In the scene where Augie tries to jump on Jake's horse and falls to the ground, the horse is wearing Jake's hat. This was Costner's idea just before the cameras rolled to keep with his character's goofy nature. Kasdan loved the idea, and it stayed in the film.
The set for Silverado (1985) was built for this movie, and has since been used in such movies as Young Guns (1988), Wyatt Earp (1994) (also starring Kevin Costner), Last Man Standing (1996), Lonesome Dove (1989), All the Pretty Horses (2000), and Wild Wild West (1999) (also starring Kevin Kline). In the latter film, as a reference to co-writer and director Lawrence Kasdan, "Kasdan Ironworks" can be seen on the side of one of the buildings.
John Cleese's first line, "What's all this then?", is a Monty Python in-joke, as that line was often uttered by policemen upon entering the scene of a crime on Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969).
Cook Ranch, twenty-five miles from the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico, served as the site for the town of Silverado. Production designer Ida Random and set designers Bill Elliott (a.k.a. William A. Elliott), Chas. Butcher, and Richard McKenzie had the challenging task of completely creating the forty-building western town. From a vast body of historical reference, Random and her team, and a construction crew of 140, designed and built such structures as the Midnight Star Saloon, a hotel, and a church. Construction coordinator Clarence Lynn Price and his able crew completed the town in twelve weeks, in less than desirable conditions, below freezing temperatures, and winds as high as sixty miles per hour.
Kevin Costner was offered the role of Jake by Lawrence Kasdan, in part to make up for his role in The Big Chill (1983) being cut out of that film. This is a very standard thing in Hollywood: an actor gets passed over for one project so the director brings him back for another.
After working with Kevin Kline on this film, John Cleese wrote A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and the role of Otto specifically with Kline in mind.
When Paden (Kevin Kline) is in his long red underwear talking with Cobb, Deputy Kyle (Ken Farmer) comes up and spits tobacco on the ground between Kline's legs. The spitting, and the look the two men exchange, is all improvised.
In keeping with his English character, Sheriff John Langston (John Cleese) of Turley is armed with an English Enfield Mark II double action revolver. Although correct for the time period of the movie, Silverado (1985) apparently marks the only appearance of this weapon in an American western film.
Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner got along great during the filming. Glenn used to kid Costner by calling out to him "Hey movie star" as at that point Costner was little known and had not reached his star status yet.
Responsible for the film's more than one hundred horses, five hundred cattle, pigs, chickens, and other assorted animals, all necessary to create a real atmosphere, were livestock coordinator Corky Randall and his wranglers. Randall and stunt coordinator Jerry Gatlin spent four weeks with the stars, instructing them in the art of riding.
Most of Rosanna Arquette's scenes apparently ended up on the cutting room floor, including what was implied as a romance with Paden (Kevin Kline). She still received high billing in the opening credits.
The Midnight Star Saloon was purchased some time around 2001, and moved to Melody Ranch Studio in California, where it can now be seen in its western town.
First western of Kevin Costner, who would later go on to star in Wyatt Earp (1994), Open Range (2003), and his Best Picture Oscar winning Dances with Wolves (1990), which won seven Academy Awards in total.
Immediately before Sheriff Langston is summoned because the gallows is on fire, he is playing chess with himself using a set identical to the iconic Lewis Chessmen, which were discovered in 1831 on the isle of Lewis west of Scotland. They are made of walrus ivory and are thought to date to the seventh century and are in the collection of the British Museum.
Earl Hindman played Wilson on Home Improvement (1991), where the lower half of his face was always obscured. In the scene where the house is on fire, he appears gagged, with the lower half of his face obscured.
Mal (Danny Glover) and his father Ezra (Joe Seneca) are known for their prowess with the Henry rifle. While the weapon carried by Ezra is an authentic Henry rifle, the rifle used by Mal is actually an 1866 Winchester rifle, modified to look like a Henry. This is most obvious from the loading gate on the right side of the brass receiver, a feature the earlier Henry rifle lacked.
Lawrence Kasdan cast two of his children and his wife in small roles in the film. His brother and co-writer Mark Kasdan also had a small role as a doctor that was filmed, but ended up on the cutting room floor.
With a cast of 54, plus 500 extras, the enormous task of designing and preparing costumes fell to costume designer Kristi Zea and her staff of four. Through extensive research and conferences with Lawrence Kasdan, Zea and her talented team created distinctly different silhouettes, especially for the four heroes, to make them instantly identifiable on-screen.
Eaves Ranch, a.k.a. Eaves Movie Ranch, used for the filming of such features as The Cheyenne Social Club (1970), Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979), A Gunfight (1971), and Red Sky at Morning (1971), was transformed into the Mexican village and cavalry outpost of Chimayo. The town of Turley, through which all four of the film's heroes pass, was also constructed on the Eaves Ranch. Remnants of past film sets were restored, along with the complete construction of eight additional buildings to create an authentic 1880s setting.
