Whether one loves Paris, Texas, or wishes they never had to witness two and half hours of heartbreak, there is no denying the picturesque beauty of this poignant road film. The film’s transition from the desolate desert to crowded civilization is a fairly apt representation of Travis’s own return from his fugue state to that of memory restoration and painful realizations. Of course, director Wim Wenders filmed Paris, Texas so thoughtfully, that even non-fans cannot deny the location choices of the film.
We see so much of the Texan landscape as Travis and Hunter drive from the West Texas desert to LA, California, that it’s natural to wonder about these locations, probably even ride the route yourself. So which are the locations that Wim Winders used to direct Paris, Texas? Here’s what you need to know.
So where was Paris, Texas filmed?
We discover in the first half of the movie itself that when Travis utters Paris, he means the small town of Paris in Texas and yet, there is not a single shot of this real town in the entire film. However, the entire film was shot across more than 30 locations in its entirety. The major locations include the Big Bend National Park where the brothers have their first interaction before venturing on the road trip and the road trip route itself that passes through various locations in Texas which include El Paso, Galveston, Nordheim, and Marathon.
A road trip would not be complete without the hotels and motels that travelers use along the way. The film has stayed authentic by featuring a few motels and hotels like the Marathon Motel & RV Park, Wheel Inn Restaurant, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, and El Rancho Motel. Once the plot hits California, most of the crucial scenes have been shot in Olivia Terrace, the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, and Edmore Place.
The final arc of the film where Travis and Hunter travel to Houston was shot on the S9N to 110W freeway, towards the south of Patterson. This is where the film goes through its unraveling and meets its end.
A movie that more or less happens on the road could not have had more thoughtfully picked out locations. From the barren desert resonating with the protagonist, to the reentry into civilization using LA’s concrete jungle, the movie has used the location as crucial symbolism. Without these location choices, we reckon it would be impossible to create a narrative like the one given to us by Paris, Texas. Indeed when we see the ending and everything finally makes sense, Texas, Paris becomes a really poignant journey that made our hearts heavy and happy at the same time.