Barrandov is one of the largest in Europe, often called the “European Hollywood”.
During the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany during World War II (1940-1945) major additions were made to the studio’s facilities. Seeking to make Barrandov an equal to the major film studios in Berlin and Munich, the Nazis drew up plans for three large interconnecting stages. Construction work started in 1941 but the final stage was not completed until early 1945. These three huge stages (with more than 37,000 square feet (3,400 m2) of shooting space) still form the main attraction of the studios to film-makers throughout the world.
Shortly after the War, Barrandov and its smaller sister studio facility at Hostivař were nationalized and remained under State ownership until the beginning of the 1990s. During this time, Barrandov’s impressive film laboratories were constructed, as was a special effects stage with a back projection tunnel and a water tank equipped for under-water shooting.
The Prague Spring of the mid-1960s was accompanied by a New Wave of Czech feature films which attracted worldwide attention. Czech film directors working at Barrandov at this time included Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, Vojtěch Jasný, Pavel Juráček, Věra Chytilová, Jan Němec, Ivan Passer, Elmar Klos or Ján Kadár. Closely Watched Trains (Menzel) and The Shop on Main Street (Klos and Kadár) each won the American Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Forman’s The Firemen’s Ball and Loves of a Blonde achieved Oscar nominations.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Barrandov continued to produce high quality feature films, particularly comedies and Czech fairy tales, turning out an average of seventy pictures a year. In the 1980s foreign film-makers started to return to Prague in order to avail themselves of the Studio’s quality facilities and the country’s wonderful variety of film locations. Major productions included Barbra Streisand’s Yentl and Miloš Forman’s U.S. production of Amadeus (winner of several American Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture).
With it’s film repertoire since 2000 comprising:
Dungeons & Dragons (2000)
A Knight’s Tale (2001)
From Hell (2001)
The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Blade II (2002)
Bad Company (2002)
Hart’s War (2002)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2002)
Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003)
Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune (2003)
Shanghai Knights (2003)
Chasing Liberty (2004)
The Prince and Me (2004)
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Van Helsing (2004)
Oliver Twist (2005)
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
A Sound of Thunder (2005)
Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Tristan and Isolde (2006)
Last Holiday (2006)
The Illusionist (2006)
The Omen (2006)
Casino Royale (2006)
Hannibal Rising (2007)
Hostel: Part 2 (2007)
Babylon A.D. (2007)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
The Philanthropist (TV series) (2009)