Friday, 05 May 2017 18:27

Five Western Movies Filmed in Vietnam Not Focusing on War

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Kong: Skull Island. Image by Legendary Pictures/Tencent Pictures

When people think of the Western-produced films shot or set in Vietnam, what usually comes to mind are those that prominently feature the war, such as Good Morning Vietnam, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket.


However, there are actually other movies that were shot in the country. This article lists five of the very best.


Kong: Skull Island (2017)


A large chunk of the recently released Kong: Skull Island was filmed in Vietnam, specifically in Tràng An, Van Long, and Tam Coc (Ninh Binh Province), as well as Ha Long Bay, Quang Binh Province, and the Tu Lan Cave System in Phong Nha. In fact, if the story in the film is to be believed, the giant ape’s original home can be found in the country. The footage of the limestone mountains of Skull Island are actually formations along Ha Long Bay.


According to Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, he searched all over the world before he discovered that the perfect place to shoot the film was in Vietnam. He said in an interview with Channel News Asia, “I went to a lot of places in Asia. People have shot in Thailand before and it seemed like an easy fit but I was like, ‘No!’ so we kept going around. And then I landed in Vietnam, looked at these landscapes and just fell in love.” He described the country in the same interview as “gorgeous” and “otherworldly.”


Noble (2014)


Noble is not actually an American film, but an Irish one, produced by Destiny Films. It featured the true-to-life story of Christina Noble, a charity worker who founded the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. According to the Culture Trip, Noble flew to Vietnam after dreaming that Vietnamese children were asking for her help.


Pan (2015)


The story of Peter Pan never gets old, as proven by its numerous film and game incarnations, including the digital slot machine game Twinkle which is based on Tinkerbell, the fairy companion of the boy who never grew up and is being hosted on the über popular Slingo.


The film “Pan” offers a different take to the story most people have heard, with Peter Pan and Captain Hook shown as friends. Many of the outdoor scenes in Neverland featured in the film were shot in Vietnam, specifically Son Doong Cave in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, and Ninh Binh Province.


Interestingly enough, Ninh Binh Province was also the filming location for two other Hollywood-produced films: The Quiet American and Indochine, according to


The Last Airbender (2010)


M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender is an adaptation of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar. Footage of the Earth Tribe was primarily shot in Vietnam.


While some scenes were filmed in Vietnam, the film became controversial for whitewashing, because most of the actors were Caucasian, whereas the original story featured the characters as Asian. The negative publicity received by the film was supposedly the reason why the sequels were not continued.


Indochine (1992)


Indochine is set in the 1930s. It features Éliane Devries (Catherine Deneuve), a single French woman who chooses to adopt a little girl, Camille. The story revolves around the mother and her child, with the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France serving as the backdrop.


The Hanoi café that Deneuve regularly visited in the film can still be visited even today, according to Charlie on Travel.


Like Noble, Indochine isn’t a Hollywood-produced film. It is a French movie made by Paradis Films.


Image credit: wbpsites

Last modified on Monday, 08 May 2017 15:40
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