Film Industry

Movies Shot in Austria

Austria as Filming Location for Hollywood

The most globally famous film that was shot in Austria must be The Sound of Music (1965), starring Julie Andrews. The setting was the country’s second biggest city; Salzburg. 50 years later the Progressive Crew was lucky enough to have revisited the film’s iconic scenes with Julie Andrews. At the same time, in the last few years Vienna, Salzburg and the Alps have yet again attracted multiple Hollywood productions. This article will tell you about some of them.

The most globally famous film that was shot in Austria must be The Sound of Music (1965), starring Julie Andrews. The setting was the country’s second biggest city; Salzburg. 50 years later the Progressive Crew was lucky enough to have revisited the film’s iconic scenes with Julie Andrews. At the same time, in the last few years Vienna, Salzburg and the Alps have yet again attracted multiple Hollywood productions. This article will tell you about some of them.

Classic Movies Shot in Austria

Even much before the millennium, many prominent films in film history were shot in Austria. Many believe that there are no other films that are so strongly connected to Vienna, as Carol Reed’s and Graham Greene’s 1949 Oscar winning film, The Third Man. To this day, enthusiasts visit some of the film’s locations in the Viennese sewer system, thanks to The Third Man tours.

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The director called by many as “The Master of Suspense”, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1920s silent film called The Mountain Eagle is set in Kentucky, but was shot in Tirol, Austria. They consider this film lost, since none of its copies have survived. Photographs of the film shoot have emerged, which were sold at an auction in Los Angeles in December of 2012. What could have happened to the film copies is only one of Hitchcock’s mysteries.

James Bond: Spectre (2015)

Locations: Sölden, Altaussee, Obertilliach


The Ice Q restaurant, located on the peak of Gaislachkogl, the highest point in Austria’s Sölden, is a cubic, glass structure which serves as a clinic in the film. An extensive car chase was filmed at an altitude of 1377-2800m on on 16km stretch of the mountain highway called the Ötztaler Gletscherstrasse, between Sölden and the Ötztaler Gletscher.

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In the Film, one of the Bond girls is kidnapped in a Jeep, and James Bond takes up the chase in a small plane. A 16km stretch of the Gletscherstrasse was shut down. Bond has to crash land on one of the ski runs, destroying a cabin in the process, and eventually skidding to a stop.


Shooting the Scene: The plane used in the film was stored in a tent because none of the hangers in the eastern Tyrol were large enough to house the planes used in the scene. Shooting this scene require a snowplow and a tractor which dragged the sliding plane back to its starting position. Two operational planes, one in the air, and the other on ground, as well as several prepped crashed planes were used to simulate the crash landing.

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Many scenes in the film were shot around Obertilliach, which is close to the Italian border in the eastern Tyrol. One example was the construction of one of Bond’s pads on the Golzentipp ski resort. One of the actors, Dave Bautista commented on the locations: “The whole thing is surreal, like a painting.”


The lake and village at Altaussee were also used as locations for several scenes. This area is full of beautiful villas and hunting lodges because it was an extremely popular holiday destination during the imperial age. Altaussee is the location of the largest working salt mine in Austria, which was used by the Nazis to hide more than 6700 works of art, among them works by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Rembrandt.

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The 20 minute segment of the film that takes place in Austria attracted so many tourists, that it meant a income of over 100 million euros for the country. The day shooting began at Obertilliach, two calves were born, which were named after Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux.


Spectre is not the first James Bond film to be set in Austria. The 1987 film, The Living Daylights and the 2008 film Quantum of Solace was also shot here; in Begrenz and in Feldkirch to be precise.

The Three Musketeers (1993)

Alexander Dumas’ The Three Musketeers novel’s 1993 film adaptation was filmed mainly in England and in Austria. Apart from Vienna, it was also shot in the region of lower Austria Perchtoldsdorf, Schloss Petronell, Koneuburg, Hinterbrühl, Maria Enzersdorf, Retzer Windmühle and in the region of Burgenland, in Markt Sankt Martin. The locations and castles, the Castles Landsee and the Burg Liechtenstein perfectly acted as historic France. The main characters were such famous actors as Charlie Sheen or Kiefer Sutherland.

Season of the Witch (2011)

The fantasy adventure film with Nicolas Cage, premiered in 2011, called Season of the Witch was filmed in Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The makers of the film searched through the whole of Europe for the perfect locations. One of the key issues was to find a suitable medieval castle, which was how they chose the fairytale-like Austrian Kreuzenstein castle. The castle is merely 20 km north from Vienna, above the Danube Valley. It was important for the location to be authentic according to the plot, so that the manufactured sets were only supplementing the castle.

