With its blend of urban sophistication, Americana charm, historic architecture, and proximity to midwestern open spaces, Kansas City is a natural on film. Movies filmed in Kansas City earn from a variety of settings and backdrops. Because of this, these often offer a rich range of choices for video productions in Kansas City.

From big television shows, too highly acclaimed films, Kansas City has given a lot to the entertainment industry. Below are some examples of some of the most popular films and tv shows to be filmed in Kansas City.

In Cold Blood

in cold blood

Although it’s more than 1500 miles (2400 km) from Los Angeles, the distance hasn’t stopped Hollywood from filming on location in Kansas City. One notable moment in KC film history arose out of a local true crime story.

 

The story of the Clutter family murders was made famous in Truman Capote’s 1966 book In Cold Blood. Furthermore, it didn’t take long for a movie version to follow, filmed on location in Kansas City and surrounding areas in 1967.

 

The gruesome true crime story has been retold in a 1996 two-part TV miniseries of the same name. In addition to this, the story is also featured in two tellings of author Capote’s work and career (Capote, 2005, and Infamous, 2006).

 

Both films highlight the author’s epic efforts in creating the book. Shortly after the notorious crimes occurred, before the killers were even captured, he traveled to Kansas City to investigate and write about the events. The work of writing and researching the book went on for six years as Capote followed the trials, interviewed the murderers, and worked on the book.

Kansas City Bomber

kansas city bomber movie poster

One of the next big movie productions to come to Kansas City featured Hollywood bombshell Raquel Welch in Kansas City Bomber (1972). The plot has been called “non-existent” by one harsh critic, with a story centered on Welch’s character, Diane “KC” Carr, who chases success in the roller derby circuit.

Despite the criticism, it should be admired that she trained five hours a day for three months on an oval track in LA before coming to Kansas City for filming. Secondly she did some of her own stunts and earned a broken wrist for her efforts.

Kansas City

kansas city movie poster

Next, legendary filmmaker Robert Altman is just one of a number of Hollywood luminaries to hail from Kansas City. He got his start in film by writing and directing 65 corporate videos and documentaries for the Calvin Company, a local production company famous for training films and educational films.

Secondly, after directing some TV episodes in the mid-50s, Altman was hired by a local businessman to create a juvenile delinquency drama called The Delinquents. Because of this, its success allowed him to launch his Hollywood career.

Next, he made his name and reputation with films like M*A*S*H and McCabe & Mrs. Miller. In 1996, Altman returned to put his hometown in the spotlight in Kansas City, filmed on location in the city.

Lastly, it was partly Altman’s use of local landmark Union Station in filming Kansas City that led to the multimillion dollar renovation of the historic building in 1997. Since then, the classic brickwork has featured in numerous TV shows, movies, social video, and music videos.

The Day After

the day after movie poster

Next is arguably the most famous movie filmed about Kansas City, The Day After first aired on November 20, 1983, on the ABC television network. Nearly 100 million people tuned in to watch the film which focuses on a nuclear conflict between the USSR and NATO.

It focuses on families in Lawerence Kansas and Kansas City Missouri during high-tension conflict between apposing war forces. Eventually, it leads to nuclear fallout and families reacting and adjusting to life after the bombs fell.

While filmed mostly in Lawerence, KS, The creators of the film took several trips to Kansas City to scout locations. In fact, to this day, it is still rated as the highest television film of all time.

Love Fraud

Love Fraud is a new 4 part documentary series on Showtime based out of the Kansas City Metro. The show centers around a con man named Richard Scott Smith who has been scamming women for years.

The true story follows the women who were conned by Richard as they try and track him down for revenge. Despite their efforts, the police won’t help them in their search. Because of this, they team up with a bounty hunter to help track down a man that has multiple social security numbers.

The series unravels in real time and hooks you from beginning to end. Because of this, the documentary has received high reviews from critics.

