Roswell movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Roswell filmed?


City Locations

Bisbee, Arizona

Location Types

American, House, NatureScapes, Police/Jails, Buildings/Offices

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Bus, Dilapidated/Neglected, Federal Building

About Roswell

Roswell, a 1994 made-for-TV movie, is alternatively referred to as Roswell: The U.F.O. Cover-Up. The film is loosely based on the true-to-life story about what is known as the Roswell UFO incident in which the military seized a flying saucer and its crew members after a crash near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Several UFO-related incidents and sites are featured in this movie including Area 51, autopsies on extraterrestrial beings, the suspicious death of James Forrestal, and Majestic-12.

The script for this film was taken from the novel UFO Crash at Roswell authored by Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt. Among the all-star cast members rounding out this ensemble are Charles Martin Smith, Peter MacNicol, Kim Griest, Bob Gunton, Xander Berkeley, Martin Sheen, and Dwight Yoakam.

In the opening Roswell film scene, there is a 30-year reunion in place for those involved in the 509th Operations Group. In flashback sequences, the footage shows Major Jesse Marcel’s efforts to uncover the truth about some unusual artifacts found in July 1947 on the property of a local rancher.

He is informed that the remnants he has found are particles from a fallen weather balloon. However, Marcel is not swayed by this lie and continues to try to ferret out the truth. He realizes that the truth may be something highly unusual and something that makes him feel uncomfortable, but he is adamant that he needs to forge on in his queries.

The New York Times gave Roswell a mixed review, noting the tension in the film and its engrossing narrative. However, it was less flattering about what it felt was the dramatization of a conspiracy theory. Variety also praised the film’s ability to hold the viewer’s attention but felt the content was not based on real events.

The Los Angeles Times expressed that Roswell was a movie that had gravitas but that the deeper moral to be taken from the film was the story of man’s quest for the truth rather than any extraterrestrial activity on Earth.

Roswell Locations

Almost all of the film shoot locations in Roswell were done in Arizona. It seems to be the perfect place for all of the sites that are supposed to take place in New Mexico because of the scenery.

Are you a follower of the Roswell incident? Do you count Roswell among your favorite made-for-TV films? If so, why not plan a trip to visit the filming locations for Roswell? You’re sure to have an enlightening and fun vacation!

Fun Fact:

Roswell was filmed and featured on TV’s Showtime network.

The opening scene in Roswell

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, Arizona

This Roswell scene opens to show Jesse, Vy, and young Jesse standing staring into an open field. They are advanced in age and reminiscing on the events that occurred 30 years ago. They share this conversation.

Jesse: Doesn’t feel like 30 years, does it?

Young Jesse: It does to me.

Vy: We had some good times under these skies.

Young Jesse: Come on, Mom.

Young Jesse and Vy walk back towards the car while older Jesse continues to stare past the mountains into the horizon.

To get to this Roswell film location from Bisbee, take AZ-80 E, traveling along W Double Adobe Road then N Central Highway to W Bagby Road in McNeal. Continue driving on W Bagby Road until you reach N Coffman Road where you will find your destination.

A storm rolls in bringing with some suspicious activity scene in Roswell

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona

This Roswell action scene takes place at the fictional Roswell Army Airfield on July 4th, 1947. After completing a day’s work, Jesse leaves the air force base bound for home. Prior to leaving, he speaks to the on-duty private Joe, and they share this dialogue about the impending storm.

Jesse: Hey, Joe!

Joe: Looks like a big one coming up.

Jesse: I wouldn’t worry too much. I’ve got all of the A bombs battened down.

He returns home to discover the storm is hitting his home quite hard. A bolt of lightning flashes dangerously close to the kitchen window. Jesse and Vy look out the window at the storm that is now rolling in with fierce intensity.

To visit the site of this Roswell film scene, you can take make use of public transit by boarding Bus 34.

Mac goes on the radio to discuss his discovery scene in Roswell

Bisbee Douglas International Airport, Arizona

In this Roswell production scene, Mac is interviewed by a local radio station to share his story of what he discovered on his ranch. Mac shares these details with the interviewer Frank Joyce.

Frank Joyce: Well, it’s been kind of an interesting day here in Roswell. We have in our study Mac Brazel. Mac, could you tell us exactly what it is that you found up there on your ranch?

Mac: Yeah, well…well, I’d say most likely it’s somethin’ that come from another planet. Everything out there was really strange. Like from one of them flying saucers.

Frank Joyce: well, we have been hearing all last month about people seeing strange things in the air. But if you were right, we may have one on the ground.

