You can have the very best direction, the most renowned actors and the most expensive equipment – but without a film set that has hidden corners, picturesque architecture and breathtaking views to offer, you’re still rather on the lost side. Since we claim that Vienna is a city of film success and now in the 2. Lockdown again have ample time, here are 25 movies you should not miss!
Vienna as a backdrop for the success
1. Bad Spies (2018)
The Action& Director’s adventure film Susanna Fogel also made use of the Austrian capital and filmed with the Hollywood stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnan. First, the story tells of the heartbreak of the protagonist Audrey, who was dumped by her boyfriend on her birthday. What she doesn’t know is that as a government agent, this one has made some enemies, who also end up shooting him when he shows up to explain himself. Audrey takes the dying man’s promise to bring a dubious trophy to a Viennese cafe and deliver it to a contact man. Her best friend won’t let her down and so they both set off on a journey to Vienna.
In addition to metropolises such as Budapest, Prague and Amsterdam, the production also used Vienna as a filming location. A chase through the 7. District, as well as shots at Spittelberg and Michaelerplatz punctuate the film’s atmosphere.
2. Red Sparrow (2018)
Much fanfare was caused by the filming of the U.S. thriller by Francis Lawrence, who starred in the film with none other than Jennifer Lawrence was filmed. This one plays the Russian prima ballerina Dominika, who can’t dance again after an accident. Out of desperation, as she has to finance the care of her seriously ill mother, she lets herself be seduced by her uncle into seducing an oligarch for the Russian foreign intelligence service. Allegedly it should get so to information. But after the latter sends his bodyguards out of the room to rape the young woman and he is subsequently killed, the real mission crystallizes. Later on, Dominika becomes part of the Sparrow program, in which young agents are trained in the art of seduction and manipulation. When she starts a double-cross with the CIA, the protagonist is not only playing with fire, but also with her life.
The film was shot in locations such as the Michaelerplatz and the Vienna Hofburg to create the right atmosphere.
3. A Fortunate Man (2018)
The Danish drama focused on a love story that finds its way to Vienna. Young protagonist leaves his conservative, patriarchal father to study engineering and finds the supposed love of his life in the process. Based on the Danish novel "Lucky Per" took Oscar winner Bille August the film, for this he shot at several locations in Vienna: the Palais Liechtenstein, the Lusthaus, the Servitenplatz and the Zacherlfabrik in Dobling.
4. Let me go (2017)
The film is based on the autobiographical novel of Helga Schneider, an Italian writer of German descent, who enters the ring with the demons of her mother’s Nazi past. In the production of Polly Steale grandmother Juliet Stevenson and granddaughter travel to Vienna to see her terminally ill mother. This she left at a young age to work in Ausschwitz, where she became an accomplice to Nazi murders of Jews. The mother’s tales of gassing newborn babies and asking her daughter to try on her Nazi uniform show no remorse for her past. At the same time, she shows a certain sadness towards her daughter and urges her to call her mother.
5. The Woman in Gold (2015)
Directed by Simon Curtis the US-American film drama deals with the course of events of the restitution of some paintings by Gustav Klimt that the Nazis appropriated as looted art. Based on true events, but greatly simplified, the focus is on the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and an 8-year legal battle between the heirs and the Republic of Austria.
Besides Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and London, the film was also shot in Vienna. The Austrian gallery in the Belvedere served as a backdrop, historically fair.
6. Mission Impossible –
Rogue Nation (2015)
Also the 5. Part of the Mission Impossible series found its way to Vienna; the world premiere took place at the Vienna State Opera and thus also an original filming location. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie will Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) by the underground organization "Syndicate" kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured. With special help he manages to escape, but is blamed for terrorist attacks and therefore has to go into hiding for the time being. He uses the time to hunt down the syndicate boss on his own. Later, he prevents an assassination attempt on the Austrian chancellor at the Vienna State Opera, but he is only able to save him temporarily.
