The Flix List: Memorable Waterfalls in the Movies

It’s been a memorable and truly blessed vacation, as we got to enjoy some quality time with family as well as take in the wonderful scenery of the Pacific Northwest. One of the places we visited was Multnomah Falls, less than an hour drive from our hotel in downtown Portland. I wasn’t all that familiar with this waterfall but upon seeing it, I immediately marveled at the massive height!According to this site, its cumulative height of 620ft is comprised of 541ft for the upper falls and 79ft for the lower falls. Along my hubby and my sister in-law, we walked about 1.25 miles to the top of the upper falls, it’s a pretty exhaustive hike but well worth it!
I only realized afterwards that this falls were featured in the first Twilight movie, in the baseball scene the falls are apparently visible in the background across the Columbia River. I guess Washington is the ‘Twilight state’ as the small town of Forks is where Bella and the Cullens live. No we didn’t go there even though my sis in-law is a self-professed Twi-hard 🙂
In any case, my trip got me thinking of memorable waterfalls in movies, so here are five to start with…
  • Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

    Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy is full of iconic images of Middle Earth, and this one is surely one of them. Falls of Rauros or Rauros were the great falls of River Anduin beneath Nen Hithoel, where Frodo and Sam paddled a boat from the west bank of the river to the east just above the falls and had to use all their strength to avoid being swept over the falls by the current (per LOTR Wiki). It also appears later when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli laid Boromir to rest inside one of the boats of Lórien, and sent him down the falls.

    The Anduin River itself is also memorable throughout the trilogy, especially in the awe-inspiring Argonath scene as the fellowship traveled by boats through the gates where two enormous pillars of Isildur and Anarion stand on either side.
  • The Last of the Mohicans
    This is such an emotional scene from this epic drama… and perhaps one of the most memorable for me. I haven’t got a chance to review this, I only mentioned it briefly on this weekend roundup. As I said in that post, Daniel Day-Lewis is nothing short of electrifying as Hawkeye and he had a pretty hot chemistry with the lovely Madeleine Stowe.

    You stay alive, no matter what occurs!
    I will find you.
    No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.

  • Avatar
    The world of Pandora is nothing short of breathtaking. From the first time it’s introduced on screen, and the first time the protagonist Jake sees the alien world, the audience were ooh-aahing together with the characters on screen. Those floating mountains have seemingly endless waterfalls cascading down from them, and when Neytiri gives Jake a tour around Pandora, especially at night where everything glows in neon-like glory, there are gorgeous waterfalls all around them.

    In the intense Banshee (or Ikran in Na’vi) scene where Jake first takes flight, there are also enormous waterfalls they have to pass through in order to get to those flying creatures.

  • Superman II

    Surely I can’t leave this scene out, I really can’t think of Niagara Falls without conjuring up images of both dorky Clark Kent AND the hunky & heroic Supes making an appearance with Lois 😀 I LOVE this whole scene from the time Lois & Clark arrived as honeymooners, all the way to the Supes professing his love to her after she discovered who he is. Too bad the last two Superman movies just can’t live up to the first two.

  • Jurassic Park

    I really should see this movie again in Blu-ray. I remember the first time I saw this movie on the big screen my jaw dropped several times like the first time I saw Avatar. This ‘helicopter landing’ scene is just impressive on so many levels, and like in Avatar, it’s the first time lead characters are introduced to the magnificent park by its owner John Hammond. The 360-foot high Manawaiopuna Falls in Kaui, Hawaii which is now dubbed as the Jurassic Park Waterfall, just keeps going on and on as the chopper descended. Even from above it looks massive and undoubtedly majestic!


Well, that’s five I can think of right now. If you think of other memorable waterfalls in the movies, do share them in the comment!

44 thoughts on “The Flix List: Memorable Waterfalls in the Movies

  1. PrairieGirl

    Great subject for a post! I’ve hiked Multnomah Falls too, it’s well worth the effort. And I’ve been fortunate to have had a helicopter tour of Kauai and saw a dozen waterfalls from the air. That is a flight of a lifetime. I haven’t seen it yet, but the 1953 movie Niagara with Marilyn Monroe and Joseph is on my “to watch” list.
    Welcome back to one of our first snowfalls!

    1. Oh cool, glad you’ve been there too. Fortunately it wasn’t raining that day though the air is always damp there. I haven’t seen Niagara, in fact I have never seen a Marilyn Monroe film. I was thinking hmmm I wonder if she ever starred w/ Peck but reportedly he almost did but ended up turning the role down. Sounds like he wasn’t too fond of her.

