The Natural Arch and Bridge Society

Natural Arches at the Movies

Just for fun, this page provides a list of cameo appearances made by natural arches in the movies. If you know of any movies that should be added to this list, please contact the webmaster. Many of the depictions of arches in the movies are not real arches but instead are computer-generated ones (CGI). These are included here as well. We originally included animated movies but have ceased to add new ones. Movies are listed alphabetically. You can scroll down or use the links here to jump directly to a movie.

* = added December 2013

*20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
*Arsene Lupin (2004)
Australia (2008)
Avatar (2009)
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)
Blue Crush 2 (2011)
*Chinese Zodiac (2012)
The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)
*The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
The Edge of the World (1937)
Everest (IMAX 1998)
Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
A Ghost in Monte Carlo (1990)
*The Golden Compass (2007)
Hulk (2003)
The Incredibles (2004)
*Incognito (2009)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The Island (2005)

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
The Kentuckian (1955)
King Kong (1976)
La Grande Vadrouille (1966)
*The Last Days on Mars (2013)
*L'île (2011)
Little Big Soldier (2010)
The Odyssey (TV 1997)
*Ong Bak 2 (2008)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
*The Pride and the Passion (1957)
Rescue Dawn (2006)
*RRRrrrr!!! (2004)
*The Sandpiper (1965)
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
Stargate (1994)
Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Time Machine (2002)
*Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
War of the Arrows (2011)
The Way Back (2010)
Wild Rovers (1971)

20 Million Miles to Earth (1957). A small unknown arch is seen at 12 and 34 minutes. We have not identified it but the movie was filmed in California and Italy.

20 Million Miles to Earth
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). At 5 minutes into the film, during the scenes with the apes, the natural arch shown below is seen (Grosse Spitzkoppe Bridge in Namibia). Another arch is seen about a minute later.

2001
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Grosse Spitzkoppe Bridge NABSQNO 33K 518773 7584183 Namibia

Arsene Lupin (2004). At 120 minutes into this French adventure film, a spectacular zoom shot begins with a close-up of people in the doorway to a hideout carved into the 230-foot high spire called "The Needle" near Ètretat, France. The doorway is the triangular dark spot in the center of the image below. The camera zooms out, showing the arch Porte d'Aval in the right background, and then zooming out through the nearby arch La Manne Porte in the foreground.

Arsene Lupin
Arsène Lupin (2004)
La Manne Porte NABSQNO 31U 297353-5509533 France

Australia (2008). This epic story of cattle ranching in the Northern Territory of Australia stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. At 60 minutes into the film there is a cattle stampede where some of the cattle go through a large arch. There are four different shots of the arch. All of the scenery in this sequence is computer generated, including the improbably large arch. We would have preferred to see computer-generated cattle going through the very real and very beautiful Beehive Arch in Western Australia.

Australia

Australia

Australia

Australia
Australia (2008)

Avatar (2009). The computer-generated stone arches on the moon of Pandora are a product of an alien geology and nothing like them are found on Earth. As Pandora cooled from a molten state during its formation, loops of intense magnetic fields (created by the mineral unobtanium) shaped the melted rock which then hardened to create the formations. Surrounding rock eroded over the millennia to reveal the arches. Size varies: largest are three hundred meters in height and five hundred meters wide. Composed from rock with a high concentration of iron ore, they are one of Pandora's signature landforms. The Na'vi name for them is Malmok. They can be seen at 74, 113, and 155 minutes (the last one being during the closing credits). Two shots of computer-generated sea arches can also be seen during the movie.

Malmok of Pandora

Malmok of Pandora
Avatar (2009)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002). This Chinese "tailor made" romance was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign film. Among the movie's spectacular scenery filmed in the Zhangjiajie Mountains in Hunan Province is Heaven's Gate Mountain (Tianmen Shan). There are four scenes of the arch from the "The Village Beyond the Eye in the Sky" (at 7, 8, 55, and 92 minutes).

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)
Heaven's Gate Mountain NABSQNO 49R 449620 3213600 China

Blue Crush 2 (2011). Teen surfers cruise the coastline of South Africa and at 38 minutes can be seen surfing the waves that come crashing through spectacular Hole in the Wall south of Coffee Bay in South Africa.

