Hamlet (1990)

Hamlet Movie Poster- Hamlet holding a sword up to his face, other characters stand behind him looking away from the camera. Hamlet is written in orange.

Hamlet Movie Poster © Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli

Starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates & Helena Bonham Carter.

Production Company:  Canal+, Carolco Pictures, Icon Entertainment International, Icon Productions, Marquis Nelson Entertainment, Sovereign Pictures, Warner Bros.

Kent Filming Location: Dover Castle

When Prince Hamlet returns to Denmark following the death of his father, he discovers his mother has already married his uncle Claudius who has now been crowned King.  They encourage Hamlet to marry his only love, the young Ophelia, but Hamlet remains troubled over his mother’s new husband. When the ghost of his father appears before him and reveals that he was murdered, Hamlet becomes dangerous to those around him.

Zeffirelli’s adaptation of the famous Shakespearean tragedy stars Mel Gibson as the Dark Prince, Glenn Close as his mother Gertrude and Alan Bates as Claudius. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an appearance as Ophelia.

Local Resident Tina Easterby experienced filming on a Hollywood film set when she worked as an extra in the film. She had this to say “In 1990 while I was studying for A levels, myself and my fellow Theatre Studies students were invited to tour the set of Hamlet at Dover Castle. As you can imagine at the age of 17 we were beside ourselves with excitement. However it only got better when we were all offered extras parts for 3 days. Hey, we were only servants but just to be on the same set as Glenn Close, Mel Gibson and Franco Zefferrelli was worth it. The castle looked stunning, in what would have been original costumes, with knights on horseback and misty, murky weather. We had a wonderful time!”

Dover Castle makes its first appearance in the title credits for the film. Used to portray the Danish Castle of Elsinore, the castle battlements feature in one of the most dramatic scenes of the film:  Hamlet speaking with the ghost of his dead father.  Built in the 13th Century, the Castle is situated above the White Cliffs of Dover and has guarded our shores for 20 centuries. At the heart of the site stands the Great Tower of the castle which stands at a height of 83 ft. It is here that many of the scenes for Hamlet were shot.

Dover Castle has featured in many films throughout its history. It appeared as the Tower of London in both Lady Jane (1986) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). A popular tourist attraction, Dover Castle invites visitors to experience life in Henry II’s court and visit the secret WWII tunnels, the HQ of Operation Dynamo. With its striking position within the landscape and medieval architecture it is an ideal location for any film production.

Hamlet is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

 


Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister (1990)

faint image of poirot standing with his back to the camera, Agatha Christie's Poirot written in grey over the top

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister © ITV

Writer: Agatha Christie (novel), Clive Exton (adaption)

Director: Andrew Grieve

Starring: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson

Production Company: Carnival Film & Television, London Weekend Television, Picture Partnership Productions

Kent Locations: Ingress Abbey, Greenhithe, St Margaret’s Bay and Dover

This ITV adaption of Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister is based on Agatha Christie’s Poirot Investigates short story collection. After the Prime Minister (Henry Moxon) doesn’t arrive at an important summit in France, Poirot (David Suchet) is called in to investigate. Can he find out what happened to the Prime Minister and bring him home within the day and a half deadline?

Clive Exton (Rosemary & Thyme, The Boundary, Kipps) writes the adaption, with Andrew Grieve (Hornblower: The Even Chance, Lorna Doone, Kingdom) directing. The episode stars David Suchet (A Perfect Murder, Flushed Away, The Bank Job) as Poirot alongside Hugh Fraser (101 Dalmatians, Patriot Games, The Draughtsman’s Contract) and Philip Jackson (My Week with Marilyn, Brassed Off,  Little Voice).

Ingress Abbey features in the episode as the hideout where the kidnappers held the Prime Minister, prior to its restoration. St Margaret’s Bay and Dover Seafront also briefly feature.

Ingress Abbey- Stone grand house surrounded by trees

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister Ingress Abbey © ITV

misty image of St Margarets Bay with a black car driving along the road. A man is walking along the seafront

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister St Margarets Bay © ITV

In Greenhithe, North Kent, the private residence of Ingress Abbey is a Gothic style country house with a large dining hall, ballroom, orangery, panelled passages and rooms.

St Margaret’s Bay is a splendid beach in Dover, near the infamous White Cliffs. Productions which have previously filmed in the Dover area include Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Mr Selfridge Series 3 (2015) and Missing (2009).

Other Poirot episodes to be filmed in Kent include Poirot “The Clocks” (2009) which used Dover Castle, Dover and St Margaret’s Bay and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1995) which was filmed in Chilham.

