Don’t Worry Darling: Palm Springs shapeshifts into deceiving utopia ‘Victory’


Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

Dating back several decades, in the 1950s and 1960s, Palm Springs was a Hollywood playground for celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore and the Rat Pack.

Surrounding areas were becoming developed, and everything was new and glamorous in town, from the glistening palms, the dive bars, the violet desert mountains cast by the sunset, and Palm Springs’ most popular feature to this day: mid-century modern architecture.

All this beauty and more are displayed on the silver screen in Olivia Wilde’s sophomore film, Don’t Worry Darling. Still, this time, Florence Pugh and Harry Styles are the residents of Victory, a fictional alternative of Palm Springs. Numerous desert landmarks can be spotted throughout the film, and the cinematography transforms our everyday sights into something always sunny yet dark. Mentioned below are the main filming locations of Don’t Worry Darling and what they represent in the film.

Canyon View Estates

Set up as Victory’s residential cul-de-sac, the homes in Canyon View Estates were only filmed from the exterior out into the street, as they are private homes in real life, while the interior shots were filmed on a set. Architects Dan Palmer and William Krisel built the non-gated community in the 1960s and you can drive by the movie’s exact locations off South Sierra Madre in Palm Springs.

The Kaufmann House

Nestled in the Little Tuscany neighborhood of downtown Palm Springs, The Kaufmann House is a private residence that has been popular for far longer than the movie itself. Designed by Richard Neutra and built in 1947, the structure has been a staple of mid-century modern architecture for decades, so much so that it had its own breakout moment when photographer Slim Aarons captured it in his art piece Poolside Gossip. In the film, the house serves as Frank’s (Chris Pine) house, the twisted antagonist responsible for his Victory Project.

Palm Springs City Hall and Palm Springs Visitor Center

As Don’t Worry Darling’s husbands were out working at Headquarters, the homemaker wives traveled elsewhere together, and one of those establishment shots included the trolley station and a mall, which are the Palm Springs City Hall and the Palm Springs Visitor Center, both designed by architect Albert Frey in the 1950s and 60s.

La Quinta Resort and Club

The La Quinta Resort shot is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Still, it stands as an establishing overhead shot of the road leading to downtown Victory where the wives’ dance studio is located, just like the long and tall line of shrubbery leads to the resort’s entrance in real life. The La Quinta Resort and Club is open to the public — and open for some solid Instagram photos while you’re at it.

The Volcano House

Lastly, the Volcano House is the farthest shooting destination compared to the rest listed. Located 100 miles outside the Coachella Valley, in Newberry Springs outside of Barstow, California, the structure resembles alien headquarters with its obtuse design surrounded by nothing but the Mojave Desert. In the film, the design isn’t far off from its purpose of being Victory’s mysterious headquarters, where no wife is allowed to go. Florence Pugh’s character, Alice, goes there regardless in search of answers. The 1800-square-foot house was built by Harold Bissner Jr. in 1968 and was formerly owned by none other but famous travel broadcaster Huell Howser, who later sold the home exclusively to Chapman University.

Don’t Worry Darling (R) is now playing in theaters everywhere.