Blue Crush 2
Blue Crush 2 (2011)
Hole in the Wall NABSQNO 35H 699124 6453043 South Africa

Chinese Zodiac (2012). At 45-minutes into this Jackie Chan film, Jackie spots a landmark on a treasure hunt — a sea arch off the coast. The arch is a fictional CGI arch, different views of which do not even display the terrain consistently.

Chinese Zodiac
Chinese Zodiac (2012)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). This Walt Disney adaptaton of the C.S. Lewis fantasy children's book contains a scene (at 62 minutes) with the natural arch in the Czech Republic known as Pravcicka Brana.

The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Pravcicka Brana NABSQNO 33U 449460 5637165 Czech Republic

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008). At 13 minutes there is a scene at New Zealand's Cathedral Cove.

Prince Caspian
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
Cathedral Cove NABSQNO 60H 392134 5923462 New Zealand

Clash of the Titans (1981). Ray Harryhausen's final fantasy movie has some quick scenes (beginning at 104 minutes) filmed at Azure Window on the Island of Gozo, Malta. Notice the flat underside of the span! Since this movie was made, a large mass of rock has fallen from the underside of the span. Compare this shot with later movies showing the same arch (The Count of Monte Cristo in 2002 and The Odyssey in 1997).

Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Azure Window NABSQNO 33S 426910 3990185 Malta (Island of Gozo)

Clash of the Titans (2010) has a scene at 7 minutes where a giant statue falls off the top of a sea natural arch. Whereas there is lots of CGI in the scene, the arch appears to be real, although we have not been able to identify it. If you can help, please contact webmaster@naturalarches.org. The arch, which has multiple openings, is seen again at 95 minutes just before the movie credits.

Clash of the Titans 2010
Clash of the Titans (2010)

Conan the Barbarian (2011) includes scenes of three natural arches. The first, at 75 minutes, is Tyulenovo Arch near the village of the same name in Bulgaria.

Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Tyulenovo Arch NABSQNO 35T 628146 4816703 Bulgaria

The second, at 76 minutes, is Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria.

Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Devetashka Cave 35T 328448 4788832 Bulgaria

The third, at 77 minutes, is one of the Wonderful Bridges, Bulgaria.

Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
The Wonderful Bridges NABSQNO 35T 299127 4632487 Bulgaria

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) has scenes of several natural arches in Malta (on the islands of Gozo and Comino). At 13 minutes into the film, a couple is kissing near Azure Window. Compare the underside of the arch to the earlier film Clash of the Titans.

Azure Window
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Azure Window NABSQNO 33S 426910 3990185 Malta (Island of Gozo)

Between 68 and 70 minutes into the film, the protagonist visits five natural arches in rapid succession (although in reality the first is on a different island than the other four). These five natural arches are shown below. The first is the entrance to the Inland Sea on the island of Gozo. This tunnel-like sea arch has a span of 15 meters, and photos do not do it justice. The second, which has a span of 25 meters, is part of the Blue Lagoon complex on the west end of the island of Comino. The third is Elephant Arch in the east side of Comino. It has a span of 8 meters. The fourth and fifth are both part of the Blue Lagoon complex, which has multiple openings. The fifth one shows one of the interior tunnels. Photos do not do this place justice either.


The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
NABSQNO 33S 427100 3990300 Malta (Island of Gozo)

Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
NABSQNO 33S 439570 3985230 Malta (Island of Comino)

Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Elephant Arch NABSQNO 33S 441150 3985710 Malta (Island of Comino)

Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
NABSQNO 33S 439215 3985340 Malta (Island of Comino)

Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
NABSQNO 33S 438915 3985600 Malta (Island of Comino)

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006). This Chinese historical costume drama starring Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li includes an attack by ninjas sliding down ropes with Sky Dragon Bridge in the background. This is a large natural bridge near Wulong, China. The very brief scene is 60 minutes into the film.

Curse of the Golden Flower
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
Sky Dragon Bridge NABSQNO 48R 770740 3259680 China

The Edge of the World (1937). This film about a dying way of life on an isolated Shetland fishing port was filmed on the island of Foula. At 2 minutes into the film and again at 54 minutes there are shots of the Gaada Stack, a double arch just off the northern end of the island.