Queer Eye

queer eye kansas city

In addition to Love Fraud is another tv series Queer Eye. Season 3 was the first time the series went to the midwest and appeared on Netflix. The 8 episode season is the most watched full length reality show to take place entirely within Kansas City. In fact, many lists have episode seven of season 3 “Sloth to Slay” as being the best episode of the series.

In fact, the Netflix season was such a hit, that most of season 4 also takes place in Kansas City.

Bargain Mansions

Bargain_Mansions_showchip_HGTV

Tamara Day is a Kansas City native and her show Bargain Mansions on HGTV is filmed almost entirely in Kansas City. Tamara buys and flips homes in the area and the show mostly focuses on the manual aspect of flipping homes. There are currently 3 seasons.

Kansas City has Several Film Influences

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Not only has Kansas City been featured in movies produced in town, it boasts a direct connection to the film business going back decades. Because of this, Kansas City has a lot of unique and interesting locations to shoot video.


Film Row

 

Four square blocks between 17th and 19th Streets were once known as Film Row, where Hollywood’s leading studios had distribution centers, starting in the 1920s and continuing until the 1960s.

 

Additionally, the film history of Kansas City natives is honored with a Walk of Fame, featuring sidewalk stars paying tribute to locals who made it big in tinsel town, like Jean Harlow, Walt Disney, Joan Crawford, and Bette Davis. Local and national filmmakers choose the area for marketing videos, music videos, TV shows and feature films.

 

Power and Light

 

The Power and Light District is an entertainment area featuring renovated classics like the Midland Theater and newer venues such as the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet Cinema.

Furthermore, films and videos shot in the area make use of classic art deco style architecture of the namesake Kansas City Power & Light Building and the Kansas City Live! Venue that covers a one-block and has hosted live performances and watch parties for TV events.

 

Two Rivers

 

Set at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, Kansas City’s founding neighborhood now hosts the River Market District. The area features a legendary public farmers’ market along with popular shops and restaurants.

A great location for filming product videos, the area also is a regular feature on social media posts, videos, and selfies along the Riverfront Heritage Trail, accessible by the Town of Kansas Bridge and the route to the Berkley Riverfront Park.

Because of its diverse and sprawling locations, Kansas City has been loved by musicians, filmmakers, and artists for generations. Furthermore, whether for the classic examples of architecture, including a church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright among its historic places, or for the midwestern charm of its two rivers and many arts and entertainment areas, Kansas City shines on film. Because of this, Kansas City makes a great place for any professional or amateur film maker.

Honorable Mention: SuperNatural

supernatural_season_12_poster

While running for a whopping 15 seasons and having several episodes take place around Kansas City and Lawerence KS, SuperNatural never actually filmed in the city. Instead, it was primarily shot in Vancouver British Columbia with the pilot episode being shot in Los Angeles, California. Furthermore, there is no evidence to say that filming in Kansas City or Lawerence was ever really considered.