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister aired in 1990 and is now available for DVD purchase.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


The Garden (1990)

The Garden screenshot - a boy putting washing out in Dungeness estate

The Garden screenshot © Artificial Eye

Directed by: Derek Jarman

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Pete Lee-Wilson, Michael Gough

Production Company: Basilisk Communications, Channel 4, British Screen Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, Uplink, Sohbi Kikaku, Space Shower TV

Kent locations: Dungeness

The Garden is one of avant-garde director Derek Jarman’s final films, and intertwines an almost wordless story about two gay lovers who are arrested, severely humiliated, tortured and killed with religious imagery.

Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) stars with narration by Michael Gough (Batman Returns, Sleepy Hollow).

The Garden screenshot - Dungeness beach and sea

The Garden screenshot © Artificial Eye

The film is set against the backdrop of Dungeness, which had been Jarman’s home since the late 1980s.

Dungeness in the Shepway district of Kent is one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world. It boasts sound mirrors, two lighthouses and power station and is a popular film location having previously been seen on screen in The Poison Tree (2012), Parade’s End (2012) and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries – Natural Causes (2006).

The Garden was released in 1990 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Only Fools and Horses: The Jolly Boys’ Outing (1989)

Only Fools and Horses cast walking in a row towards the camera- metal globe behind them

Only Fools and Horses The Jolly Boys’ Outing © BBC

Director: Tony Dow

Writer: John Sullivan

Starring: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Buster Merryfield, Paul Barber, John Challis, Sue Holderness, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Kenneth MacDonald, Gwyneth Strong, Tessa Peake-Jones.

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations: Margate, Dreamland, Broadstairs, Herne Bay

The Jolly Boys’ Outing is the 1989 Christmas Special of the popular BBC series Only Fools and Horses and sees the Trotter brothers go on their annual coach trip to Margate with the Nag’s Head regulars. However, the trip doesn’t go to plan and forces the gang to stay overnight where Del bumps into his old flame Raquel.

Renowned British comedy Only Fools and Horses is about the Trotter brothers who live in Peckham, South London and the highs and lows they face trying to get rich. The sitcom was created and written by John Sullivan (The Two Ronnies, Roger Roger) and ran from 1981 – 2003, becoming one of the most loved sitcoms.

The Jolly Boys’ Outing episode was directed by Tony Dow (Babylon 5, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show) and stars David Jason (Open All Hours, The Darling Buds of May) as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst (Goodnight Sweetheart, Rock & Chips) as Rodney Trotter and Buster Merryfield (Shroud for a Nightingale, Strangers and Brothers) as Uncle Albert.

The supporting cast also boasts many familiar face including Roger Lloyd-Pack (The Vicar of Dibley, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Tessa Peake-Jones (Marchlands, Holby City) and Paul Barber (The Full Monty, Coronation Street).

Margate was the main destination in the episode where the boys visit theme park Dreamland. The former Broadstairs Police Station also features in the episode as well as the now closed Roman Galley Pub in Herne Bay which was used for the pitstop location where the gang stop off on their journey to Margate.

Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, and period housing. The area has been seen on screen before featuring in productions such as BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012) and feature film Last Orders (2002). 

Herne Bay boasts beaches and seafront gardens as well as many shops and eateries, amusement arcades and a windmill. Productions that have chosen to film in the area include Got To Dance (2012) and Things I Haven’t Told You (2008). 

The Jolly Boys’ Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses was first shown on Christmas Day 1989 and is now available on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Doctor Who – The Curse of Fenric (1989)

head shot of Sylvester McCoy as Doctor Who looking concerned, looking away from the camera

Sylvester McCoy as Doctor Who © BBC

Director: Nicholas Mallett

Starring: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Dinsdale Landen, Alfred Lynch, Nicholas Parsons

Production Company: BBC

Kent locations used: Lillesden Manor, Roses Farm, St Lawrence Church in Hawkhurst

The Curse of Fenric is a four part story of popular sci-fi show, Doctor Who, starring Sylvester McCoy. The Doctor and his companion, Ace, arrive at a secret military base during World War II where a Viking curse has been awakened.. Confronted by vampires emerging from the sea and Russian commandoes closing in, the Doctor and Ace need to find a way to defeat an old evil to secure a better future for mankind.

Sylvester McCoy (Frank Stubbs, Rab C. Nesbitt) stars as the seventh Doctor alongside Sophie Aldred (Corners, Melvin and Maureen’s Music-a-grams), Dinsdale Landen (Devenish, Mickey Dunne), Alfred Lynch (Jackanory, West 11) and Nicholas Parsons (The Arthur Haynes Show, Sale of the Century).

The production visited Lillesden Manor which doubled as the laboratory under the church. It is situated in Hawkhurst and is set in 200 acres of land, and was built in 1853 by Edward Lloyd. Just after World War I, the mansion was sold and became a girl’s school which closed in 1999.

The production also visited listed timber framed cottage, Roses Farm in Hawkhurst, which doubled as Mrs Hardaker’s Cottage and St Lawrence Church in Hawkhurst which doubled as St Judd’s Church.

Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric was first shown in 1989 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Birds of a Feather (1989-1998)

 

Birds of a Feather cast members stood in front of a door having a conversation at a desk

Birds of a Feather – Dorien Green (Lesley Joseph), Sharon Theodopolopodos (Pauline Quirke) and Tracey Stubbs (Linda Robson) © BBC

Director: Nick Wood

Starring: Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson, Leslie Joseph, Alun Lewis, Peter Polycarpou

Production Company: Alomo Productions, SelecTV

Kent Locations used: Maidstone Prison

Birds of a Feather is a comedy series about two sisters, Sharon and Tracey Stubbs who move in together after both their husbands end up in jail following an armed robbery attempt.

Sharon has been struggling and her husband’s crime isn’t a surprise whereas Tracey has been living her dream life in Chigwell and is shell-shocked to find her beloved husband is a criminal.

The sisters must get used to their enforced new circumstances and deal with their husbands being in jail as well as their sex-mad neighbour Dorien Green.

Birds of a Feather was created by Laurence Marks (Goodnight Sweetheart, The Last Laugh), and stars Pauline Quirke (Broadchurch, Emmerdale), Linda Robson (Casualty, Crossroads), Leslie Joseph (Night & Day, Rumble), Alun Lewis (Emmerdale, Lexx), and Peter Polycarpou (Evita, EastEnders).

The long running BBC franchise finished after nine series in 1998. However, in 2013 it was revived with a tenth series for ITV, and an eleventh series has been commissioned.

HM Maidstone Prison was used to film the exterior prison scenes throughout the original series.

Maidstone lies on the River Medway and is the county town of Kent offering shopping areas and parks. It is close to many tourist attractions, such as Kent Life and Leeds Castle  The Maidstone Studios has hosted filming for TV productions such as  Take Me Out. 

Birds of A Feather was shown on the BBC between 1989-1998 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Great Expectations (1989)

 

Great Expectations Movieposter 1989- Montage of characters from the film overlapping. Great Expectations written in yellow over the top

Great Expectations Movieposter 1989 © Buena Vista Television

Director: Kevin Connor

Writers: Charles Dickens (Novel)

Starring: Kim Thompson, Jean Simmons, Anthony Calf & Anthony Hopkins

Production Company: Harlech Television (HTV), Primetime Television Ltd., Tesauro Television, Walt Disney Television

Kent Locations Used: Harty Church, Rochester, Chatham, Upnor village

With a future as a blacksmith before him, Pip is invited to the home of the lonely spinster, Miss Havisham, abandoned on the day of her wedding. Encouraging her adopted daughter Estella to break the young boy’s heart, Pip is sent there for her own entertainment. The young boy’s fortunes change when an unknown and generous person pays for Pip to travel to London and begin a new life as a gentleman.

Starring Kim Thompson (Emmerdale Farm, 1408) as Estella, Jean Simmons (Spartacus) as the haunting Miss Havisham, Anthony Calf (New Tricks) as Pip and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Thor) as Abel Magwitch, this Disney adaptation of the Dickens classic features many Kent locations.

Filming took place at Harty Church on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent: young Orphan Phillip (Pip) Pirrup, on a visit to the graves of his parents, meets the sinister escaped convict Abel Magwitch.  The church has part-Norman origins and is visited by both tourists and historians from around the world.

The crew also came to Upnor village to film, which provides the home of Herbert Pockets’ fiancée Clara’s house. Locals to the area will notice the Upnor Lighthouse as Pip docks in the village.

Another Kentish church, St James’ church in Cooling, which is situated on the marshes near the Hoo Peninsula, inspired Dickens so much, he used the location for the dramatic scene where Pip meets prisoner Magwitch.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Inspector Morse – Deceived by Flight (1989)

Inspector Morse with his hands in his pockets looking at the camera with the port of dover queue behind him.

Inspector Morse (John Thaw) © ITV

Starring: John Thaw, Kevin Whatley, Nathaniel Parker, Peter Amory, Norman Rodway

Directed by: Anthony Simmons

Production Company: Zenith Productions, Central Independent Television

Kent locations used: Port of Dover, Dover Priory Station

Deceived by Flight is episode 3, from series 3, of the well-known Inspector Morse series based on the novels by Colin Dexter where Morse is investigating the murder of a member of the old boys’ cricket team, who have reconvened before starting their European tour. However, after a second murder, it soon becomes clear that some members of the cricket club have another agenda when it comes to the tour. Detective Sergeant Lewis agrees to go undercover as a member of the team in an attempt to reveal the murderer.

As well as regulars in the franchise; John Thaw (The Sweeny, Chaplin), and Kevin Whatley (Auf Wiedersehen Pet 1983) this episode also features Amanda Hillwood (Die Hard 2),  Sharon Maughan (Holby City, Shes out of my league),  Norman Rodway (Mother Night) and Nathaniel Parker (The Bodyguard, Haunted Mansion).

