Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

On location: ten famous movies filmed in Switzerland

Share this article

On location: ten famous movies filmed in Switzerland
Photo: Branex/Depositphotos
11:24 CEST+02:00
As the 70th edition of the Locarno Film Festival prepares to open on August 2nd, The Local takes a look at some famous films in which Switzerland has played a starring role.
Point Break (2015)
The classic 1991 Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves film was about surfing, but the recent remake expanded its daredevil plotline to other extreme sports. One of its most impressive stunts was a wingsuit-flying sequence filmed in the Jungfrau region near Walenstadt. The above video gives you an idea of what it's like to basejump in that area -- it was shot by Jeb Corliss, who worked on the film
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
The Dolder Grand's Masina suite. Photo: Stefan Schmidlin/Dolder Grand
The Hollywood version of Stieg Larsson’s novel had some scenes filmed in Zurich, where Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander carries out her multimillion dollar banking transactions and stays in the ultra-posh 170m2 Masina suite at the Dolder Grand hotel.
Angels and Demons (2009)
Stars Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer with director Ron Howard at Cern. Photo: Cern
In this adaptation of the Dan Brown novel Tom Hanks’ character Robert Langdon comes to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern) in Geneva after it’s discovered that the Illuminati have stolen antimatter from a secret laboratory there. In a press release at the time Cern said participating in the film was an “opportunity to show how exciting the reality of antimatter research is”. 
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Beautiful Grindelwald became the otherworldly Alderaan. Photo: Caroline Bishop
In the film it’s Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan, but in real life it’s actually the mountains around Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland's Jungfrau region. Digitally enhanced footage of the area was used as a backdrop to various scenes in the film.
Syriana (2005)
Photo: Olivier Miche/Geneva Tourism
In this political thriller Matt Damon plays an energy analyst in Geneva, and several scenes were shot around the city's lakeside including at the Hotel President Wilson and the Jardin Anglais. 
Touching the Void (2003)
The beautiful Jungfrau region. Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss Tourism
Though a true story of a climbing accident in the Peruvian Andes, much of this film was actually shot in Switzerland, again in the very photogenic Jungfrau region. 
Goldeneye (1995)
The Contra dam. Photo: Caroline Bishop
The producers of the James Bond series have long been fans of Swiss landscapes which match 007 storylines for drama. In one of the most dramatic opening sequences of any Bond film, Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as Bond sees the British agent jumping off an immense dam in Russia. The scene was actually filmed at the Contra dam in the Vezasca valley in the canton of Ticino. Daredevil fans can make the leap off the 220m dam themselves as it’s now the site of a bungee jump. 
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Roger Moore's Bond was supposedly in Austria in the opening sequence of this film when he is chased on skis by Russian agents. But it was actually shot on the slopes around St Moritz – apart from the final scene when he skies off a cliff and opens a parachute, which was filmed in Canada.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Blofeld's 'allergy clinic' is now a tourist attraction. Photo: Jungfrau region
George Lazenby’s only outing as Bond sees 007 tracking Blofeld to his lair in the Swiss mountains on a peak called Piz Gloria. It was actually filmed on the Schilthorn mountain in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland, where Blofeld’s ‘allergy clinic’ is now a revolving restaurant that has kept the Piz Gloria name and capitalizes on its Bond fame. Visitors can see an interactive Bond exhibition, watch clips from the film in a mountaintop cinema and pass by messages and handprints from the film’s stars on a 007 Walk of Fame. 
Goldfinger (1964)
The Furka pass is a classic Swiss mountain road, made more famous by Bond. Photo: Markus Buehler/Swiss Tourism
In this film Sean Connery’s Bond heads to the stunning Furka pass in Switzerland in pursuit of the eponymous villain, where his souped up Aston Martin turns out to have all sorts of useful gadgets. Petrolhead Bond fans now enjoy recreating his journey past the Hotel Belvedere, which appeared in the film.
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article


From our sponsors

Game-changing flight tips for smart business travellers

Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure, you don’t need to break the bank when booking your next transatlantic flight. As one travel blogger explains, there are ways to fly in style without forking out for a first-class ticket.