Additional Films and TV Shows in Kansas City

Source : Visit KC

Production Release Year Locations
Queer Eye 2018 Netflix – Kansas City
24 Hrs to Hell and Back 2018 TV Show on FOX – Kansas City
Bargain Mansions  2017, 2018 DIY Channel TV Show – Kansas City
American Ninja Warrior  2015, 2017 TV Show on NBC – Kansas City
The Tree  2017 Kansas City area
Different Flowers  2017 Kansas City
Red Bird 2017 TV Series – Kansas City
All Creatures Here Below  2017 Kansas City
The Association aka The Profit  2017 Lawrence, KS
School Spirits  2017 St. Joseph, MO
The Dreams of Rene Sendam  2017 Lawrence, KS
The House on Pine Street  2016 Leavenworth, Independence
American Honey  2016 Kansas City MO/KS
Trust Fund  2016 Kansas City area
The Matchbreaker  2016 Kansas City
What We’ve Become  2016 Lawrence, KS
Arbor Demon  2016 Kansas City unit
Desperate Cowboys  2016 Kansas City
New Girls on the Block  2015 TV Series – Kansas City
The Gnomist  2015 Acclaimed short – Overland Park
Terminal  2015 Kansas City
Rich Hill  2014 Rich Hill MO
Surrender  2014 Springfield
The Sublime and Beautiful  2014 Lawrence, KS
Jayhawkers  2014 Lawrence, Topeka, Leavenworth KS
Awful Nice  2013 Columbia, Branson, Kansas City
Nailbiter  2013 Kansas City & Lawrence, KS
Raising the Bar 2013 TV series – Kansas City
Destination Planet Negro  2013 Lawrence, Kansas City
Last Ounce of Courage  2012 St. Joseph, Kansas City
Last Will  2011 Kansas City
180 2011 Springfield
The Soccer Nanny aka Au Pair, Kansas  2011 Lawrence, KS
Pawn’s Move  2011 Kansas City, Weston
Last Breath  2010 Kansas City
Air: The Musical  2010 Lawrence, Kansas City
Play On  2010 Kansas City, Scotland
The Only Good Indian  2009 Lawrence, KS
Earthwork  2009 Lawrence, KS
Works in Progress  2009 Kansas City
Saving Grace B. Jones  2008 Boonville
Rigged  2008 Kansas City
Matchmaker Mary  2008 Kansas City
The Battle for Bunker Hill  2008 Lawrence, KS
Suspension  2008 Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
Fling  2007 Kansas City
Body of War  2007 Kansas City, St. Louis
Sea Monsters  2007 Kansas
Raising Jeffrey Dahmer  2006 Kansas City
Jesus Camp  2006 Lee’s Summit, St. Robert
All Roads Lead Home  2006 Kansas City
Lenexa, 1 Mile: aka Full Count  2006 Kansas City, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Lenexa, OP
Ambrose Bierce: Civil war Stories  2005 TV movie – Kansas City
Larva  2005 Springfield
C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America  2004 Lawrence, KS
Threat of Exposure  2002 Kansas City
Silence  2002 Kansas City
The Painting  2001 Kansas City
Ride With the Devil  1999 Pattonsburg, Kansas City, Lexington
Ninth Street  1999 Junction City/Lawrence, KS
Cross of Fire  1998 TV Movie – Lawrence, Topeka
Winding Roads  1998 TV movie – Springfield
A Deadly Vision  1997 TV movie – Kansas City
Mars Attacks  1996 Lawrence, KS
Kansas City  1996 Kansas City
Truman  1995 HBO Movie – Independence
The Witching  1993 Kansas City
Detour  1992 Kansas City
Article 99  1992 Kansas City
The Burden of Proof  1992 TV Movie –  Kansas City
Child’s Play 3  1991 Boonville
Sometimes They Come Back  1991 Kansas City
Mr. and Mrs. Bridge  1990 Kansas City
Bird  1988 Kansas City
Midnight Movie Massacre  1988 Kansas City
Kansas  1987 Kansas City & Lawrence, KS
Nice Girls Don’t Explode  1987 Lawrence, KS
The Day After  1983 Harrisonville, Kansas City, Lawrence
Bucktown  1975 Kansas City downtown, Platte City
Shoot it Black /Shoot in Blue  1974 Kansas City
Supervan  1974 Kansas City, St. Joseph
Paper Moon  1973 St. Joseph and Kansas locations
Prime Cut  1972 Kansas City
Honky  1971 Kansas City -The Plaza
Adam at 6 a.m.  1970 Excelsior Springs
In Cold Blood  1967 Kansas City
Carnival of Souls  1962 Lawrence, KS area
The Cool and the Crazy  1958 Kansas City
The Delinquents  1957 Kansas City
Rodeo Rhythm  1942 Kansas City
Alice’s Wonderland  1923 Kansas City
Tommy Tucker’s Tooth  1922 Kansas City

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