.

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Now to Oklahoma

Thelma and Louise drive in direction of Oklahoma Metropolis. As daybreak emerges, they’re heading down an empty 2-lane freeway (28:50) however they’re nonetheless in Arkansas (31:18). Louise calls boyfriend Jimmy and asks him to wire cash, her life financial savings, to a Western Union in Oklahoma Metropolis.

The ladies first encounter J.D. (performed by Brad Pitt in one in every of his first main roles, who bears mentioning by title solely as a result of somebody will say “you didn’t point out Brad Pitt” if I didn’t). He’s a captivating petty thief who they’ll ultimately give a experience. Then they proceed alongside an Interstate Freeway (34:10) which might most likely be I-44 in the event that they have been heading from the Ozarks or I-40 if Ouachita, to select up Louise’s money in Oklahoma Metropolis.

Plotting the Route

In the meantime the ladies plot their path to Mexico (43:27). They favor secondary roads over Interstates, hoping to keep away from undesirable consideration. Thelma suggests U.S. Route 81 (43:36) which might take them previous Dallas (Ft. Value really) and direct them in direction of the border crossing in Laredo.

That is the shortest path to Mexico however Louise dismisses it as a result of she received’t enter Texas. Thelma expresses dismay: Texas sits squarely between Oklahoma and Mexico. Thus, the plot factor developed earlier ensures that the duo will proceed additional west even after they depart Oklahoma Metropolis. By definition they should detour round Texas.

Vagabond Motel

It doesn’t look very like a motel

Jimmy instructs them to a really particular tackle, the Vagabond Motel at “1921 North East twenty third” (36:42). It’s attention-grabbing that Callie Khouri chosen an actual tackle when nearly each different location remained imprecise. I’m undecided what existed at 1921 North East twenty third in Oklahoma Metropolis twenty years in the past. Nevertheless, at the moment it’s an AutoZone retailer promoting automotive components and equipment. I’m wondering if anybody ever goes there and says, “hey, that is the tackle from Thelma and Louise!” It’s ironic that such a testosterone-fueled enterprise occupies the positioning.

The duo, together with J.D. arrives in Oklahoma Metropolis (51:00). Loads of plot occurs right here however not a lot geographically talking. So to summarize briefly, Jimmy surprises Louise by delivering a number of thousand {dollars} in individual (and returns house) and J.D. finally ends up stealing it. These funds have been supposed to assist Thelma and Louise reinvent themselves in Mexico and now they don’t have anything. Nonetheless, the dynamics of their scenario compels them onward.

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The Panhandle

Determined, Thelma robs a comfort retailer (1:14:09) in rural Oklahoma (at 1:28:21 they’re listed as “needed in Oklahoma” for armed theft) to allow them to proceed their journey. Their choices diminish dramatically as legislation enforcement authorities now remodel them from individuals of curiosity into harmful outlaws.

Cimmy the Apatosaurus in Boise City. Photo by
Cimmy the Apatosaurus in Boise Metropolis, Oklahoma

The capturing script features a reference to Boise Metropolis, Oklahoma (map) that didn’t seem within the film. This is sensible because it’s the logical path between Oklahoma and their subsequent vacation spot, New Mexico. It additionally brings them inside mere toes of Texas with out crossing the border so Louise stays protected in that respect.

Into New Mexico

Louise will get a bit complacent. Then she’s stopped by a New Mexico state policeman after blowing by way of a velocity entice (1:36:57). Now needed for armed theft and fearing arrest, the duo locks the policeman into the trunk of his squad automobile. They should get out of New Mexico (1:41:54) but it surely’s too dangerous to go immediately in direction of the Mexican border (1:51:00).

They might have used the crossing south of Columbus, New Mexico (the identical one Pancho Villa used) because the quickest route whereas avoiding Texas. Nevertheless, that’s now not possible. Thus they should head in an surprising path to keep away from a dragnet that can certainly ensue as soon as the policeman frees himself. One once more, momentum pushes them additional west.

And Lastly Arizona

Dead Horse Point. Photo by Steve Corey; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Not the Grand Canyon, relatively Useless Horse Level

Thelma and Louise enter Arizona. Quickly they’re noticed by the police after the authorities hint the situation of a telephone name they make. One police automobile is particularly marked because the Navajo County Sheriff’s workplace (1:57:23). A deleted scene on the DVD features a point out of them nonetheless being about 250 miles from Mexico. Thus, the ultimate escape plan could have been Interstate 17 to Interstate 19, to Nogales. However then waves of police automobiles and a helicopter drive them into the desert the place they’re cornered on the fringe of the Grand Canyon (map). Truly it’s Useless Horse Level close to Moab, Utah substituting as a stand-in.

Lastly, it turns into clear. Callie Khouri created a complete set of eventualities and twists to propel our desperadoes 1,500 miles virtually due west from Little Rock, Arkansas to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The duo drives their T-Chook over the aspect of the cliff relatively than give up to the police, and the film ends.

Truly, I loved the film much more than I’d imagined initially.

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