The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World (1937)
Gaada Stack: east arch (above), south arch (below)
NABSQNO 30V 551256 6669407, Scotland

The Edge of the World

Everest (IMAX, 1998). During a training session before climbing Everest in this documentary IMAX film, two of the climbers bicycle through Corona Arch, Utah, and the aerial camera follows them right through the opening (4 minutes into the film). Very spectacular on the big IMAX screen.

Everest [Corona Arch]
Everest (IMAX 1998)
Corona Arch NABSQNO 12S 620207 4271054 Utah

Flight of the Phoenix (2004). This remake of the 1965 Jimmy Stewart movie is a story of the survivors of a plane crash in the Gobi Desert, starring Dennis Quaid. At 16 minutes into the film, the crashing plane scrapes the top of a computer-generated arch. One of the characters visits the scene at 41 minutes into the film, as seen below. The arch in the image is of course not real.

Flight of the Phoenix
Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

A Ghost in Monte Carlo (1990). This is a British made-for-television movie based on a historical romance novel by Barbara Cartland. An arch seen at 35 minutes into the film involves a geographic impossibility: although the characters are going on a "Sunday drive" in their carriages from Monte Carlo, they come in view of Durdle Door, which is in England.

A Ghost in Monte Carlo
A Ghost in Monte Carlo (1990)
Durdle Door NABSQNO 30U 551149 5607949 England

The Golden Compass (2007). At 40 minutes there is a view of a mountaintop double arch. Frankly, we do not know if the arch is real, but if it is, we'd like to know more about it.

The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass (2007)

Hulk (2003). This first theatrical version of the comic book story starring Eric Bana has a sequence where the computer-generated Hulk goes bounding through real scenery in southern Utah. This includes jumping off Double Arch (at 103 minutes into the film) and getting chased by helicopters around the sandstone bowl at Delicate Arch (at 105 minutes into the film). Both arches are in Arches National Park, Utah.

Although both arches are real, the scene below (showing the Hulk walking away from Double Arch) is altered by moving a rock monolith from another section of the Park!

Hulk
Hulk (2003)
Double Arch NABSQNO 12S 626928 4283540 Utah

In the scene below, a helicopter (top arrow) has just flown through Delicate Arch. The Hulk (middle arrow) is running around the sandstone bowl while being shot at by a second helicopter (bottom arrow).

Hulk
Hulk (2003)
Delicate Arch NABSQNO 12S 630414 4289372 Utah

The Incredibles (2004). This animated movie features a high-speed chase among a series of arches at 87 minutes into the film. The highly improbably terrain — arches in water are highly subject to erosion and therefore short-lived — looks like a cross between Vietnam's Halong Bay (which has some arches) and Venezuela's Kekenen Tepui. One of the arches unfortunately gets blown up. A sea arch is also seen at 75 minutes.

The Incredibles
The Incredibles (2004)

Incognito (2009). At 71 minutes, a man gets pushed off a cliff in front of La Manne Porte near Ètretat, France, in this French comedy (the murder occurs only in a dream).

Incognito
Incognito (2009)
La Manne Porte NABSQNO 31U 297353-5509533 France

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). During the opening credits of the third Indiana Jones movie, a group of Boy Scouts goes under Double Arch in Arches National Park to enter a cave under the arch. The arch is real but of course in reality there is no cave there.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Double Arch NABSQNO 12S 626928 4283540 Utah

The Island (2005). One of the most beautifully filmed sequences with a natural arch to ever grace the big screen occurs during the opening credits of this action-adventure science fiction film directed by Michael Bay and starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. The scene swoops the viewer right through the opening of a majestic sea arch just off the coast of the northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand — one of the Archway Islands off Wharariki Beach.

The Island
The Island (2005)
Archway Island NABSQNO 59G 641479 5515475 New Zealand

In a later scene (six minutes into the film), people are watching a big viewscreen flyby of another outstanding sea arch that in reality is only about a mile from the first one — this one is at Cape Farewell, New Zealand.