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra played classical works through 20 minutes of the film. Works by Puccini, Mozart, and Beethoven were recorded over two days in the gold hall of the Wiener Musikverein. Director Christopher McQuarrie called the scene an instant classic saying “These two days were very special for me. I heard the best music, from the best musicians, in the best hall there is.” Care was taken that every movement in the frame was synchronized with the music, as if it was written for the film. For example, dramatic parts played during action sequences, quiet melodies during more mysterious sequences.

The Staatsoper and Schottenring metro stations were the primary settings for the scene. The majority of the action sequences were shot around, and on the roof of the Opera House. There was some shooting done inside of the Opera House, but most of the interior shots were done with reconstructions later on. This scene required a 300 person technical team, and 1200 extras. This was most expensive shoot done in Vienna in the last 30 years. The Opera scenes alone brought the city 4 million euros in revenue.

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Woman in Gold (2015)

The producers of Woman in Gold found the Vienna shoot to be a pleasant experience, they were more than happy with the Austrian team. Authenticity was very important for the creators, which required filming in Vienna because the actual events of the film took place in there.

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The crew included over 100 person technical team and several thousand extras. Woman in Gold was executive produced by Oscar winner Harvey Weinstein and stars Helen Mirren, Ryan Reymolds, and Daniel Brühl. Specific Vienna locations seen in the film are St. Ulrichs, Juden- und Rooseveltplatz, The Parliament building, Kaiserwiese, Belvedere, the Opera House, Hotel Sacher, Palais Auersberg, and Semperdepot.

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A Dangerous Method (2011)

This historical drama, chronicling the feud between Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, was actually shot on location in Vienna at places like the Belvedere Castle, and even Sigmund Freud’s actual house (which is today the Sigmund Freud Museum). Even Freud’s real desk was used in the film.

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It was typical of Jung to work and study on the shores of Zürichsee, but since filming there was not possible because of the modern architecture, these scenes were shot at Bodensee instead. Bodensee has the perfect architecture for the period because of its history as a cultural hub, and after Lake Balaton in Hungary, and Lake Geneva in Switzerland, it is the largest body of freshwater in Europe.

Before Sunrise (1995)

This whole film takes place in Vienna, after a young man and woman meet on a train and decide to stop to do some sightseeing. Lee Daniel was brilliant at capturing Vienna’s true beauty, free of tourists. Their journey begins and ends at Vienna’s Westbahnhof. They visit the Albaner Hafen Cemetery, where one of the protagonists, Celine, speaks of a 13 year old girl named Elizabeth over an unmarked grave. The couple then heads toward the city center from the Albertinaplatz to the Hotel Palais Schwarzenberg.

Stops

1. Westbahnhof: This is where Celine and Jesse begin their journey through Vienna.

2. Zollamtssteg Bridge: The couple meets two strangers on this bridge, who invite them to the theater, where the piece is the story of a cow.

3. Maria Theresia Platz: They stroll along the square.

4. Ferris Wheel: Where they have their first kiss.

5. Donaukanal: Celine and Jesse meet a poet who asks them to say a word that he can write about. Their response: “Milkshake”

6. Kleines Cafe: This is where they have their first coffee together and meet a palm reader who tells them that they are both stars.

7. Maria am Gestade Cathedral: Jesse and Celine talk

8. Cafe Sperl: They share their second coffee together, and simulate a telephone conversation between Celine and her girlfriend (played by Jesse) in paris who she was supposed to have lunch with that afternoon.

9. Albertina Museum: They watch the sunset over the city from the museum balcony.

10. Johann Strauß boat at the Donaukanal: This is where Jesse and Celine have their goodbye talk.

11. Our protagonists have a bottle of wine in the park and then head back to Albertina, where Jesse recites a poem.

12. Westbahnhof: They return to the train station where their journey began, where they promise each other that they would meet at the same place in 6 months.

Knight and Day (2010)

18 minutes of this film, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, takes place in  Salzburg. Linzergasse, Salzach, Hotel Stein, Dom, and Max Reinhardt Platz are all seen in the film. The railway station shown in the film is not actually in Salzburg. A huge job during production was just keeping fans and paparazzi off the set Cameron Diaz said that “When we were filming the shooting sequences, you could hear gunshots all through the whole city, seeing as how Salzburg is a pretty small city. It was incredible, it was like the whole city was getting bombed by helicopters!”

And many more...

From the 1965 Beatles film Help! and Bridget Jones’s Diary, even today there are a lot of film productions happening in Austria. This is due to the fact that the Austrian government has taken many measures to make their country open towards film productions, even large scale ones. They want to be able to offer them as many opportunities as possible.

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