I recently heard an amazing story about the night Christopher Walken bellied up to the bar at the Hitching Post in Cheyenne.

It was the spring of 1979 and Walken had recently won an Academy Award for his role in The Deer Hunter.

The actor had just been cast to play Nate Champion in the film Heaven's Gate, which was based on  Wyoming's infamous Johnson County War.

According to one of the patrons at the Hitching Post that night, Walken said that he was passing through Cheyenne on his way to Montana, where most of the movie was filmed. Several scenes depicting Casper were also filmed in Idaho.

Walken told customers he was heading north and planned to stop along the way at several of the sights that were featured in the film.

The movie star was friendly and talkative, asking questions about the Hitching Post and the area. He reportedly also asked several patrons for tips on how to portray the popular Wyoming character.

Unfortunately, Heaven's Gate was not a hit at the box office, earning only $3.5 million.

 

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