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Where Was Insomnia Filmed?

In 2002, the thriller ‘Insomnia’ was shot on location in Alaska and British Columbia. Set in the fictional town of Nightmute, most of the shooting took place near Squamish, BC.

Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank star as LA detectives searching for the killer of a teenage girl in an Alaskan town. This film boasts stunning cinematography as well as powerful imagery.


Christopher Nolan’s 2002 thriller Insomnia takes place in the small Alaskan town of Nightmute. Filmed over three months in Valdez by Nolan (director of other notable movies like Memento and The Dark Knight)), it stars local residents.

When a high school student is tragically killed, the police chief of Nightmute calls on his friend in Los Angeles to send two detectives north for the investigation. Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) are renowned professionals within their fields; however their professional lives become complicated by an Internal Affairs probe back home in LA.

After arriving in Nightmute, Dormer and Eckhart are met by young police detective Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), who idolizes them both and has done research for her degree on both cases. Together they begin working on the case but their relationship is tested by the shadow of internal investigation.

One of the film’s most shocking scenes, Dormer shoots his partner during a struggle at Strohn Lake. Filmed in Bear Glacier Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada, this scene depicts events taking place at Bear Glacier Lake.

Though Insomnia may not have achieved the same success as some of Nolan’s other movies, it still earned critical acclaim. It’s an intelligent and captivating film that delves into moral ambiguity and bad behavior in a captivating manner; an excellent example of how Nolan’s thoughtful direction adds texture and nuance to genre material in unexpected ways.

Strohn Lake

Filming of Insomnia was done primarily in and around Squamish, British Columbia. Locations featured include the police station, high school, cemetery and hotel scene. The final scene was shot at Strohn Lake in Bear Glacier Provincial Park.

Insomnia was shot over 53 days from mid-April to June 2001. Directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Paul Witt, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson and Edward McDonnell, it featured numerous stars.

This dark Alaskan thriller follows two detectives as they attempt to solve the murder of a young boy in their small town. Hap Eckhart and Will Dormer serve as lead investigators.

Based on a Norwegian film, this 2002 production stars celebrities like Hilary Swank, Robin Williams and Al Pacino.

As a movie, this one is quite good and you should watch it. There are some amazing scenes in here that will leave you with lasting impressions!

At the conclusion of the movie, Will Dormer and Finch engage in combat before Dormer ultimately shoots Finch with his own shotgun at Strohn Lake within Bear Glacier Provincial Park.

This lake is a picturesque destination and a popular stopover for travellers. Situated off Highway 37A, it’s just a short side trip away from Stewart, British Columbia.


Hyder, Alaska is a small town situated along the Pacific Ocean bordering Canada. It’s known for its hunting opportunities and also hosts national motorcycle events like Iron Butt contests.

Hyder, British Columbia has a small airport connected to Stewart via Taquan Air floatplane. Until the 1990s, there was also a ferry running between Hyder and Ketchikan; however, this service ceased operations in the early 2000s.

Hyder was once a mining town. One of its mines, Granduc, is renowned for being where Koh-i-Noor, the famous diamond, was first discovered.

In 2002, Hyder was the site of shooting for the film “Insomnia,” starring Robin Williams and Robert DiNiro and directed by Alex Van der Sloot.

The movie adaptation of John Barth’s novel of the same name received positive reviews, earning a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Filming of the film took place in Hyder and Stewart, BC due to its similar climate conditions to Antarctica – thus why these areas were chosen for the project.

Throughout the film, Eckhart (Eddie Murphy) and Dormer are actively investigating Kay Connell’s murder. Unfortunately, Dormer accidentally shoots himself while trying to catch their assailant.

Thankfully, Eckhart and Dormer do not dwell on this incident for too long; however, its revelation does lead to tension between them. Eventually though, the two detectives come up with a solution to solve the case together.


Valdez is an enjoyable Western movie with a poignant message about bigotry in the Old West. Starring Burt Lancaster and Jon Cypher as Mexican-American sheriff Valdez and his snake-like adversary Tanner, this film offers some great performances.

The film adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel has a refreshing sense of realism about it. It challenges traditional stereotypes about Mexican-Americans or Native Americans by featuring characters like the innocent Indian widow who helps Valdez through an incident not related to racism; she stands as an important and loving figure in her community.

Lancaster’s performance as the sheriff is understated yet powerful, giving his character depth even if it often gets overshadowed by Charles Bronson’s showy presence.

Sturges’ best film, though it never quite measures up to the high standards set by “Joe Kidd” or “Mr. Majestyk.”

Sturges creates some poignant scenes, such as Valdez’s Christmas party and extended sojourn in an Indian camp where he attempts to atone for his sins against the tribes. Unfortunately, his portrayal of horse-mounted action isn’t quite up to par; plus, the shaky camera work and amateur editing make it difficult for viewers to engage with this film.

Powerhouse Indicator’s Region B Blu-ray has a crisp and clear encoding of the film, along with an excellent audio mix. Unfortunately, color appears washed out and there are several spots of print damage.

Clementine Creek

Gallagher encountered Clementine Creek while searching for a location to film insomnia. She had fallen in love with the town and knew it would make an excellent backdrop for her film about an isolated rural woman whose sexual life was spiraling out of control.

The production crew had been a great friend to the community, cleaning up after themselves and employing locals for meals and rig work. While some were annoyed that Hollywood had entered, the movie crew did their best to keep things quiet – an important consideration in a small town like this one.

In the opening scene of My Darling Clementine, Wyatt Earp and his brothers Morgan and Virgin, as well as cousin James are on a cattle drive traveling to California when they come across Old Man Clanton and his family who offer to purchase the herd of cattle from them.

After this brief montage, viewers are treated to the saloon scene between Wyatt and Mack. While not exactly the same location as in the film, Kayenta’s saloon comes closest to recreating this iconic location from the movie.

Clementine Creekhouse offers a modern oasis with treehouse-esque views and private creek access in the picturesque Delaware River Valley, perfect for families. This six bedroom house provides plenty of room to unwind and reconnect with friends and family both indoors and outdoors.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island, with its wild and rugged terrain and ancient First Nations communities who lived in harmony with nature and the sea, has a vibrant history that dates back centuries. It also hosted explorers from Spain and Britain, gold rushes, fur trades, and an influential culture that continues to this day.

No wonder then that this stunning area was chosen to film several scenes for the thriller Insomnia. Numerous locations were shot here on the island, such as Nightmute town and various buildings like police stations, high schools and hotels.

In the movie, Dormer attempts to fabricate evidence that his coworker Finch was responsible for the death of a teenage girl in order to pin it on him and put him behind bars. Towards the end of the film, Dormer and Finch engage in combat – with Dormer ultimately ending up shooting Finch with his own gun.

Vancouver Island boasts many shipwrecks in its waters, many of which were intentionally submerged to form a breakwater. There are also numerous marine migratory routes along the coastline that make Vancouver Island an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts to spot Pacific whales in their natural environment.

Vancouver Island has quickly earned the reputation as an idyllic filming location. From blockbusters to small-scale features and TV shows, this region has hosted some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

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