“Killers of the Flower Moon” is an American epic Western murder thriller, which is directed and produced by the renowned Martin Scorsese, vividly depicts the compelling story that David Grann wrote in his book of the same name published in 2017. The movie, which opens in theaters on October 20, 2023, delves into a sinister period of history by examining the killings of Osage tribe members following the discovery of oil on their territory.
Killers of the Flower Moon: A Historical Thriller Film’s Story
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is essentially a story about mystery and inquiry. The story centers on the unexplained killings of Osage tribe members in the 1920s when oil was discovered on their traditional territory. When a teenage J. Edgar Hoover and the seasoned former Texas Ranger Tom White head a Bureau of Investigation (BOI) investigation into these heinous acts, the plot twists dramatically. Grann’s source material accurately depicts White’s portrayal of the stereotypical “old-style lawman,” which gives the drama more depth as it develops.
The film’s compelling storyline depends on Hoover and White working together to untangle the complex web of power dynamics and intrigues behind the Osage murders. This historical thriller encapsulates the spirit of a turbulent period in American history while also providing insight into criminal investigations. Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone are among the ensemble cast members who bring the eerie story to life as the characters, guaranteeing a visceral movie experience.
The setting where “Killers of the Flower Moon” was filmed is a vital component that enhances the film’s authenticity. The choice to film at the real locations where the historical events took place gives the narrative a deep sense of realism.
Where was Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) Filmed?
The majority of “Killers of the Flower Moon” (2023) was shot in Oklahoma, most especially in Washington County and Osage County. Pawhuska, Fairfax, and Bartlesville were among the important sites that the producers used to accurately depict the real events of the 1920s. The aim to present an authentic portrayal of the period and individuals involved in the Osage murders, as detailed in David Grann’s book, motivated the decision to film in these locations.
Director Martin Scorsese stressed the value of filming on location in Oklahoma in a statement prior to the start of production. This method sought to honor the story’s historical accuracy while offering a real setting that connected with the events seen in the movie. By guaranteeing cultural sensitivity and correctness, the cooperation with the Oklahoma Film and Music Office and the participation of The Osage Nation, including Osage consultants and cultural advisors, further enhanced the production process.
Pawhuska and Fairfax became the main locations for filming, with Pawhuska’s Kihekah Avenue being turned into a movie set. Pawhuska Marketplace and Gypsy Cowgirl, two local establishments, were essential in bringing the historical story to life. Large tracts of Osage County known as Drummond Ranch were used to reconstruct parts of the town of Gray Horse as well as the homes of important characters. Fairfax saw a dramatic transformation as the location of key scenes, such as the heated climax involving the bombing of a bank and a home, and Rita Smith’s residence.
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The play widened its scope even more by stepping into Washington County’s Bartlesville. Here, scenes were built in a hangar that was borrowed from the city airport, enhancing the visual storyline of the movie. Scenes from the US Federal Courthouse were filmed in Tulsa, in Tulsa County, adding further depth to the developing drama.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented difficulties, but production continued in the spring and fall of 2021. The movie’s purported claim to have had the biggest budget ever for a production shot in Oklahoma serves as a testament to its dedication to preserving the spirit of the 1920s there. This monetary commitment demonstrates the filmmakers’ commitment to producing an aesthetically spectacular and historically accurate depiction of the Osage murders.
Notably, the movie’s major filming locations included Oklahoma City’s Prairie Surf Studios. The studio complex’s large area and cutting-edge amenities allowed it to accommodate the many needs of the production crew, securing its place as an important location for filmmaking.
A sophisticated approach to storytelling is demonstrated by the use of traditional components, such as scenes with a traditional community dance. Furthermore, observations made by The Osage Nation members—which Lily Gladstone brought up in an interview dated January 2023—indicate a cooperative effort that extends beyond the areas of the filming. The local community’s feedback helped to shape the movie and guarantee that the historical events were respectfully portrayed.
In conclusion, “Killers of the Flower Moon” was filmed in Oklahoma because of a dedication to realism, historical authenticity, and community involvement. In addition to providing a backdrop for the suspenseful story, the film’s choice of settings helps establish it as a cinematic masterpiece that honors the seriousness of the events it depicts.