Dover Priory Station and the Port of Dover both feature towards the end of the episode when the cricket team arrive in Dover, with the intention to catch a Ferry, to begin their European tour.

The Port of Dover in Kent is the UKs busiest passenger Port and the coastline is well known for its white cliffs. Dover’s Port has previously featured in Johnny English (2003), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011) and more recently in Sky Atlantics drama, The Tunnel (2013).

Deceived by Flight first aired on the 18th January 1989 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Lady Jane (1987)

 

Lady Jane Movieposter- close up of Lady Jane with her hand on a man hair. Lady Jane written in red on top.

Lady Jane Movieposter © Paramount Pictures

Directed By:  Trevor Nunn

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood, Patrick Stewart

Production Company: Capital Equipment Leasing, Paramount Pictures

Kent Locations Used: Hever Castle, Leeds Castle, Dover Castle

When the death of King Henry VIII throws the country into chaos, the question of succession to the throne must be resolved. While the King’s surviving son Prince Edward lies on his death bed, a scheming John Dudley resolves to marry his son Guildford (Cary Elwes) to Lady Jane Grey (Helena Bonham Carter), great niece of Henry VII and place her on the throne after the king’s death. Unwilling to be married, Guildford and Jane are at first unhappy with Dudley’s plans, but over time, their love for each other blossoms just as  a chain of events threatens to rip them apart.

This costume drama sheds light on England’s reformation in 1553 as the Duke of Northumberland attempted to guarantee a Protestant monarchy and keep Catholic Princess Mary from the throne.

The film is directed by Trevor Nunn (King Lear, Oklahoma!) and star Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, The King’s Speech) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw) as young lovers Jane and Guildford, alongside John Wood (WarGames, Chocolat) and Patrick Stewart (Star Trek and X-Men series).

Three of Kent’s Castles feature in the film: the Long Gallery at Hever Castle was used for the scene where Lady Jane (Helena Bonham Carter) and Princess Mary (Jane Lapotaire) meet and talk about God and the moat around Leeds Castle was used to double as some of the exterior of Lady Jane’s home. Dover Castle doubles as the Tower of London, including the execution scenes at the end of the film.

Near Maidstone is the magnificent Leeds Castle, which is set within 500 acres of parkland and gardens and surrounded by a moat. This location boasts a mote and maze and state rooms including original marble bathrooms. The location has previously featured in productions such as Gadget Man (2014), Henry VIII (2003) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

Hever Castle was originally built as a country house in the 13th Century, but the Boleyn family, who held a seat there from 1462 till 1539, transformed parts of the castle into a Tudor manor. Today it offers three floors containing antique furniture and Tudor artefacts which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the county.  The location has been used for filming projects including Inkheart (2008) and Anne of a Thousand Days (1969).

Dover Castle was founded in the 12th Century and has held defensive significance for the country throughout history. The famous Operation Dynamo during the Second World War was masterminded within its walls. Dover Castle has previously featured in Into The Woods (2015), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and To Kill a King (2003).

Lady Jane also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Lady Jane was released in cinemas in February 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

 


Full Metal Jacket (1987)

A man on a helicopter, firing a door gun in the film towards the river

Full Metal Jacket © Natant/Stanley Kubrick Productions/Warner Bros

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio

Production Company: Natant Stanley, Kubrick Productions, Warner Bros.

Kent Locations Used: Cliffe

Set in the late 1960’s, Full Metal Jacket follows the lives of trainee marines as they undergo a gruelling boot camp under the direction of demanding Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey). During the boot camp, the men overcome many obstacles and some are even driven mad after being tortured and dehumanised by the sergeant.

In the second half of the film, one of the graduated marines, Joker (Matthew Modine), is sent to Vietnam as a military journalist and he and his photographer, Rafterman (Kevyn Major Howard,) have to face life on the front line, exposed to snipers and mass murders.

Oscar winning director Stanley Kubrick (The Shining, A Clockwork Orange) directs the film which stars   Matthew Modine (The Dark Night Rises, Transporter 2), R. Lee Erney, (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Toy Story trilogy) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black, Jurassic World).

The Cliffe Marshes double as the Vietnam countryside in the second half of Full Metal Jacket and are well known for Cliffe Fort and the bird life around the pools.

Soldiers walking in front of military truck down a road

Full Metal Jacket © Natant/Stanley Kubrick Productions/Warner Bros

Cliffe is a small village in Medway on the Thames estuary and has a fort which was built in the mid-nineteenth century as a defence against the invasion of London. The Medway area has previously featured on screen in productions such as Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (2015), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012) and Last Orders (2002).

The film was released on 11th September 1987 and is available to purchase on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.