Spend some time on YouTube and you'll find a whole cadre of cinephiles who go to great lengths to find and upload obscure movie locations. Here's one for La Bamba, which I just randomly chose after Google-typing "YouTube filming locations." These videos are great, because you get a real-time feel for, say, where Bruce the Shark made his film debut. But for true down-in-the-weeds movie grit, you can't beat a fat, self-published, encyclopedia of movie location arcania, such as In Search of Western Movie Sites by Carlo Gabersek and Kenny Stier (Lulu, 2014). I missed this one when it came out, but the authors are no slouch when it comes to spotting saddlebums and starlets in sagebrush. Check out their A Century of Western Movie Locations and The First Fifty Years of Sound Western Movie Locations, 1929-1979, which weighs in at 478 pages and will definitely make my Christmas in July wish list.
For locals, In Search of Western Movie Sites is a trove of information on Westerns filmed in Southern Arizona, including a section on shoot'em ups lensed in our own Tucson Mountains--my backyard. Some I knew about, many I didn't. Walk the Proud Land (1956) with Audie Murphy? No knowledge of that one (although I was aware that Murphy once owned the TM Ranch down by Vail). Jennifer Jones fans will find an extensive chapter on David O. Selznik's extravagant Duel in the Sun (1946)--at $6 million, the most expensive Western ever filmed at that time.
For even more detail on early Tucson filmmaking, pick up Location Filming in Arizona: The Screen Legacy of the Grand Canyon State (2014), which I'll post about in the coming weeks. Santa, you reading this?