A whole 20 minutes of Vienna are included in this successful film, first the U2 station Schottenring and then impressive scenes in the Vienna State Opera House. Filming began as early as August 2014 in Vienna.
7. The Best Offer –
The Highest Commandment (2013)
An Italian feature film directed by Guiseppe Tornatore, who takes on the life of a lonely and somewhat unusual art expert, Virgil Oldman. Particularly here is that the 63-year-old has never had a relationship with a woman, as he admires but fears them. An unexpected encounter with the mysterious Claire Ibbotsch seems to turn his life upside down.
In addition to two castles in Lower Austria, Vienna’s city center served as the film’s backdrop.
8. Rush – All for Victory (2013)
The British-German filmography has the rivalry fight, dramaturgically debauched, of the two Formula 1 racers James Hunt and Nici Lauda as its theme. Played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, the narratives of both views alternate in a first-person perspective. Directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard, which probably explains the film’s subsequent numerous nominations.
A remarkable flair is brought to the film by, among other things, filming at various locations in Vienna’s city center, the view of the city center from the presidential suite of the Hilton Hotel, and the view of the Prater Giant Ferris Wheel from the Sofitel.
9. The Gates of the World (2012)
The sequel to the novel and film "The Pillars of the Earth" is also set in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, about 150 years after the events of his predecessor. Also based on the novel by Ken Follett, this time directed by Michael Caton-Johnes, will be the beginning of the 14. The film deals with the events of the 19th century, where the king drives his country into a 100-year war with France. The protagonists try to assert their views, formed by teachings of architecture and medicine, against the conservative church.
In addition to Maria Enzersdorf and Kreuzenstein Castle, filming for the pompous film also took place in downtown Vienna.
10. 360 – Every encounter has consequences (2011)
This is a rather abstract episodic film that tells a variety of life and love stories that are finely woven together. Directed by Fernando Meirelles play among others Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, Jude Low, Rachel Weisz and Moritz Bleibtreu different life stories amid infidelity, broken hearts, blackmail, money and gunfire.
Besides England, France and Brazil, the film was shot mainly in Vienna.
11. A Dark Desire (2011)
The psychiatrist C.G. Jung (from Michael Fassbender played) plunges, despite initial doubts, into an affair with his young patient Sabina S., who was introduced by Keira Knightley portrayed. In addition, the Canadian director’s historical film drama is about David Cronenberg from the acquaintance of the psychiatrist and none other than Sigmund Freud, who meet in Vienna. In the course, their relationship crumbles due to conflicting views, and also the affair of Jung and S. is a real roller coaster ride.
The filming took place in Germany and Austria, in Vienna it was shot in the Molkerbastei as well as in the Belvedere Palace.
12. Breathe (2011)
The Austrian feature film by Karl Markovic tells about the life of 19-year-old Roman Kogler, who is serving a 5-year sentence in a juvenile prison in Lower Austria. He finds himself in his situation because at 14 he kicked his counterpart to death in a fight. At best he applies for early release from prison, but this is only possible with employment, which is why he starts working at the Vienna funeral home. Here, in addition to his discomfort with dead bodies, he is confronted with the bullying of his superior officer. One day the men have to pick up a body of a lady whose last name is also Kogler. Roman, who was abandoned by his mother when he was a small child, assumes that it could be the same mother. Ultimately, this is not the case, but it prompts the inmate to search for his producer. In the course of the film, Kogler not only tracks down his mother, he also comes across details of his past that reveal an unconscious trauma and explain his unusually uncontrolled reaction in the argument 5 years earlier.
The drama was crowned with numerous film awards, as well as screened at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival. The main character has been transformed from a young layman Thomas Schubert played, which won the award for best actor at the Sarajevo Film Festival 2011.
With a prize budget of 1 million euros, it was shot in Vienna, among many other locations, for example, at the Praterstern and the Kaiser Franz Josef Hospital.