Despite the notorious financial and critical failure of the epic western Heaven's Gate (1980), within five years Hollywood had produced a new mini-cycle of westerns. In 1985, in addition to this film, there was Pale Rider (1985), Lust in the Dust (1984), and Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985), then Three Amigos! (1986) followed the next year.
First of two westerns directed by Lawrence Kasdan, whose second would be Wyatt Earp (1994). Both movies starred Kevin Costner.
This movie features a natural landscape environment as a key setting, which has been the trademark of Lawrence Kasdan written and/or directed movies, such as this movie, Wyatt Earp (1994), Darling Companion (2012), Grand Canyon (1991), Continental Divide (1981), and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
First of three films to co-star Kevin Kline and John Cleese. They would also work together in A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and Fierce Creatures (1997). Interestingly too, John Cleese took over Kevin Kline's role, as the Police Commissioner, in Steve Martin's "Pink Panther" films.
Second of six cinema movie collaborations (as of September 2015) of Kevin Kline and Lawrence Kasdan. The films include Silverado (1985), Grand Canyon (1991), French Kiss (1995), The Big Chill (1983), Darling Companion (2012), and I Love You to Death (1990).
In Sheriff Langford's office is a framed picture of Queen Victoria. It's evident as Paden and Jake emerge from the office door in the morning.
80s B-movie and sex comedy cult actress Betsy Russell said in an interview that the producers wanted her to audition for this film but she passed on it. Now it's one of her biggest regrets because she felt it may have changed her career. "I was a favorite of a casting director name Wally Nicita," she said, "and she eventually became a producer. She was a big fan of mine after Private School, and there was a film coming up called 'Silverado.' I was shooting 'Avenging Angel at the time and I had an audition. It was a night shoot, I was very tired and I didn't really understand the ins and outs of the business, I relied more on my manager to take care of that, and he was learning to as we went along. So they called for me at the audition for Silverado, and I didn't pay attention to who had been cast in it. I just looked at it as an ensemble piece, and the other movie I was auditioning for was a ski movie, in which I would star. I just said let's go for the bigger part. As luck would have it, the audition was in the same building as Wally Nicita's office, and she kept saying how much the director and producers of Silverado would love to see me. I told her no, I was here for the other audition. She looked at me like I was the stupidest person on the planet, and never contacted me for anything again."
Tent Rocks, the Pecos River, and Ghost Ranch offered the varied terrains, such as desert, meadows, and rocky inclines necessary for some of the film's more panoramic shots created by director of photography John Bailey.
With a cast and crew of two hundred four, this film was scheduled to shoot for only sixty-six days, entirely on-location in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, it being the oldest capital, and second oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States of America.
Three of the lead actors had been previously cast in Lawrence Kasdan's earlier film The Big Chill (1983), they being Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, and Kevin Costner. However, the latter's scenes all got deleted, so only two of them appeared in the final cut of The Big Chill (1983), but all three appear in this movie. Patricia Gaul also appeared in both pictures in minor roles.
The Rio Grande River and the Tesuque and Nambe areas were the settings for some of the film's action packed chases.
This movie was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Original Score, but failed to win in either category.
When Cobb says "this used to be a peaceful town," it echoes what sheriff Teasle says in First Blood "this is a quiet town.".Cobb and Teasle were both played by Brian Dennehey.
Meg Kasdan said that when she, the barmaid in the scene where Mal (Danny Glover) comes in to get a drink and a bed, and her two sons who play young kids, who each had one line, like their mother, appear briefly in this film, and also in The Big Chill (1983), it was their way of "sending a postcard" to friends and family, to show them how they were doing.
The Lucasarts PC video game Outlaws (1997) had game levels based on the town of Silverado, including a ramp featured in an important scene.
When Paden, Emmet and Jake escapes Sherriff Langston Jake (Kevin Costner) says "Come on, let's go". If you look closely you"ll see that Kevin Costners lips aren't moving. The line was added afterwards.
Scott Glenn and Jeff Goldblum previously starred in The Right Stuff. Also Marvin J. McIntyre and Kevin Costner starred in Fandango also released in 1985.
At one point Emmet rides the ramp into a warehouse. This is the same warehouse and ramp seen in Lonesome Dove (1989) when the Captain purchases some empty water barrels.
Pepe Serna and James Gammon appeared in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) and Conagher (1991).
The cast included one actor and one actress who have won Best Supporting Acting Academy Awards. Kevin Kline for A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
The movie's closing credits declare that the picture was "filmed entirely on location in New Mexico".
Following completion of principal photography, Carol Littleton and Lawrence Kasdan moved to Los Angeles to complete post-production.
In the scene where Augie tries to jump on Jake's horse and falls to the ground, the horse is wearing Jake's hat. This was Costner's idea just before the camera's rolled to keep with his character's goofy nature. Kasdan loved the idea and it stayed in the film.