Remember the magical world of the NeverEnding Story? It consisted of a ride on a flying dragon, the transformative nature of books and names like Bastian Balthazar Bux.
It actually seems fitting that the movie shot in just as magical - if surprising - a place. The 1984 film is a West German production, known auf Deutsch as Die unendliche Geschichte. It was shot deep in the Grünwald forest (about 12 km southwest of Munich) in the southern version of Berlin's Studio Babelsberg, Bavaria Filmstadt. This is one of Europe's biggest and most famous movie production studios. Learn more about the shooting of the film as well as the influential studio which brought it to life.
The History of The NeverEnding Story in Germany
At the time of its release, The NeverEnding Story was the most expensive film produced outside the USA or the USSR. It was an ambitious undertaking and held Germany's highest budgeted film at the time, an estimated 60 million Deutschmark (approximately $27 million at the time).
The film was produced by a German crew including its director and co-writer, Wolfgang Petersen. This was his first English-language film and starred mostly young American actors like its star Barret Oliver.
The gamble paid off. The NeverEnding Story performed extremely well at the box office, earning over $100 million worldwide. A record five million watched the fantasy film in Germany taking in $20 million domestically. The film spawned two sequels and its success proved that Germany could once again make an international headliner.
Brief History Bavaria Film Studios
Bavaria Filmstadt (Bavaria Film) was founded in 1919 by Munich film producer Peter Ostermayr. The company was a direct competitor to Berlin's Universum Film AG (UFA). By 1930 an investor, Wilhelm Kraus, helmed the company and branded it with its current name, Bavaria Film AG. It was nationalized in 1938 but privatized once again in 1956.
Besides The NeverEnding Story, it has famously been used for:
- Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory
- John Sturges' The Great Escape
- Robert Wise's The Sound of Music
- Mel Stuart's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- Bob Fosse 's Cabaret
- Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot
- Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall
- Tom Tykwer's Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Visitor Information for the Bavaria Film Studios
Visitors can find the worlds they watched on the big screen here at the studio. Entire sets and mammoth props from the many film and television productions that have filmed here are on display.
Take a 90-minute guided tour through the fantastical lands of The NeverEnding Story and take advantage of a childhood dream by stroking Falkor's soft fur and climbing on for a ride (or at least a photo op). On the other extreme, explore the somber WWII history of Das Boot with a scale exterior of the submarine as well as several interior sets.
Catch some live action with a stunt show and hop on a few of the featured rides. A state of the art 4D Motion Simulation Cinema is included in the tour and allows you to literally step into the world of film.
- Bavaria Filmstadt Admission: Full Price and tour 27.50 euro (Tour only 13 euro)
- Bavaria Filmstadt Address: Bavariafilmpl. 7, 82031 Grünwald
- Directions by Public Transport: Cable car line 25 to Grünwald, exit at Bavariafilmplatz
- Directions driving: From Munich - Drive toward Grünwald/Bad Tölz; From Grünwald - Drive toward Munich on Südliche Münchner Straße, follow the signposts for "Bavaria Filmstadt". Enter “Geiselgasteig” as town and “Bavariafilmstraße” intersection “Lil-Dagover-Ring” for GPS.
- Bavaria Filmstadt Phone: 089 64992000
- Bavaria Filmstadt Season: Low - November to March; High - March to November
- Bavaria Filmstadt Hours: Daily 10:00 to 17:00 (last admittance 13:00. Closed on December 24th and 25th December.)
- Bavaria Filmstadt Guided Tour: 15:30 (During the summer season the 4D action cinema experience is available at 13:00 in English followed by an English language tour.)