Where Was Apocalypse Now Filmed? Coppola’s 1979 War-Drama Film!!


Are you interested in watching war-drama films, but not sure which one to choose? Then allow me to help you with that, as today I will discuss an Oscar-winning war film, Apocalypse Now, starring Marlon Brando. And also share with you where was Apocalypse Now filmed.

The American action thriller flick, Apocalypse Now, released in 1979 was inspired by a novel by Joseph Conrad, published in 1899. In this film, director Coppola presents the story of Captain Benjamin, sent on a covert mission to find and kill the rogue Special Forces officer Col. Walter.

Apocalypse Now, was a commercial success, grossing over $150 million in total box office collections, against a mediocre filming budget. This action-drama film earned multiple nominations and went on to win 21 prestigious awards including 2 Oscars. The critics regarded Apocalypse Now, as “one of the most influential films ever made” and highly praised the performance of the actors on-screen.

Now, before I give you an overview of this film, let us find out where was Apocalypse Now filmed. So that you can take a closer look at the idyllic filming locations of this intense action-thriller film.

Where Was Apocalypse Now Filmed? Let’s Know This Action Drama Film Closely!

Director Francis Coppola, after discussing with other members of his unit, decided to refrain from shooting Apocalypse Now, in Vietnam. The growing tension between the two governments forced Copolla to scout for other potential filming locations in Southeast Asia. Soon, the unit came to the final conclusion to film the major sequences of the film in Vietnam and the remaining portions in California.

The principal photography in Vietnam began in the summer of 1976 and was completed within two months. However, for filming the interior sequences in America, the production unit waited one more year for an undisclosed reason and resumed filming in February 1977. 

The second phase of shooting was completed within a month’s time. So, without any further ado, let’s discuss in detail where was Apocalypse Now filmed, and find out more about the exact shooting sites.

Laguna | Philippines

Where Was Apocalypse Now Filmed? Coppola's 1979 War-Drama Film!!

The opening scene of the film, where we see Colonel Kurtz planning for a war in his camp in Vietnam, was actually filmed in the province of Laguna in the Philippines. The production captured the exterior shots of Pagsanjan Falls and its surroundings to portray the backdrop of Vietnam. The Magdapio and Do Lung Bridge is shown in the film were all filmed near the Pagsanjan River. The unit had to bring in special lighting equipment to capture outdoor sequences at night.

Aurora | Philippines

The production unit then moved to the capital of Aurora in Baler, to capture the sequences featuring Benjamin’s mission. The exhilarating action sequence of the helicopter attack shown in the film was shot in Baler. The production unit used fake explosives to shoot this thrilling sequence. Other scenes of Benjamin’s mission were filmed near Baler Bay.

Napa Valley | California

The production, after returning to America, waited almost a year to shoot the remaining sequences. The filming resumed in the state of California, as the majority of the interior sequences were filmed inside a renowned studio. Few outdoor shots were filmed around Napa Valley to depict the American Army headquarters. Filming here lasted for about a month or so, after which the unit began preparing for post-production.

Alright friends, it’s about time for us to discuss the plot of Apocalypse Now in brief. So that you get a better understanding of the actual premise. Meanwhile, you can also look into Chaos Walking, Love Alarm and Poison Rose which are equally intriguing.

Plot Of Apocalypse Now | What’s It About

Where Was Apocalypse Now Filmed? Coppola's 1979 War-Drama Film!!

At the very beginning of the film, we are acquainted with the character of Col. Walter Kurtz, an American Special Forces officer stationed in Vietnam. As the story progresses, the fanatic mindset of Kurtz becomes apparent. The Colonel’s plans to wage unapproved guerilla warfare against the Vietnamese government and the Liberation Army of South Vietnam alarms the U.S. Army headquarters. This forces the American government to send Captain Benjamin Willard to Vietnam, in order to apprehend the rogue officer.

Later in the film, as Willard embarks on his mission to Southeast Asia, he is faced with a number of challenges en route. The captain is shown joining a group of three U.S. Navy Seals, heading to the outpost of Kurtz located on the mouth of river Nung. Benjamin learns about the previous achievements of Walter and somehow becomes emotionally attached to the sacrifices he made for his country. 

But, soon the tales of horrors in Vietnam, bring back Willard’s attention to the actual mission as he promises to see it through. In the final quarter of the film, Benjamin somehow makes it to the outpost after losing some men from his team. And as he approaches the deep lair of Kurtz, he notices a number of American soldiers safely guarding the chamber of the Colonel. These soldiers were previously deployed to kill him, but instead, they joined his team of rebels. 

Eventually, after making it through the outpost beyond the Do Lung bridge, Willard decides to leave behind Chef, for calling an airstrike, if things went south. Now, in order to find out whether Willard completes his mission or joins Kurtz’s group like the other soldiers, I’d implore you to watch the film, to get an even richer experience.

Final Words

So, now that you know where was Apocalypse Now filmed, I hope you enjoyed the read. Be sure to watch this film, if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to mention your thoughts in the comments section below.

Who Are The Cast Members Of The Film Apocalypse Now?

The cast of the film Apocalypse Now includes Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Fredric Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms and Larry Fishburne

Who Is The Cinematographer Of The Film Apocalypse Now?

Vittorio Storaro is the cinematographer of the film Apocalypse Now.

What Is The Rating Of The Film Apocalypse Now?

The film Apocalypse Now has an R rating.

Who Is The Music Director Of The Film Apocalypse Now?

Carmine Coppola is the music director of the film Apocalypse Now.

What Is The Runtime Of The Film Apocalypse Now?

2h 27m is the runtime of the film Apocalypse Now.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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