Prague in Films
Our capital is not only one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; it’s also one of the most popular film locations in the Czech Republic. So what movies has Prague “starred” in?
The capital city offers filmmakers countless eye-catching exteriors and interiors, modern film studios and the services of experienced professionals. During more than twenty years of the modern Czech state’s existence, Prague has been the backdrop and played a starring role in many international blockbusters. Even before 1989, foreign production companies began filming here. Director Miloš Forman broke down the Iron Curtain with a film that today stands among the classics of world cinema. In the eight-time Oscar-winning film Amadeus, Prague stood in for Vienna, but filming it here was the perfect advertisement for the Prague crew. The film was shot in the Lesser Town, in the Archbishop's and the Wallenstein Palaces, and at the Estates Theatre. Wolfgang Amadeus’ film wedding with Constance took place in the Church of St. Giles on Husova Street, and in the scene with Mozart's coffin is carried out of the city under gloomy skies, we recognize Vyšehrad’s Leopold Gateway.
The post-revolution era of foreign productions was kicked off by a very successful spy thriller featuring CIA agent Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise. Thanks to this film, in which the city finally “played” itself, interest in Czech capital increased significantly abroad. The spires of Prague will remain forever part of the Mission: Impossible film poster, released in cinemas in 1996. Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible came back to Prague fifteen years later to film the fourth instalment. This time, however, Prague stood in for Moscow and Prague Castle for Moscow’s Kremlin. There are numerous films in which Prague has represented other European cities. For example, in the film From Hell, depicting Jack the Ripper’s killing spree with Johnny Depp in the role of the inspector, it transformed into Victorian London. Prague also represented the city on the Thames in Shanghai Knights, where Prague Castle stood in for Buckingham Palace. The actor Gérard Depardieu roamed around Charles Bridge in the Les Miserables series, as did the Scarlet Pimpernel in the British TV series, filmed in the city’s streets and parks.
A large percentage of foreign films are also shot in Prague’s film studios. At the request of Roman Polanski, Barrandov was transformed into Oliver Twist’s London in 2005. Barrandov Studios were also home to the shooting of parts one and two of C.S. Lewis’ famous Chronicles of Narnia trilogy. Of the Hollywood big movies partially filmed in Prague, we can’t forget to mention the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), filmed here for the first time outside the UK, in which the steps outside the National Museum played the role of a Venetian hotel. The filming of the action movie Wanted with Angelina Jolie in the lead role was very closely watched. During her time in Prague in 2007, the Hollywood star stayed in Prague’s Gibián Villa.
- Did you know:
- For the filming of the series The Borgias (2010), Barrandov Studios created a replica of the Sistine Chapel and the papal apartments
- The Korean series Lovers in Prague, set in the Czech capital, had a direct impact on the increase in Korean tourists headed to Prague.
- At the end of August 2013, Prague's metro system was stopped for the first time during normal operating hours for the filming of the Hollywood blockbuster Child 44, produced by Ridley Scott.
- Czech sound engineer Petr Forejt was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for best sound mixing for the action movie Wanted, shot in Prague's Letňany Studios.
- The Bubeneč Wastewater Treatment Plant, a preserved historical industrial gem, transfixed Tom Cruise during the filming of Mission: Impossible IV - Ghost Protocol (2011).
- Sean Connery, star of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, filmed in Prague during the floods of 2002, held a charity world premiere of the film a year later in Slovanský dům.
- The Prague premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) also took place at Slovanský Dům, and was attended by all the main characters.
- The streets of the Old Town were the background for some scenes from the most expensive Danish film ever, the historical epic A Royal Affair (2012), nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film.
Prague City Tourism