Benefit of the Doubt movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Benefit of the Doubt filmed?

1993

About Benefit of the Doubt

Benefit of the Doubt was filmed in 1993 in the United States. This classic thriller was also released in Germany under the title Im Bann des Zweifels. The movie was directed by veteran filmmaker Jonathan Heap and has a cast that includes such well-known actors as Donald Sutherland and Amy Irving.

In the opening Benefit of the Doubt film scene, Karen, a tired single mother, is down on her luck and working as a waitress. Her life is upended when her father Frank is released from prison after having spent 20 years as an inmate. Karen was the key witness whose testimony led to her father’s conviction on the charge of uxoricide (the murder of one's wife). Karen remains firmly convinced that Frank is guilty. However, she struggles to recall the details of the murder.

Upon Frank’s return, he tries to find favor with Karen’s son and her new boyfriend. Karen remains very angry with Frank and confronts him about his crime. Frank is able to charm her out of her anger. He tells her that memories are not accurate and that her mother’s death was purely an accident. Karen accepts her father’s version of the truth and allows him back into her life.

Over time, Frank begins to separate Karen from her friends and family and soon rules over her and her life with an iron fist. Karen tells Frank that she is going to marry her boyfriend Dan, and just after this news, more murders begin to occur in the area.

As more and more killings take place, Karen’s memory is again triggered, and she recalls the truth of her mother’s murder and her father’s role in it. Though the movie received poor reviews from critics, all reviewers agreed that one aspect of Benefit of the Doubt was truly outstanding: the acting capabilities of the talented Amy Irving.

City Locations

Arizona: Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Sedona; Utah: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Location Types

Apartment, House, NatureScapes, Ranch, Restaurant, Police/Jails

Location Styles

Desert, Construction, Colonial, Gravel Pit/Quarry, Industrial

Benefit of the Doubt Locations

The filming locations for Benefit of the Doubt are found in several different cities throughout Arizona and Utah. Several of the most well-known scenes were shot in Utah’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The cities in Arizona that feature prominently in this beloved 1993 thriller include Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, and Sedona.

Is Benefit of the Doubt one of your all-time fave thrillers? If so, a trip to visit the filming locations for Benefit of the Doubt just might be the perfect vacation for you and your family. You’re sure to have a ball!

Fun Fact:

Released by Miramax Films in July of 1993, this movie was the very first to have a theatrical release since the company was purchased by The Walt Disney Company.

The opening scene in Benefit of the Doubt

Camp Verde, AZ

Frank has filed an appeal, hoping for an early release from prison after spending 20 years incarcerated for murdering his wife. In a voiceover, a judge and several lawyers conduct a trial to determine whether or not Frank has learned his lesson and will pose a safety risk if allowed a release after an abbreviated sentence. Frank is asked to testify on his own behalf. He shares the following words with the judge, lawyers, and jury in one of the best scenes in Benefit of the Doubt.

“I believe the strength of this nation lies in the strength of its families. {Laughing to himself} I sound like I’m making a political election speech instead of asking you to let me out of prison. But it’s why I think I should be freed from incarceration. The event that placed me here 22 years ago deprived my daughter of her family. She’s grown up now. She’s a 34-year-old single parent; she’s struggling. And whatever happened before, I hold none of that against her. I think I can provide she and her son with the stability, and the support, the moral rectitude, and the guidance that families nowadays need today to survive.”

To get to this Benefit of the Doubt location, you will need to travel just under an hour and a half from Phoenix, following I-17 N to exit 285 for Gen Crook Trail. Make a right-hand turn onto S Access Road then a left onto Highway 260. Just up the road from this final turn, you will find Camp Verde, the site where this scene was shot in a film set constructed on the grounds.

Pete and Karen discuss Frank’s release from the prison scene in Benefit of the Doubt

Cottonwood, AZ

Karen arrives home and begins calling for Pete. She peers through the house, walking through the halls and calling his name. He suddenly appears through the side door, and he’s visibly upset. He and Karen begin discussing Frank in this dialogue.

Pete: You don’t have to yell.

Karen: Where’ve you been? I was worried.

Pete: Why didn’t you tell me Frank was out of jail?

Karen: How did you know? I just found out!

Pete: I saw him today.

Karen: You saw him? A-a-a-re you okay? What did he say? What did he do?

Pete: Nothing…he showed me how to skip a rock.

Karen: Listen to me. This is serious. The man is a murderer.

Pete: Ah, come on, Mom.

Karen: No, no, no. What the h*ll do you know about it? You’re 11 years old!

Pete: He just wants to see us.

Karen: Is that what he told you? Baby, you got to listen to me on this. You have to stay away from him. You see him coming, you run the other way. Promise me you’ll stay away from him.

Pete: Okay, okay!

To visit this former Benefit of the Doubt film set from Phoenix, travel by passenger car, taking I-17 N. You can take a taxi, use a rideshare app, or rent a vehicle and drive yourself.

Frank is confronted by his police officer friend Calhoun scene in Benefit of the Doubt

Page, AZ

Calhoun pulls up outside Karen’s home in his police truck. Frank saunters out from the side of the house and calls Calhoun by name. The two share this conversation in one of the most well-known action scenes in Benefit of the Doubt.

Frank: Bob-by Calhoun, long time no see.

Calhoun: It has been a long time, hasn’t it? How ya doing, Frank?

Frank: Thought you’d come by to say, ‘Welcome home, Frank?’

Calhoun: No, it’s Karen. She’s a little nervous about seeing you again.

