7 movies you didn’t know were filmed in Germany

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Laura Peacock - [email protected]
7 movies you didn’t know were filmed in Germany
Jennifer Lawrence, star of the Hunger Games at the world premiere of Mockingjay in Berlin. Photo: DPA

From a 1920s silent film to modern Hollywood blockbusters, we reveal the films you'll be surprised to learn were actually filmed in Germany, in locations such as 'Görliwood' and Tempelhof.


Captain America: Civil War, 2016

A still from the battle scene filmed at the Leipzig/Halle Airport. Photo: DPA

This star-studded film includes actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, and although the majority of the filming took place in America key scenes in the film, including the central fight sequence, were filmed in Germany.

Three Berlin locations were used in the 2015 filming, including the Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium), Messedamm and the ICC conference centre. The Leipzig/Halle Airport in Schkeuditz, Saxony was the location for the 15 minute long IMAX battle scene between Captain America and Iron Man.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968

Based on the book by Ian Fleming and starring Dick Van Dyke, this may be a classic British musical, but in fact it has two main German shooting locations.

The first German location is Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria. This is the town used for the child-catching kingdom, ‘Vulgaria’ and is where the Childcatcher searches for children. The town itself is now a Bavarian tourist spot with its perfect 17th century cobbled streets and traditional buildings.

The second location is Schloss Neuschwanstein which is used as Baron Bomburst’s castle in the film. The castle is well-known for providing inspiration to Disney and is now also a popular tourist destination and one of Germany’s most popular sights.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014

The Wes Anderson film was well received by both critics and audiences and was actually the result of an American-German-British co-production mainly financed by German companies. The majority of the filming took place in Germany.

The main location was the Görlitzer Warenhaus Department Store in Görlitz, Saxony, often dubbed as Görliwood due to the number of movies filmed there. The department store was actually abandoned and out of use, but its Art Nouveau style was deemed perfect for the film and it became the setting for the lobby of the hotel.

The unique architecture of Gorlitz means it has been a popular setting for film productions since the 50's. Other well known films which were filmed there include The Book Thief, The Monuments Men and The Reader.

The department store in Gorlitz used as the set for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Photo: DPA

Other locations which the production of The Grand Budapest Hotel used in Germany include Schloss Waldenburg, the Zwinger Museum in Dresden and the viewing platform of the Bastei Bridge in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, also near Dresden.

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2, 2015

Berlin's Messedamm subway which has become a popular location for films in Germany. Photo: DPA

The final film of the world famous franchise was not only shot in Berlin and the surrounding area, but its world premiere also took place in the German capital.

The film featured many Berlin locations including the Tempelhof Airport which was used for 12 days of the filming. The former airport was the site of the Berlin Airlift in 1948/9, and is now a sprawling park.

Other Berlin locations included Kraftwerk, the old power station building in Berlin Mitte which is now a club,  and a derelict former cement factory in Rüdersdorf. The Messedamm subway which has been used in films such as The Bourne Supremacy and Atomic Blonde was also used for shooting scenes for the final Hunger Games movie. 

Cloud Atlas, 2012

The Wachowskis’ fantasy film is based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell and stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. It was financed largely in Germany and even received funding from the German government and was described by Welt as ‘the first attempt at a German blockbuster’.

The main set for the film was Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam and other German locations were also used. Houses and forest in Saxony were used for filming, alongside the street outside the Dreischeibenhaus in Düsseldorf.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, 2010

The picturesque Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Photo: DPA

The world-famous Harry Potter film series, based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, used a German town for a brief scene in the second to last film.

There is a quick flash to a scene where Grindelwald steals a wand from Gregorovitch’s house, and this was in fact filmed in the perfect Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It’s worth looking out for the next time you settle down for a Harry Potter marathon!

Nosferatu, 1922

Nosferatu is a silent horror film which was filmed in Germany in 1921 as an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel, Dracula.

Much of the filming took place in the city of Wismar, which is located on the Baltic Sea in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Other locations in the north of Germany were also used, such as the Aegidienkirche in Lübeck and the island of Sylt.

It is probably one of the most acclaimed films to come out of Germany. In 2010 it was named in Empire magazine's ‘100 Best Films of World Cinema’.



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