10 of the Best Movies Set in London
Lights! Camera! Action! How often have you watched a film and thought there was something familiar about a scene or building? From modern romantic comedies to ’60s classics, London is one of the most filmed capitals in the world and has been the backdrop for some fantastic movies over the years. Here are our pick of the best:
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28 Days Later
This post-apocalyptic tale shows London at its best. The opening scenes of the movie show a deserted city in places that are normally bustling including Westminster Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Horse Guards Parade and Oxford Street. Director Danny Boyle had permission to close off sections of street for minutes at a time, usually in the early morning before sunrise on Sundays and had around 45 minutes after dawn, to shoot the locations devoid of traffic and members of the public – to minimise disruption.
Children of Men
This Academy Award nominated movie with its all-star cast was the second film shot in London by director Alfonso Cuarón and he portrayed the city as a character in itself. Despite the London bombings taking place in 2005 as he was preparing to film, Cuarón refused to change set. . "It would have been impossible to shoot anywhere but London, because of the very obvious way the locations were incorporated," he said. "The shot of Fleet Street looking towards St. Paul's would have been impossible to shoot anywhere else.” Other sites such as East London, Battersea Power Station and Trafalgar Square also make the cut.
The 1996 version of the popular Disney classic is brimming with instantly recognisable London locations. When lead characters Roger and Anita (Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson) meet, Pongo the dog drags his owner through Trafalgar Square, St James Park and The Mall and when they marry it’s at Chelsea’s stylish St Lukes in Sydney Street. Cruella De Ville’s (Glenn Close) office is Minster Court in EC3, a gothic building in the heart of the City.
The Long Good Friday
This British gangster movie gave Bob Hoskins, starring alongside Helen Mirren, his big break.
St Paul’s Cathedral, Paddington Station, Tower Bridge, St Katherine’s Dock and large parts of the Docklands all played their part too, as well as The Savoy Hotel and London Wall.
James Bond has been spending more and more time in London in his last few movies. The 24th Bond movie, Spectre, starred Daniel Craig and parts of central London came to a standstill as streets around Trafalgar Square, The Mall and Whitehall were all shut down for the shoot. Admiralty Arch was lit up as shooting took place late into the night. Vauxhall, Westminster Bridge and Covent Garden also feature.
Withnail and I
This Sixties-set comedy has achieved cult following.
Although set in Camden, the London scenes were actually filmed in Notting Hill, including the squalid flat, which has since been demolished. The wolf enclosure is in Camden, though the wolves have now gone! It is Regent’s Park Zoo, by the Gloucester Gate entrance from the Outer Circle.
The original Alfie film (not the 2004 remake) is a celebration of the British capital. Protagonist Alfie takes the audience on a journey through London showing us beautiful shots of King’s Cross Station, Notting Hill Gate and the Tower Bridge, all filmed during the Swinging '60s.
An American Werewolf in London
This memorable comedy horror features a remarkable London scene where a werewolf is chasing a London businessman at Tottenham Court Road Station. The massacre scene on Piccadilly Circus of course ensured the busiest square of the capital became even more chaotic than it usually is!
This film turned Portobello Road into a must-visit for tourists (that’s who to thank for the heaving crowds at the Saturday market). It’s hard to find a resemblance to the idyllic neighbourhood in which poor travel bookshop owner Will lives in the film but it still evokes a sense of warm-hearted pride in our capital.
No London film list would be complete without mentioning our little wizard friend. From platform 9 ¾ in The Chamber of Secrets, filmed at Kings Cross Station, to the wizard’s pub, The Leaky Cauldron that’s located in Leadenhall Market, all Potter films unleash the magic of our beautiful capital
Last updated on 23/09/2018, 21:47