The Island
The Island (2005)
Cape Farewell NABSQNO 59G 642911 5515636 New Zealand

Jason and the Argonauts (1963). This film is best known for the Ray Harryhausen special effects. At 35 minutes into the film, the Argonauts land on shore and battle the giant bronze statue of Talos, which comes to life and attacks the Argonauts. This was filmed next to Palinuro Arch on the coast of Italy near Palinuro, and there is even one scene where the giant arm of Talos reaches through the (very real) arch, trying to grab escaping Argonauts. Four shots of this arch are shown below.

Jason and the Argonauts

Jason and the Argonauts

Jason and the Argonauts

Jason and the Argonauts
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Palinuro Arch NABSQNO 33T 526305 4431215 Italy

At 60 minutes into the film the Argonauts sail by another natural arch that is in reality not far from the first one and also on the coastline near Palinuro, Italy. It is called Faro (Lighthouse) Natural Arch and is seen below.

Jason and the Argonauts
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Faro Natural Arch NABSQNO 33T 524200 4430365 Italy

The Kentuckian (1955). This western starring Burt Lancaster shows Sky Bridge, Kentucky, at 17 minutes into the film.

The Kentuckian
The Kentuckian (1955)
Sky Bridge NABSQNO 17S 272865 4188805 Kentucky

King Kong (1976). This version of King Kong might be overshadowed by both the 1933 and 2005 versions, but at least it has a natural arch in it. When the boat lands on Kong's island (29 minutes into the movie), the real setting is Honopu Beach on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, and Honopu Arch can be seen in the background. Actress Jessica Lange is the first to go through the arch (below).

King Kong
King Kong (1976)
Honopu Arch NABSQNO 4Q 430840 2451450 Hawaii

La Grande Vadrouille (1966). At 94 minutes in to this acclaimed French comedy, soldiers can be seen passing through Porte de Mycenes in France's Montpellier-le-Vieux Park.

La Grande Vadrouille
La Grande Vadrouille (1966)
Porte de Mycenes NABSQNO 31T 516368 4886788 France

The Last Days on Mars (2013). The Wadi Rum Desert of Jordan serves well as a Martian landscape as astronauts get infected and turn into zombies. At five minutes into the film the Rock Bridge of Kharaz comes into view.

The Last Days on Mars
The Last Days on Mars (2013)
Rock Bridge of Kharaz NABSQNO 36R 738040 3300711 Jordan

L'île (2011). This French movie ("The Isle") is an attempted answer to the TV series Lost. The island has a large arch, seen only once, which is not real.

L'ile
L'île (2011)

Little Big Soldier (2010). Jackie Chan stars as the "little big soldier" who captures an enemy general and at 73 minutes into the film the two of them find themselves inside this large natural arch. The arch is located in the Jiuxiang (Nine Villages) Scenic Region  in Yunan Province, China, about 90 km from the city of Kunming. The area is known as the "Natural Museum of Karst Caves," claiming to have the largest, most wonderful and most numerous collection of karst caves in China. This particular natural arch is a part of Sanjiao Cave.

Little Big Soldier
Little Big Soldier (2010)

The Odyssey (TV 1997). This 3-hour TV miniseries with a $40 million budget is based on the book by Homer and stars Armand Assante as Odysseus. At 25 minutes into the movie there is a spectacular scene filmed at Azure Window on the island of Gozo, Malta.

The Odyssey
The Odyssey (TV 1997)
Azure Window NABSQNO 33S 426910 3990185 Malta (Island of Gozo)

Ong Bak 2 (2008). This Thai film shows intermittent views of an arch somewhere in Thailand between 24 and 30 minutes.

Ong Bak 2
Ong Bak 2 (2008)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). At nine minutes into this film, three corpses are shown hanging on the inside of a natural arch in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Although you can't see the entire opening in the movie, it is indeed a real sea arch locted near the north entrance of Wallilabou Bay [photo 1; photo 2].

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
NABSQNO 20P 686760 1464915 St. Vincent

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). At 79 minutes, Johnny Depp can be seen at Honopu Arch on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Honopu Arch NABSQNO 4Q 430840 2451450 Hawaii

The Pride and the Passion (1957). At 49 minutes into this film starring Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, and Sophia Loren, the arch in Spain known as Arco de Triunfo is seen.

