Rio, Twilight and Other Movies Made In Brazil

Date: November 22,2011 By: Karen Categories: News

With animated feature film, Rio and now the new Twilight movie: Breaking Dawnfilmed on location in Rio; Brazil is becoming known as a great movie location. We take a look at what other movies have made Rio and Brazil their star attraction.


Moonraker (1979)

James Bond’s over-the-top adventure features a plot to destroy the human race with poisonous orchids. The movie has spaceships, speeding gondolas and some prime Brazil locations. Bond, plus girl, escape Jaws by sliding down the cable cars on Sugar Loaf in Rio. The action then moves to a fictitious upper Amazon for a speedboat race; ending, improbably, with Bond paragliding off the top of spectacular Iguazu Falls! The footage of Iguazu is spectacular and there are plenty of 70s chicks dancing samba on the streets of Rio.

Most amazing of all: Bond, at short notice, gets a hotel room in Rio during carnival- now that really IS a miracle!

Central Station (1998)

This beautiful and touching Brazilian film takes you well away from the usual tourist spots to some much more remote Brazil film location. Rio’s central train station is the setting for the first half of the movie and then an orphaned boy an equally lost letter writer, set out on a road trip into Brazil’s interior to find the boy’s father. The film takes you into a Brazil of long distance lorry drivers, religious devotion and the open plains of Brazil’s north east interior. Set in Sertao; the boy and her companion end up in the poor, dry area far removed from the picture perfect beaches of nearby Bahia and Pernambuco.

This is a gorgeous film nevertheless, giving an entirely different view of the huge variety of people in Brazil.

Rio and Salvador Tour

The Mission (1986)

Jesuit Missions, or Reductions, were small towns set up by the Jesuit Missionaries to gather together the Guarani native peoples. Around Iguazu Falls, in Paraguay, Argentina as well as Brazil, there are still the remains of many of these Missions set deep in the tropical forest and fascinating places to visit in their own right. The Mission, set around Iguazu Falls, tells the story of converted slaver Robert de Nero and Jesuit Jeremy Irons as they defend the local natives against the onslaught of Portuguese traders.

More on Iguazu Falls. Tours to Iguazu Falls.

The Incredible Hulk (2003)


When Brazilian police forces invaded an abandoned casino in the Rio shanty town (favela) of Taveres Bastos, they turned it into one of the safest places in the city and a prime location for filming street scenes in Rio. In 2003 the crew of the Incredible Hulk took over Taveres Bastos, and the shanty town features in the initial scenes of the movie starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler.

Rio (2011)

Fun, lively and a great family film. Directed by Porteño, Carlos Saldanha, Rio the movie shows Rio in all its fun, vibrancy and color . Is there really a forest of parrots right in the city center? Yes, that would be Tijuca Forest; the largest urban forest in the world.

More on that blue parrot

Twilight: Breaking Dawn (2011)

Edward and Bella travel to Rio for their honeymoon in the new Breaking Dawn Episode 1. They are filmed in the streets of Rio’s nightlife district of Lapa; and enjoy the quiet and gorgeous beaches of the fictional Esme Island. In reality their honeymoon retreat was filmed in one of the many secluded bays around Paraty; 3 hours along the coast from Rio.

More on the Twilight Honeymoon and Paraty

Films not made in Brazil

Brazil: Terry Gilliam’s furturistic 1984 movie had nothing at all to do with Brazil the country.

The Boys From Brazil was filmed entirely in the US and Europe..

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