Top 10 films shot in Rio de Janeiro

Known worldwide for its carnival, beaches and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro hosts numerous cameras to the delight of its admirers. Small top 10 films shot in the second largest city in Brazil.
Reality/Fiction Rio de Janeiro

Rio and the movies

From Fast and Furious 5 to The Man from Rio to Moonraker, the biggest film productions like to immortalize the 1,260 km2 of Rio de Janeiro.

Fast and Furious 5

Retired to Rio to be forgotten, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) and her brother Dominic (Vin Diesel) are being forgotten under the Brazilian sun. Of course, things are not going as planned and the team will have to get back to work. As far as the filming location is concerned, the Rio airport, the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain are among the places filmed to signify the presence of the team in Rio. In reality, most of the scenes involving car chases were shot in California or Puerto Rico.


The film shows a beautiful carnival atmosphere. In fact, this scene was recorded one year before the official shooting began. Other places appear such as Sugarloaf Mountain and more precisely its cable car, site of a fight between James Bond (Roger Moore) and Shark (Richard Kiel). The round trip by this mode of transport takes about four hours.

OSS 117: Lost in Rio

The Copacabana Palace, the district of Santa Teresa or the Corcovado and its famous Christ the Redeemer appear in this second part of OSS 117. The film pays homage to many cult features, such as the scene in which the secret agent, played by Jean Dujardin, plays his Chinese and Nazi assailants. This is a direct reference to a sequence from Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.

Pelé: Birth of a legend

Football stadium, favelas, the places of Pele: Birth of a legend are numerous and above all emblematic of the biopic of the most famous footballer in Brazil. The real Pele, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, does an 18-second cameo. While drinking coffee in a hotel lounge, one of the players touches the sugar bowl and spills the contents on his table. Kevin de Paula, who plays the role of Pele, apologizes to him.

The Return of the Tall Blond Man

A direct sequel to the mythical The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, The Return of the Tall Blond Man starts with François Perrin (Pierre Richard) spinning the great love story with Christine (Mireille Darc) in Rio de Janeiro. But soon, trouble returns and the tall blond guy will have to fight to survive, somehow.

Twilight IV and V, tense shooting in Rio

Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) are honeymooning in Rio. The statue of the emblematic Christ the Redeemer, but also the aqueduct of Carioca are among the shots seen in the film. Another striking scene, the two newlyweds get out of a taxi at a street party at the intersection of Avenida Mem de Sa and Rua do Lavradio. Although the film does not show any overflow, the shooting was somewhat disrupted. Residents of a neighbourhood in the centre of the city, unhappy with the presence of the two actors and the crowd that had come to see them, set fire to a portable toilet used by the production and took to the streets to express their anger.

The Emerald Forest

Some street scenes were shot in Rio, but the most striking ones were nearby, in the small town of Parati, especially for the jungle sequences. The waterfall is located in Itatiaia.

The Man from Rio

In pursuit of his fiancée’s kidnappers, Adrien Dufourquet (Jean-Paul Belmondo) goes to Rio de Janeiro. The hotel in which Agnès Villermosa (Françoise Dorléac) is held captive is the Arena Hotel, where Jean-Paul Belmondo performs a waterfall scene hanging from the cornice of the building. Mem de Sa Avenue also appears in the film. Oscar 1965 for Best Original Screenplay, some of the film’s ideas were taken up by Steven Spielberg for Indiana Jones, Luc Besson for The Fifth Element and OSS 117: Lost in Rio. However, this cinema classic was largely inspired by the multiple adventures of Tintin. To name but one, the sequence in which the hero is suspended on a wire above the crocodiles and then delivered by a piroguier is taken from the album Tintin in the Congo.

The Expendables

The special unit of the Expendables travels the world and goes to Rio de Janeiro, among other places, to shoot certain scenes. In the film, on the other hand, there is no mention of it. The Brazilian landscapes are therefore scenery for other countries, but are easily recognizable on screen.

The Incredible Hulk

Hidden in a Brazilian favela, Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) tries to discover why stressful situations turn him into a fearsome bloodthirsty green giant. This sequence marking the beginning of the film was shot in Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro. For these scenes, the film team spent a fortnight in the greatest secrecy and under good escort of the Special Operations Battalion of the Militarized Police, given the high crime rate in these underprivileged neighborhoods.

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By Damien Duarte

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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