The Pride and the Passion
The Pride and the Passion (1957)

Rescue Dawn (2006). This true story of an Amercian prisoner of war in Laos was filmed in Thailand. At 82 minutes into the film, two escaping prisoners pass by a beautiful limestone natural arch (the White Hole) in the Krabi District near Ao Nang, Thailand. It has an approximate span of 150 feet.

Rescue Dawn
Rescue Dawn (2006)
White Hole NABSQNO 47P 485640 895450 Thailand

RRRrrrr!!! (2004). A French comedy set in 35,000 B.C. There is a fake arch at 35 minutes and a real one (FR-146) at 63 minutes.

RRRrrrr!!

RRRrrrr!!!
RRRrrrr!!! (2004)
FR-146 NABSQNO 31T 520527 4856321 France

The Sandpiper (1965). This film starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor was filmed in the Big Sur region of California. Beginning at 75 minutes and several times thereafter, a sea arch at Pfeiffer Beach can be seen. The arch was cataloged by Vreeland as 21-22.

The Sandpiper
The Sandpiper (1965)
Pfeiffer Beach Arch NABSQNO 10S 606277 4011005 California

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002). This beautifully animated family film, which tells the story of a wild stallion who gets captured in the Old West, features music by Bryan Adams. One minute into the film, an eagle flies through the natural arch depicted below. (Just in case you were uncertain, the arch ain't real.)

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Stargate (1994). At 97 minutes into this science fiction film, people are seen crossing over the top of a computer-generated arch.

Stargate
Stargate (1994)

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999). This movie definitely holds the record for the greatest number of computer-generated arches — found on the planet Tatooine. The famous pod race sequence goes through too many of them to count. At 62 minutes into the film, during the first lap of the pod race, we see the racers enter a corridor of arches in the scene shown below. There are 10 arches visible in this shot.

Star Wars - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

It is not until the third lap (at 65 minutes into the film) that we see what happens after entering this extensive concentration of arches. As soon as the racers go through an arch, more and more of them become visible, in a seemingly endless stream even though the sequence goes by incredibly fast. A typical shot (one of many) is below. Planet Earth has not produced arch corridors quite like these, but check out Abareqqa Arch in the Sahara Desert for an arch corridor view through three openings.

Star Wars - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002). We are back on the planet Tatooine for a quick look at a single virtual arch at 72 minutes into the film. A flying scooter passing under the span provides scale for the huge arch. The scooter can be seen in this still image as a tiny dark speck leaving a long dust trail along the ground behind it.

Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

The Time Machine (2002). Most arches are formed by centuries of slow erosion. This 2002 adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel The Time Machine illustrates this concept on film. At 35 minutes into the film, as the protagonist's time machine is stuck in fast forward mode, the swift passage of time is in part indicated by the sight of a great stone arch beginning with a tiny hole and evolving into a large opening in a mere two seconds. The final result is shown below (computer generated, of course). The scene then shifts elsewhere, so we do not get to see the arch erode away and collapse, as it surely would do in the course of time.

The Time Machine
The Time Machine (2002)

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009). At 79 minutes a CGI ship sails by what seems to be a real arch with a wave crashing through it but we have not been able to identify it (if it is not real, it is very convincing).

Underworld
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

War of the Arrows (2011). This Korean historic action epic shows six Manchurian warriors running through an arch at 92 minutes into the film. We do not know if the arch is located in South Korea or someplace else. If anybody can provide information about this arch, please contact webmaster@naturalarches.org.

War of the Arrows
War of the Arrows (2011)

The Way Back (2010). At 44 minutes, the character played by Ed Harris comes across this nice double arch while walking through Siberia. Much of the "Siberian" scenes were shot in Bulgaria, and this arch, "The Eyes" or "Oknata," is part of Prohodna Cave in the Karlukovo Karst Complex near the village of Karlukovo in Bulgaria.

The Way Back
The Way Back (2010)
The Eyes NABSQNO 35T 262150 4784440 Bulgaria

Wild Rovers (1971). The last part of this western was filmed in Arches National Park and Monument Valley. At 115 minutes, William Holden and Ryan O'Neal are seen riding by Landsape Arch (Partition Arch is also visible to the right).

Wild Rovers
Wild Rovers (1971)
Landscape Arch NABSQNO 12S 620979 4294446 Utah

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