13. Carlos (2010)
This film is not about a superhero who saves the world, no, here we are talking about a superterrorist! It gets even more exciting, because this is the film biography of Venezuelan Ramirez Sanchez – probably known as Carlos. First, in the early 1970s, he perpetrates attacks on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In 1975, a scandal broke out when Austrian representatives apparently cooperated with terrorists.
The film biopic screened at the 2010 Cannes International Festival, and shortly thereafter was released in a five-hour version and a truncated, three-hour version. Part of this film was also shot in Vienna, namely at the time of the international scandal triggered by the hostage-taking of the OPEC oil minister in Vienna.
14. The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
400 minutes. This is how long the German-Canadian TV movie goes, maybe that’s why it was split into 4 parts. According to Ken Follet’s Novel was directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan a film in times of the 12. century shot. The central focus is the construction of a cathedral in the fictional southern English town of Kingsbridge – at the time of a raging war of succession in England.
Most of the film was shot in Hungary, but in addition to Liechtenstein Castle and Kreuzenstein Castle in Lower Austria, the Votivkirche in Vienna was also used as a film set.
15. The Piano Player (2001)
The psychological drama has adapted the novel of the same name by Elfriede Jelinek as the basis. It’s about Erika Kohut, a piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory, who still lives with her mother at the age of 30. The latter does not tolerate any social contacts and massively restricts her daughter in her private sphere. When Erika meets Walter Klemmer, a student, the latter falls in love with her and makes an effort to seek her proximity. After several approaches and bizarre events, the piano teacher gives her suitor a letter in which she describes her deepest, brutal needs.
16. Come, sweet death (2000)
Ex-policeman Simon Brenner tries his hand as a paramedic, after his career as a private detective has also failed. He is part of the rescue organization "Die Kreuzretter", which for some time has been the rival of the "Rescue League Injured person snatched away. When a murder occurs in the hospital and more follow, Brenner investigates and encounters unimagined depths of competition.
In 2001 the film of Wolfgang Murnberger the Austrian Film Award, Vienna has also served here as a film backdrop. The rescue organizations "Die Kreuzretter and "Rettungsbund" allude to the system of the city of Vienna, which, in addition to its own rescue service of the Wiener Berufsrettung, also has two lucrative competitors, the Red Cross and the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund.
17. Before Sunrise (1995)
This film also revolves around a love story, namely that of the Frenchwoman Celine and the American Jesse, who get to know each other on a train ride from Budapest to Paris. But Jesse has to rest in Vienna to catch his flight home the next day, so he convinces Celine to make a stopover in Vienna with him.
In principle, the entire plot consists of a walk through Vienna, much was also shot on original locations, such as the Johann Strauss steamboat on the Danube Canal in Vienna.
18. Sissi (1995)
Of course, what must not be missed is probably the most popular love story in the German-speaking world: Sissi! The Austrian historical film tells of the early years of Empress Elisabeth, with Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Bohm as the main actor.
In addition to the breathtaking scenery from all over Austria, the film focuses especially on Vienna, which has always provided a huge boost to tourism. For the historic imperial wedding, which originally took place in 1854 in the Augustine church, film footage was used in from the St. Michael’s church. The Vienna-Sievering and Vienna-Schonbrunn studios also bring an appropriate atmosphere to the film’s plot.
19. The Three Musketeers (1993)
Most of us will be familiar with this title, whether as a story, novel or even movie. The latter was filmed in 1993 under the direction of Stephen Herek, creating a notorious cloak-and-dagger film.
The story of D’Artagnan from Gascony, who travels to Paris to become one of the renowned and fearless musketeers. When he discovers that they have been disbanded by Cardinal Richelius in a plot against the king. Frustrated, he challenges the three most famous Musketeers to a duel in a confrontation when all four are attacked by the Cardinal’s soldiers. After the attack is repelled, it is decided that it is better to work together to protect the king.
The film was set in various locations in Austria, including Vienna, which was depicted as France in the time of the Musketeers.
