Because of the gorgeous view it provides, the suspension bridge that connects to Riverfront Park has made an appearance in some of Spokane's highest-profile movies. It's in the conclusion of Sherman Alexie's indie-hit "Smoke Signals." Matthew Modine runs across it in 1985's coming-of-age wrestling drama "Vision Quest." And it's also where Chuck Norris shoots an armed suspect in the back during the 2005 action film The Cutter. In-between filming, Norris and his 3-year-old twins could be seen riding the Looff Carousel at the other end of the park.
Arguably the most famous scene in Spokane movie history was filmed at Ferguson's Café in the 1993 movie "Benny & Joon" (the Milk Bottle next door was used as an exterior). Though Johnny Depp's character Sam spends more time impersonating Buster Keaton, the movie's most memorable sequence was inspired by another silent-era star. A Charlie Chaplain routine from "The Gold Rush" (1925) served as the basis for Sam's odd, fork-and-dinner-roll countertop dance number. In a later interview, Depp described it as the movie's most challenging scene: "Approaching the roll dance, when you see the thing it's very simple—it's so difficult. It's so difficult … it took me a good three weeks to a month of really working on it."
For those who aren't familiar, Chuck Norris' aforementioned film "The Cutter" is basically a feature-length episode of Walker, Texas Ranger set in Spokane. At the 8-minute mark, Norris infiltrates the old Wonder Bread factory at 803 N. Post to find a kidnapping victim. After realizing the victim is already dead, he takes his anger out on a kidnapper by throwing him through a window onto Broadway Avenue. That window is highlighted in this picture.
Dutch's Bros Coffee on 2nd Avenue downtown made a prominent appearance in 2006's "Home of the Brave." In his follow-up to "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson plays the role of Jamal, an Iraqi war veteran whose trouble readjusting to civilian life leads to a dead-end shootout with Spokane's SWAT team. After taking three baristas hostage, he is fatally shot by a sniper at his ex-girlfriend's workplace, Dutch's Bros Coffee. Judging by the interview he gave to Rope of Silicon, 50 Cent did not enjoy his time in the Lilac City. He asked the interviewer: "Have you ever been to Spokane, Washington before?" then stated, "Try not to ever go to Spokane, Washington."
Nearly every famous visitor that has graced Spokane's streets has stepped foot in the Davenport. Gandhi, Johnny Cash, Babe Ruth, and Ringo Starr have all occupied rooms (though Elvis chose the Ridpath). It's not only the hotel of choice when actors fly in; it has also made an appearance in a movie or two. In 2006's "Lonely Hearts," Oscar-winner Jared Leto romanced a number of women—Salma Hayek included—in its lobby. Three years later, actor Joseph Cross gave mouth-to-mouth to an ailing dog in an elevator for the Nickelodeonesque comedy "Falling Up." But one of the biggest screen stars to ever visit the Davenport wasn't there to shoot a movie. In January of 1943, First Lieutenant Clark Gable frequented the hotel while attending gunnery training at Fort George Wright.