Venice in the movies
Venice arouses strong and conflicting emotions and this is why it was repeatedly casted as co-star by the movie industry, which is the quintessential example of an emotion factory.
It is estimated that more than five hundred films were shot in Venice but the incredible figure of 380,000 is reached when including short films and documentaries!
Its special and unique urban landscape is often woven into the thread of the story, becoming part of the plot. And what’s more, Venice is able to steal the show from the leading actors, it becomes a sort of gimmick to follow the actors through human emotions such as wonder, ecstasy, euphoria, sadness, melancholia and desperation.
That is a truly special relationship between Venice and the film industry, and perhaps it is no coincidence that the Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the big three film festivals alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.
Over the years, the beautiful lagoon city was the obvious setting choice for Shakespeare’s plays such as Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Some of the first films set in Venice, as Top Hat, were not even filmed in Venice but in the Hollywood studios. After the Second World War, Hollywood landed in the lagoon in search for romance and Venice began to be the perfect backdrop in numerous romantic comedies such as, for example, Summertime by David Lean or, more recently, Everyone Says I Love You by Woody Allen.
But Venice is not just a romantic city, you can also find the obsession in Death in Venice by Luchino Visconi, the sadism in The Comfort of Strangers of Paul Schrader, the drama in Anonymous Venetian by Enrico Maria Salerno, the eroticism in The Key by Tinto Brass and the tenderness in Bread and Tulips by Silvio Soldini.
Venice is always ready for action as well and it has made its appearance in the James Bond movies (Casino Royale, Moonraker, From Russia With Love) and in Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
In more recent years some blockbusters such as the Tourist, with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, or Marvel’s “Spiderman – Far From Home” have been shot here in Venice. After the success of the Young Pope, in January 2019 the troupe of the New Pope, the successful TV series directed by Sorrentino, returned to Venice to shoot some scenes.
Even the SARS-COV-2 virus did not stop the interest of producers from all over the world to work in the city. In November 2020, Venice hosted the set of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible and in these days, it is very easy to come across the film sets of some successful Italian series. Actor Liev Schreiber and actress Matilda De Angelis are also involved in the Venetian shooting of “Across the River and Into the Trees”
In our Pinterest showcase, “Venice in the Movies”, we collected some posters of films set in Venice.
If you can think of others, please feel free to let us know!