Although the setting for the film is a fictional route between Arkansas and the Grand Canyon, the movie was filmed almost entirely in the states of California and Utah.The primary filming locations for the movie are rural areas around Bakersfield, California and Moab, Utah.
Thelma wants to go to the police but Louise fears that no one will believe Thelma's claim of attempted rape and they will be subsequently charged for murder.
They decide to go on the run, but Louise demands they travel from Oklahoma to Mexico without going through Texas. Louise is distraught, so a guilty Thelma takes charge and later robs a nearby convenience store using the tactics she learned from listening to J. Meanwhile, the FBI are getting closer to catching the fugitives after witnesses at the bar saw Louise's 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible speeding out of the parking lot the night of the shooting.
The Grand Canyon scenes were actually filmed just south of Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah.
Parts of the film were also shot at Shafer Overlook, Monument Valley, La Sal Mountains, La Sal Junction, Cisco, Old Valley City Reservoir, Thompson Springs, Arches National Park, and Crescent Junction in Utah. Janet Maslin of The New York Times had only praise for the film in her review: "Mr.
Thelma, a ditzy housewife, is married to a disrespectful and controlling man, Darryl, while sharp-tongued Louise works as a waitress in a diner, and is on-off dating a musician, Jimmy, who spends most of his time on the road.
On the way they stop for a drink at a roadhouse bar where Thelma meets and dances with a flirtatious stranger, Harlan.
Enraged, Louise responds by shooting him dead, and the pair flee the scene.
At a motel, they discuss how to handle the situation.
They pull over and demand an apology from him, but when he refuses, they fire at the fuel tanker he is driving, causing it to explode.
Thelma and Louise are finally cornered by the authorities only one hundred yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon.
They drive away from the scene and spend the next few nights heading further west.