There have been so many iconic films made in London that it’s difficult to even begin making a list of films based in the great British city. Filmmakers have been besotted with the big smoke ever since the cameras first started rolling, so let’s start with the easy bit – what makes London such a great film location? Why does it remain so appealing, even though it has been used so many times before?
Steeped in history
From Shakespeare in Love to Sherlock Holmes, London is a favourite film location for a good period drama. With Southwark’s old churches, dark cobbled streets and Thames-side docks, who can blame them?
East End charm
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Oliver Twist, A Clockwork Orange – it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of London’s East End, does it? But judging by these titles, the area does make a great film location.
Good enough for royalty
People from all around the world are charmed by the British Royal Family, so it’s no wonder films like The Queen and The King’s Speech grabbed so much attention at award ceremonies from LA to Cannes. Not only that, we get to catch a glimpse of the rich, diamond encrusted London as a film location.
No, we are not talking about the Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies of the world – we are talking about Embankment, Regents Park, Oxford Street and every other London location that has starred on the silver screen. Classic British features such as Notting Hill, 101 Dalmatians and Bridget Jones have all brought the big city to the big screen.
The summer of sports might be over, but sporty films have been using London as a film location for years now. Movies such as Wimbledon, Bend it Like Beckham and Green Street have all got us reaching for our gym bags (well, maybe not Green Street).
Maybe it’s because they’re Londoners
What is the best thing you can find in the city? The people, of course. There have been some memorable actors who have gained prominence from London films; from the infamous stuttering charms of Hugh Grant to the gruff Ray Winstone to the whole cast of Love Actually.
These are just a few of the aspects of London as a film location. So remember, next time you head to the cinema or curl up with a DVD – keep your eyes peeled for more moments of London on film.
Janet Evesham is a proud Londoner writing on behalf of www.location-collective.co.uk