20. James Bond 007 – Breath of Death (1987)
The 15. James Bond film was released in August 1987 in German cinemas, for the first time Timothy Dalton plays the notorious double agent. This time a killer is hunted who targets spies and murders two soldiers and an agent right at the beginning of the film. The killer escapes Bond, and the chase begins in Bratislava.
Since there were problems with the filming permit in Bratislava, scenes set there were also partly filmed in Vienna. The film was shot on location at the Vienna Gasometer, the Volksoper, the Prater and the Sofia Column.
Fun fact: Director John Glen worked on the set of "The Third Man" as a 17 year old and chose the Ferris wheel scene as a homage to this novel.
21. Amadeus (1984)
The film drama Miloš Forman from 1984, deals with the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the point of view of the Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri. The action begins in the winter of 1823, 32 years after Mozart’s death. Salieri is sent to an "insane asylum" for attempted suicide He is admitted to the hospital and begins his story when a young priest comes to hear his confession.
Based on the play "Amadeus" by from Peter Shaffer the film is shot for this purpose largely in Czechoslovakia and Vienna.
22. Firefox (1982)
Clint Eastwood produced this film in 1982, based on the novel of the same name by Craig Thomas. But because being a producer is not enough, he also played the role of the pilot Mitchell Gant and directed the film.
The plot revolves around the MiG-31, a new Soviet Union fighter with the fictitious NATO code name "Firefox", which far outshines all previous models. That the Soviets do not get a military advantage, the Americans plan to steal the plane with the help of the British. This is where Mitchell Gant comes in, the ex-Vietnam pilot is chosen to pilot the plane, despite post-traumatic stress disorder.
The exterior shots, set in Moscow, as well as the scenes in the subway and at the subway stops were filmed in Vienna. here the stations Stadtpark U4 and Sudtirolerplatz U1 served the filming.
23. The goalkeeper’s fear of the penalty kick (1975)
This is a feature film by the German director Wim Wenders, which was based on the work of the same name by Peter Handke on which it is based. As the title suggests, the protagonist is a goalkeeper, Josef Bloch. At the beginning, during a soccer match, the latter gets into a fight with a referee, after which he is expelled from the field. Afterwards he wanders aimlessly through Vienna, where he meets a cinema cashier with whom he spends the night. The next morning, when she playfully tries to seduce him with a rope, Josef Bloch strangles her with it for no apparent reason. In spite of the fact that the traces are covered up, the police get on his trail, and the longer the plot goes on, the more it seems as if he is trying to steer the investigation towards himself.
So, although the title suggests it, this is not a sports movie, but a psychological crime drama. That is why the film was initially denied its success, because it did not meet the expectations of the audience.
24. The Third Man (1949)
The film noir of Carol Reed of the year 1949, brings Vienna as an occupied territory into focus through expressionistic camera perspectives. American author Holly Martins tours the capital in the aftermath of a job offer. There he quickly becomes entangled in criminal machinations and makes inquiries that hold the unexpected.
Among other things, the British classic is famous for its film score of Anton Karas known, which was recorded on the zither. Also the chase through the Viennese sewers, as well as the famous "cuckoo clock" quote of the actor Orson Welles.
In addition to the climax of the action on the Ferris wheel in the Prater, was also at the Central Cemetery and various locations in the 1. District turned. There is the possibility within the framework of the "Third Man Tour" to recreate the scenes yourself, or to visit the Third Man Museum.
25. Sodom& Gomorrah (1922)
The monumental silent movie of Michael Curtiz, is probably the biggest and most expensive film production in Austrian film history. The plot revolves around Mary Conway, who lives in a luxury frenzy and whose favorite pastime is raucous parties. In order to maintain this standard of living, her mother urges her to marry Jackson Harber, a much older stock market profiteer. Broken hearts, drama and the world of the beautiful and rich await us in this film.
The film was shot on the Laaer Berg in Vienna, and between 3000 and 14000 people were involved in the shooting.
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