Cold Mountain, the Biggest Hollywood Movie Ever Filmed in Romania
Cold Mountain is the biggest Hollywood movie ever filmed in Romania.
Producers considered other locations, such as Poland, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. But the benefits of choosing Romania over any other country were irrefutable.
So, here we are, talking about a terrific movie filmed in a corner of the world that many have never heard of. Or maybe they’ve heard of it, but only because of Vlad the Impaler or Count Dracula.
Transylvania, a province with spectacular scenery
Pretty much everything you see in this movie and you think it’s the North Carolina of the Civil War, back in the 1860s, is actually the southeastern corner of Transylvania — a province in Romania —back in 2002.
The dazzling birch and beech forests, the Carpathian Mountains swarming with bears, wolves, and deer, the farmlands from the area of Râșnov town, are all approximately 100 miles northwest of Bucharest, the capital of Romania, and the city where I live in.
In case you’re wondering, there is, in fact, a Cold Mountain located in Haywood County, North Carolina. Yet most movie scenes were not filmed there, but in the Carpathian Mountains because…
- Considerably smaller filming costs — producer Bill Horberg estimated a $75-million budget for filming in Romania (they did get 1,000 soldiers from the Romanian army to shoot the battlefield scenes), which meant it cost them $25-million less than in the US.
- Considerably higher odds of snowfall, an essential element of the story — the 30 final pages of the movie script involved snow, which wasn’t a certainty in the Carolinas but was in the Carpathian Mountains.
- Terrible infrastructure (as in fewer paved roads and power cables) — because Transylvania looks less modern and closer to the times depicted in the movie, it was easier for the producers to set the decors without trying to hide too many details.
With low production costs and scenery to die for, Cold Mountain grossed over $173 million, was nominated seven times during the 76th Academy Awards, and brought Renee Zellweger the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.