Where Was The Deer Hunter Filmed? An Oscar Winning Epic War Drama Film! 


Robert De Niro’s The Deer Hunter (1978) is one of his most underrated films. If you happen to be a true De Niro fan, then you might have watched it. The epic war drama film follows three lifelong friends from a small steel mill town in Pennsylvania who are sent to Vietnam to fight for their country. In this article, I’ll discuss the movie and tell you where was The Deer Hunter filmed. 

Even though the movie is a gem, many people haven’t watched it. And I feel sorry for them because they missed a masterpiece. Besides Robert De Niro, the war drama film stars some of Hollywood’s greatest actors like Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, and John Cazale.

All these actors are legendary and have worked in the Hollywood industry for decades. De Niro, Streep, and Walken are Academy Award-winning actors who have been a part of some of the most important movies ever. Many critics and film enthusiasts consider movies like The Godfather II, Sophie’s Choice, and The Dead Zone as some of the greatest films Hollywood has ever produced. 

Now, to get back to your question about where was The Deer Hunter filmed, the epic war drama movie was filmed in Ohio, Washington, Pennsylvania, the United States of America, and Thailand.

From director Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter premiered in Los Angeles on 8th December 1978, followed by its wide theatrical release on 23rd February 1979. The war drama film was also released in the United Kingdom on 27 February 1979.  However, it’s time to learn some more about the filming locations.

Where Was The Deer Hunter Filmed? The Deer Hunter Filming Locations!

Where Was The Deer Hunter Filmed? An Oscar Winning Epic War Drama Film! 

Michael Comino’s The Deer Hunter received numerous critical acclaim from both critics and audiences. Not to mention it was also a success at the box office as it earned over $49 million against a budget of $15 million. The movie’s realistic themes and tones, the screenplay, editing, and, of course, the performance by the cast were highly praised by critics worldwide.

The epic war drama film was nominated for nine Oscars and won five, including Best Picture and Best Director. It was also selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the US National Film Registry. The Deer Hunter scored 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and rated 8.1 on IMDb. However, let’s move forward and check out where was The Deer Hunter filmed.

Ohio, United States Of America

Where Was The Deer Hunter Filmed? An Oscar Winning Epic War Drama Film! 

As you know, the movie’s story is primarily set in Pennsylvania and Vietnam, but the movie was actually filmed in a number of locations. Filming took place in the states of Ohio, Washington, and Pennsylvania. A major portion of the movie was filmed in Ohio’s Cleveland. Michael, Steven, and Nick’s hometown scenes were mostly filmed in the city of Cleveland. Several scenes were shot in local buildings and other establishments within the city

Steven and Angela’s wedding scene was filmed at the historical St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Interestingly, the person who played the role of the priest in that scene was actually a real priest. The scene where Nick proposes to Linda was shot at Lemko Hall, a popular location in Cleveland. The Louis Stokes VA Medical Center was another location that served for filming certain scenes. The production team smartly used the building to depict the Military Hospital in the movie.

Some other vital scenes were filmed in the city of Lorain and the village of Mingo Junction in Ohio. The steel mill scenes at the movie’s beginning were filmed in Lorain. Several scenes involving Nick, Michael, and Steven were filmed at the US Steel Corp. The producers had to negotiate for months to get filming permission for those scenes. 

Two important sequences, including the bar scene where the trio drink and sing before leaving for Vietnam and Nick’s funeral scene, were filmed at an empty storefront in Mingo Junction, a small village in Ohio. The store was transformed into a bar by the production team.

Washington, United States Of America

The deer hunting scenes in the movie were entirely filmed in Washington, particularly in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Deming and the Nooksack Falls in Whatcom County. The scene in which Michael talks about taking down a deer with a single shot was filmed in Deming’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Pennsylvania, United States Of America

Where Was The Deer Hunter Filmed? An Oscar Winning Epic War Drama Film! 

As I mentioned earlier, the majority of the scenes were filmed in Ohio, and only a handful of scenes were filmed in Pennsylvania. The production team moved around a bit, filming some scenes in cities like Clairton, Pittsburgh, and McKeesport.


All the war scenes that were set in Vietnam were shot in Thailand. Saigon’s red-light district scenes were filmed in Bangkok’s Patpong in Bang Rak District. A handful of scenes were filmed at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport, which was used as a stand-in for the American Airfield in Saigon, Vietnam.

The movie’s most remarkable and popular Russian roulette scene was filmed on sets built by the production team along the River Kwai in Thailand. The escape scene in which the trio were rescued was filmed as well.

Plot Of The Deer Hunter (1978) | Nobody Wins In A War!

The story of The Deer Hunter revolves around three close friends: Michael (played by Robert De Niro), Steven (played by John Savage), and Nick (played by Christopher Walken). Three of them have been friends since childhood and are residents of a small Pennsylvania steel mill town. They are steelworkers, and during their free time, they go deer hunting. It’s one of their favorite sports. 

As the Vietnam War rages on in Southeast Asia, Michael, Steven, and Nick find out they must enlist in the army. Steven, who just got married, wasn’t quite pleased with the news. As they know, the Vietnam War was brutal, like all other wars. Soon, three of them are shipped to Southeast Asia to fight for their country. Once they reached Vietnam, their dreams of becoming an American hero were immediately shattered by the brutality of the war.

Final Words

The Deer Hunter was shot at exclusive locations in America and Thailand. If you are a fan of the war drama film, then make sure you check out the filming locations I mentioned. If you haven’t seen the critically acclaimed film yet, you better watch it as soon as possible. And if you want to read more fascinating articles, visit the Viebly website.

Who Wrote The Screenplay Of The Deer Hunter?

Deric Washburn and Michael Cimino wrote the screenplay of The Deer Hunter.

How Old Is Robert De Niro?

Robert De Niro is 80 years old.

For Which Movie Did Robert De Niro win the Academy Award?

Robert De Niro won the Academy Award for The Godfather II and Raging Bull.

Is The Deer Hunter An R-rated movie?

Yes, The Deer Hunter is an R-rated movie.

Which Are The Top 3 Movies About The Vietnam War?

Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and Platoon are the top 3 movies about the Vietnam War.

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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