Frank: I’ve been watching her. Trying to figure out the best time to speak to her. She’s a real pretty girl, isn’t she?

Calhoun: She CAN get a restraining order if she wants to.

Frank: But you said you’d come and talk to me.

Calhoun: I’m not worried about you Frank. I never thought you should have been convicted in the first place. But you can’t just go and shoehorn your way back into her life if she doesn’t want you there. I’m gonna have to recommend you keep your distance.

Frank: You never thought I should have been convinced in the first place. Bobby, I spent 22 years in prison, and I did not hear a word from you. It would have been really nice to know you believed me.

Just 198 miles from Cottonwood, you can get to this former Benefit of the Doubt production location by taking US-89 and then following the signs that lead into the heart of town. Though the house that was part of this film shoot location is no longer there, you will certainly encounter the familiar desert landscape that features prominently in this classic film.

Frank accidentally kills Karen’s boyfriend Dan scene in Benefit of the Doubt

Sedona, AZ

Frank goes to visit Dan’s work site to discuss Karen with him. Frank interrupts Dan while he is working on the basement level of a construction project. The two men go above ground to talk, and on their way up the stairs to the open air, Dan hands Frank a helmet to put on for safety. The following conversation takes place between the two.

Frank: Wow, I couldn’t hear at all down there (referring to the basement area where the men first met.)

Dan: So, what’s going on, Frank? You looking for work?

Frank: Yeah (laughing). No, I need to talk to you about Karen.

Dan: Everything alright?

Frank: With Karen, no. As her father, I can’t allow you to marry her, Dan.

Dan: What are you saying, Frank?

Frank: No, no, I understand you’re part of a financial relocation. You gotta get out of town, you can’t marry her.

Dan: With all due respect, Mr. Braswell, f*ck you. F*ck you.

Frank: Wait a sec. Wait, wait. You don’t understand. You’re not a part of this family.

Dan: I’m a bigger part of it than you ever were, Frank.

Frank punches Dan in the face, and Dan swerves backward hitting his head on the building behind him. Dan crumples to the ground, and Frank is horrified to discover that he has killed him.

The trip to Sedona from Page takes only 21 minutes. You can reach this former Benefit of the Doubt filming location by traveling along W Arizona 89 by car. You could also use a rideshare app or call a taxi.

Karen’s mother discovers Frank preparing to molest Karen scene in Benefit of the Doubt

Clarkdale, AZ

This film scene is one of the most shocking in the entire movie. In an act replicating something Frank attempted during Karen’s childhood, Karen is awakened from a deep sleep by her father Frank who is looming so closely over her face that their lips almost touch.

Frank: Sweet, sweet Karen.

Karen: What the f*ck?

Frank continues to stroke her head as Karen appears to be powerless to move to stop him.

In a flashback to Karen’s childhood memories, Karen’s mother opens the door on a similar scene and yells, “You son of a b*tch, you f*ckng pervert. I’m going to call the cops.

Karen: Please, please.

Frank: For Christ’s sake, look what you’ve done to my arm. You know what, Maddy? F*ck you. I’ll kill you.

Karen slaps her father and calls him a sick bastard. She locks him inside her bedroom, grabs Pete, and the two flee the house while Frank fights to free himself.

To access this former production location, continue along W Arizona 89-A from Sedona. It is easy to get to using a rideshare service or getting a taxi.

Frank accuses Karen of provoking his recent attempted molestation of her scene in Benefit of the Doubt

Glen Canyon, UT

Pete and Frank are inside a houseboat, and Frank is scaring Pete. He has shot and killed a police officer and commends himself on his shooting prowess. He tells Pete he used to practice shooting rattlesnakes and asks him if he thinks he is a snake.

Karen approaches the door, calling for Pete, and Frank grabs her by the arm and pulls her inside, telling her to, “Get your *ss in here!” The following conversation takes place.

Frank: Shut the g*dd*mn door. Are you nuts or something dragging that boy over that mountain?

Karen: What?

Karen hugs Pete to her, and both are visibly afraid of Frank who is completely out of control.

Frank: Sit down, Pete. I want to talk to your mother.

Pete: He shot the guard.

Frank: What are you trying to do to this family?

Karen: Daddy, this is just between you and me.

Frank: No, this is between you, and me, and Pete. It’s our family. It’s the most valuable thing we have. You’re wrecking it just like your mother did for no good reason at all.

Karen: You know why I left.

Frank: I don’t know why you left.

Karen: You wanted me. Just like before.

Frank: You little sh*t. (Frank raises his hand to hit Karen). G*dd*mnit. I laid down beside you, I laid down. And you turned around and opened your mouth, you, c*cktease.

Karen: What are you talking about? You’re my father.

Frank: I’m a man. You put your arms around me and started moaning, “Dad, Dad, oh, Dad in my ear!”

Karen: I was saying, “Dan!”

Frank: You said, “Dad!”

Karen: I was asleep. I thought you were Dan!

To visit this former film set, follow US-89 from Page, Arizona.

Conclusion

Benefit of the Doubt is a classic thriller that has captivated audiences from all over the world. With a diverse landscape that spans two states, the scenery found in this gripping drama provides the perfect backdrop for this movie’s plot. Among the picturesque areas featured in this film are Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Sedona, and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Consider yourself one of Benefit of the Doubt’s biggest fans? Why not plan a trip to visit the filming locations for Benefit of the Doubt, your favorite film? You’re sure to have a fantastic time!