Napoleon Dynamite | 2004
- DIRECTOR |
- Jared Hess
The geeks inherit the earth in Jared Hess’ wryly deadpan one-off, which put Preston, Idaho, on the map. Literally. The town, on Highway 91, at the Utah border, 100 miles north of Salt Lake City, has produced a Sweet Map to Napoleon’s Preston.
Napoleon (Jon Heder) lives with brother Kip and his Grandma at 1447 East 800 North Road, a bit to the northeast of town.
He attends Preston High School, 151 East 200 South; playing tether-ball in the playground at 525 South 400 East Street.
It’s in front the home of of new boy Pedro Sanchez (Efren Ramirez), 59 South 2nd East, that Napoleon tries a sweet jump on Pedro’s Sledgehammer bike.
Pedro – maybe optimistically – leaves a home-made cake outside the house of Summer Wheatley, his competition for class president, at 3384 South Parkinson Road.
Meanwhile Napoleon tempts Trisha to the prom by delivering a portrait (“I spent, like, three hours doing shading on the upper lip”) to her home at 253 South 2600 East.
He buys his awesome suit at Deseret Industries Thrift Shop, 36 South State Street. In fact, the store furnished most of the film’s wardrobe.
The chicken farm, where Napoleon and friends earn six dollars (plus all the eggs they can eat – and drink) moving around chickens with large talons, is Ritewood Egg Co, 3643 South 4000 East, Franklin.
Kip and Napoleon learn self-respect studying the ‘Rex Kwon Do’ self-defence system at 12 1/2 North State Street. They’re left in the care of Uncle Rico after Grandma breaks her coccyx bike-riding at St Anthony Sand Dunes, 11,000 acres of white sand, about eight miles west of St Anthony, on Highway 20, north of Idaho Falls. It’s a wilderness study area, and consequently a great favourite for dune buggy enthusiasts.
Also out of town – and out of the state – Kip confides in Uncle Rico about his on-line girlfriend, LaFawnduh, at Big J’s Drive-in, 190 South 200 East, Richmond, Utah, opened in 1959 (as Jed’s) and was about to be demolished.
The bowling alley, in which Kip and Rico plan their sure-fire business venture, is back in Preston: Pop’n Pin Lanes, 411 South Hwy 91.
Finally, the wedding of Kip and LaFawnduh (shot months after completion of the film) is at Lamont Reservoir, a couple of miles east of Preston.
• Many thanks to Kevin Wellard for help with this section.