This footage was shot inside the Bisbee Douglas International Airport in two adjoining private offices that were converted into a film set specifically for this scene. Located 24 miles outside of Bisbee and only 9 from Douglas, you can easily make a visit to this Roswell filming location by traveling Highway 191.

Lewis shares some of his knowledge of the incident with Jesse scene in Roswell

Highway 191 connecting Bisbee and Douglas, Arizona

Lewis Rickett and Jesse play a round of golf and discuss Jesse’s determination to find out everything Sherman knows about the vents that unfolded on July 4th, 1947. Jesse is convinced that Sherman has knowledge he will not share. Lewis queries why he is so obsessed with finding out these details, and Jesse tells him he feels they all have a right to know the answers, and he will not give up until he has them.

Lewis shares with him this secret, “This is dangerous. If you tell anybody I said any of this, I’ll deny it. You understand?” Jesse nods his head in assent, and Lewis continues, “First of all, Carson was there. I know this because he took me to the site with him. Said he wanted another set of eyes on this. Guess you’d been sent off to Fort Worth.”

In a flashback sequence, Sherman and Lewis travel a country highway toward the field where the incident occurred. Lining the sides of the highway are people with binoculars trained on the field. Sherman and Lewis engage in this dialogue.

Lewis: Looks like half the town is here.

Sherman: Now, the reason I…I’m not telling you anything is that I want your honest, untarnished response. And I don’t care how far-fetched or foolish it is.

Lewis: Fine.

Though it isn’t possible to target the exact length of the highway where this film was shot, you can pick up Highway 191 directly from the town limits in Bisbee. The scenery found between the two cities of Bisbee and Douglas is sparse but breathtakingly beautiful. As you drive the length of the road, you can easily envision what it must have been like for the town’s residents to gaze off into the distance wondering if alien life had been discovered within the desert there.

Jesse continues to search for the truth scene in Roswell

Tucson, Arizona

Jesse goes to visit a man who called him and indicated he may have information about the Roswell U.F.O. incident. He rings the doorbell and asks the man if he is the person who called him, and the man says that he is. He invites Jesse into his home, and the two men begin a conversation.

Jesse: Do you really think they’ll come after you?

Searcy: Well, they said they would. Hey, these guys were not kidding alright? I mean they even came in and picked up the press release. The one you guys sent out from the radio station, from the newspaper; they just came in and picked it up, in and out, no more paper trail. Total denial. That rancher was threatened. The sheriff was threatened. I knew these people, and they threatened me.

Jesse: That was 30 years ago.

Searcy: Yeah, well, maybe I’ll just wait 30 more.

Jesse: well, I don’t have 30 more years. I probably don’t have two. Now I’m asking man to man…

Searcy: well, if it’s any help to you, I know that that weather balloon thing was a lie.

Jesse: I know that. That’s not what I’m here for.

Searcy: Look, I just don’t want to get involved in this. Alright? I mean as far as I’m concerned it never g*dd*mned happened. Now have you got it?

Jesse: Please! Please!

The exact location of this Roswell film set is not known though it is most likely simply a studio stage or private facility in Tucson, Arizona. A large city, this Roswell film scene was most likely shot in one of Tucson’s many suburban areas. Many of the shots in this movie were filmed in Tucson, so why not take some time to enjoy this great city while exploring some of the most popular filming locations in Roswell?

Townsend admits what he knows scene in Roswell

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona

In this scene, Townsend and Jesse are in an airport hangar at Roswell Army Airfield. Townsend makes the decision to share his knowledge of the incident with Jesse. This conversation follows.

Townsend: So, what they decided to do was build some secret bases out in the middle of the desert to study all this. But Secretary Forrestal demanded he sees for himself what was going on out there.

In a flashback sequence, Forrestal and his men enter a tunnel, which was then a private underground facility. In what appears to be a hospital room, the men are able to glimpse a bedridden alien being cared for by a soldier. The alien appears to converse with the soldier in English, and the soldier agrees to try to provide the alien with what it has requested. This conversation takes place between Forrestal and one of his men.

The man: He knows you’re here.

Forrestal: I thought this was mirrored.

The man: It is.

Bus line 34 will take you directly to the site of this Roswell film set found in Tucson, Arizona.


The Roswell incident is the subject of much controversy today, and those who are fascinated by the concept of alien life forms and U.F.O. activity will delight to discover this 1994 classic film known simply as Roswell.

Though the majority of the scenes were filmed in Bisbee, Arizona, there are also several film sets found in Tucson and also the nearby towns of Warren, Lowell, and Sonoita. The desert locales that feature prominently in this popular movie are breathtaking to behold and true to the real-life events that occurred on that fateful July day in 1947.

Fascinated with all things Roswell? Then a trip to visit the Roswell filming locations might be just what the doctor ordered!