  2. The Iguazu Falls in Panama have been featured in several films including Moonraker, Baraka, Miami Vice, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but none better than The Mission. The Mission also has one of the most beautiful soundtracks ever written by composer extraodinaire Ennio Morricone.

    1. Oh man, how could I forget The Mission!! Thanks Dave, that is such a great film with an equally memorable score. Thanks for the video link, too!

  3. I’ve always had trouble with the waterfalls on the floating islands in Avatar. After all, where the hell does the water flow from? Unless of course there’s a floating river (?¿) hiding just off camera. Either way, they are pretty.

    I love waterfalls, so anytime they make an appearance on film I’m a bit excited.

    1. Ahah well logic doesn’t really apply in Pandora 😉 We can’t explain WHY the islands are floating to begin with so I just choose to marvel at how pretty they are.

  4. The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is the waterfall Will Ferrell fell into in ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back.’ Sorry.

    But I’m glad you had a good time! Don’t think I’ve ever seen a really big waterfall in person.

  5. Welcome back, Ruth! That really is a stunning waterfall — makes me want to go out West! This is a nice collection of films you’ve got here, and I can’t really think of anything to add off the top of my head. I should probably revisit Jurassic Park sometime soon, as it has been many, many years since I have seen it.

    1. Thanks Eric, if you’re ever in Portland you definitely should pay Multnomah a visit. I haven’t seen JP in a long while either, seeing that chopper scene makes me really want to see it soon.

  6. Ted S.

    Never really paid attention to waterfalls in films but I do like them. Those are good choices and since I’ve actually seen it in person, my favorite have to be the waterfall in Jurassic Park.

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah, we were on a helicopter. They have tours over that island and of course the most popular one is the water from the film, people love to see it. In fact, they pilot will mimic the fly into the island just like the film if you ask him. It’s pretty cool to have seen it.

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  8. These are some amazing videos and pictures. I’ve always loved waterfalls; would one day like to visit one. That LAST OF THE MOHICANS scene is perfect.

  9. mettemk

    Waterfalls are so beautiful… when you see one, you immediately get reminded of the power of nature.
    My favorite in film is the LOTR one, obviously.

  10. The movie Up was centered around an old man wanting to go see a massive waterfall (which is based on Angel Falls in South America).

    Weren’t the falls you first mentioned used in the opening of the TV show Twin Peaks, too?

  11. The Multnomah Falls were also featured in “Cold Weather”, which I’m selfishly mentioning to work a shout-out to my favorite movie of 2011 into your comments section.

    But seriously, a really cool list idea. I like it. I once worked video of the waterfall scene in “Last of the Mohicans” into a speech I did about the film at college.

  12. What about Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Kevin Costner’s being outshined even with his nude scene in this film by none other than Alan Rickman. I think also Tarzan had a waterfall scene in the old B&W and the more modern versions. The Beach with DiCaprio and also Blue Lagoon with Shields and Atkins.

    1. Hi Stella, oh you are absolutely right about Prince of Thieves, I remember distinctly Kevin’s bare bums when I saw it on the big screen, ahah.

  13. Nice idea for a post Ruth 🙂 The waterfall in The Last of the Mohicans is probably the most memorable one for me, just because I love that film so much. I also remember seeing a few in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  14. …additional waterfall scenes that come to mind:

    The Fugitive!! (Harrison Ford’s jump)
    Just Go With It!! (Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker’s bikini scene) Apocalypto!! (Jaguar Paw’s jump)
    The Emperor’s New Groove!! (Bring it on!)

    All very memorable waterfall moments for varying reasons!

    a beautiful post!

    we missed you and are glad you are back!

  15. Oh my you had me at The Lord of the Rings! Rivendale–my favorite fictional place to visit. Avatar was a beautiful film as well. Inspiring post-waterfalls have a tranquil quality about them.

  16. An interesting and original list, Ruth. I love a good waterfall. I think the one that stands out for me is seeing Kevin Costner’s bare ass in Prince of Thieves – always gives me nightmares!

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  18. This is a fantastic post, Ruth! I’d have to say the one stands out for me is, of course, the scene with the Argonath.

    I hope you had a lovely, refreshing week off. The Multnomah Falls look incredible! I went to Iceland a few years and saw some very impressive waterfalls. The Norwegians fjords and their waterfalls are awesome, too.

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