Filmed in London
Filmed, set and inspired – my weekend trip to this wonderful city encouraged me to go back to the “best” movies shot in London. Today feels very gloomy, as if the winter decided to let intrusive autumn thoughts act on us, so… Let’s make some tea and dive into the best of what London has to offer.
“Can I stay for a while?”
“You can stay forever.”
London surprised me in so many ways. It’s big but not overwhelming; full of art and artists around every corner. The light changes shapes of the buildings and color of the spring sky with every minute. People pass you by, but even rushing through, it feels like you belong.
It’s a place I could really see myself living for a period of time. Not forever, maybe. But then again… This place inspired me to start writing a movie script, based on a dream I had my first night there! And… As you all know, a lot of great things came to me from a dream.
My London… Huh, I like the sound of that! But what I wanted to say is that my story from London will come sometime soon (love this word, it is so undefined). And it truly was a blast. Monia and I went to a theater and did a lot of sightseeing and Gosh, I truly got the full London experience. Including a the
“For June, who loved this garden, from Joseph, who always sat beside her.” Some people do spend their whole lives together.
But since I came back, this list was on my mind. I like lists! Who doesn’t? So today, I picked some of my favorite movies filmed (in whole, partially) in London! Perhaps next time, I will visit all of the locations?
After all, I am also just a girl… 😉 Sorry, I could not help it. Here are my top-top movies filmed in London – some in whole, some in parts, some with just one scene.
- The Day that Earth Caught Fire (1961), dir. Val Guest – I love, literally LOVE! Sci-fi movies from the 60s. Nothing can beat them, really. In this one, the U.S. and Russia test atomic bombs at the same time and it disrupts? Alters? The axis of rotation of the Earth. What is the ultimate London (or also British) moment in this one? When things go south, everyone goes to the… Pub.
- Mary Poppins (1964), dir. Robert Stevenson – the ultimate childhood story for a lot of us with fantastic Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Magical and leaving a lasting, warm impression on many young hearts. London became a technicolor wonderland – and it was wonderful, considering how gloomy it might seem.
- A hard day’s night (1964), dir. Richard Lester – story about a Liverpool band in London. THE band, right? Most of the footage was taken in the BBC studio, but once the band got out, they were all around London. Whether it was a sprint through Marylebone Station pursued by thirsty fans or an evening spent at Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair.
- A Clockwork Orange (1971), dir. Stanley Kubrick – you Lot know this is one of my favorite books and movies. Dystopian, brutal and heartbreaking in the end, the study of morality (and lack of it). And… Even though we, as humans, don’t meet up in milk bars to drink spiked milk, we are often dealing with moral and immoral dilemmas.
- Quadrophenia (1979), dir. Franc Roddam – Mods! Bowie was one too, but that is a side note. The movie was loosely based on The Who’s rock opera (of the same title). The Mod culture in the 60s was something… Utterly fascinating.
- An American Werewolf in London (1981), dir. John Landis – classic, if you ask me. An outrageous, hilarious horror comedy. It gives a unique perspective; a Yankee perspective on the capital city. And tourist’s eyes always see the town differently.
- Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), dir. Mike Newell – Richard Curtis is one of my favorite creators/writers in the rom-com genre. His movies are not cheesy, or boring. They feel like a fuzzy blanket and a cup of earl grey with a dash of lemon and teaspoon of honey. Most London moment? Getting from point A to point B. Taxi? Bus? Train? 50 minutes by walk? I will take the walk, thank you!
- Notting Hill (1999), dir. Roger Michell – classic, one of the most wonderful rom-coms ever made. Hugh Grant was on the roll in the 90s and early 2000s, with his contagious shy smile and that fluffy hair. And… Come on, a bookshop? THE ULTIMATE PLACE TO FIND A SOULMATE? Sold.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), dir. Sharon Maguire – in a world full of Daniels, find yourself a Mark. Part two is equally good in my opinion, but the first one… Just hit the sweet spot. It is a perfectly balanced story about the life struggle of a single woman, trying to excel in her career, love life and with family. This film is always a yes.
- 28 Days Later (2002), dir. Danny Boyle – ah, my Cillian Murphy mood is in full spring! And to be honest, I am not sure I would watch it “on my own”, but let’s face it: I did it for Cillian. No shame here! But the movie itself, for me, reinvents the zombie genre. Like, not the… Species? But the film genre. And to see London like this… Wow. Chilling!
- V for Vendetta (2005), dir. James McTeigue – once again we are set in a dystopian world, being a part of dystopian society. A freedom fighter called V plans to overthrow a tyrannical government. Also, no real landmarks were harmed!
- The King’s Speech (2010), dir. Tom Hooper – an Oscar worthy film with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Set on the streets of Depression-era London, it’s one of my favorite “royal” creations. Also, one of the first movies ever that I watched from the first or second row in the cinema, because the tickets sold out so fast.
- Paddington (2014), dir. Paul King – that sweet, brave little bear took everyone by storm and into their hearts. Once you watch it, there is no going back. For me, it is the ultimate “Sunday” movie. Soft, warm and goes perfectly with a cup of tea.
The more I think about things, the more I see no rhyme or reason in life. no one knows why some things work out and some things don’t. Why some of us are lucky and some of us get…
I have not even scratched the surface, but I think this is like discovering London – bit by bit, piece by piece. Movie by movie, with this: “Oh, I’ve been there!” shout in your mouth. Now that I think about it, travel agencies should really organize those kinds of trips around the world!
It’s been a weird time for me, Lot. I seek escape in old series and new movies. Movie Journal is amazing when it comes to that. I think when spring comes, things will get better. Maybe all I need is some natural vitamin D to get rid of the gray from under my eyes…?
Let me know what would be on your London list – whether it’s movies or places to visit. I am collecting recommendations for my next time there!