The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride film poster- cartoon image of characters from the film underneath a castle gate in blue mist. The Princess Bride written in yellow.

The Princess Bride © Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Written by: William Goldman

Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Parinkin, Chris Sarandon, Fred Savage, Peter Falk and Andre the Giant

Production Company: Act III Communications, Buttercup Films Ltd., The Princess Bride Ltd.

Kent Locations used: Penshurst Place

Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) duelling in a hall next to a long wooden table with food on it. Candles are in the background behind them.

Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) duelling © Lionsgate Home Entertainment

The Princess Bride is cult fantasy film, based on the 1973 book of the same name, written by William Goldman. A stable boy named Westley (Cary Elwes) confesses his love to an enchanting woman named Buttercup (Robin Wrigh) but their happiness is cut short when Westley is reportedly murdered by blood thirsty pirates. Fearing that her love will never return, Buttercup becomes engaged to a cruel king and they plan to wed. However, as the wedding ceremony begins, so does an invasion of the castle by an unlikely trio of men. Will there be a happy ending after all?

This film is a unique and daring spin on the classic fairy tale formula, complete with sword fights, damsels in distress, magic potions and heroic heroes.

The films cast includes  Cary Elwes (Twister, Saw), Robin Wright (Forest Gump, Beowulf), Mandy Parinkin (Homeland, Dead Like Me) Chris Sarandon (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Childs Play), Fred Savage (The Wonder years, Little Monsters), Peter Falk (Columbo, Murder Ink) and Andre the Giant (WWF, Conan the Destroyer).

Production visited Penshurst Place and used the Barons Hall as the setting for the confrontation between Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Count Rugen (Christopher Guest). Penshurst Place is a grand estate located in the Weald of Kent with extensive grounds spanning 48 acres. Due to its medieval architecture, the house and grounds are a popular filming location and have previously been used in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), the BBC fantasy series Merlin (2008), and thriller movie The Gathering (2003).

The Princess Bride was first released in November 1987 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


The Mission (1986)

The Mission DVD cover- Robert De Niro standing on tree branches and rocks pointing a sword at the camera. The mission written in green.

The Mission DVD cover ©Columbia-Cannon-Warner

Director: Roland Joffe

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Ronald Pickup, Aidan Quin

Production Company: Warner Bros., Goldcrest Films International, Kingsmere Productions Ltd., Enigma Productions, AMLF

Kent locations used:  Fort Amherst

Mendoza (Robert De Niro) holding Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons)up by the collar in confrontation

Mendoza (Robert De Niro) and Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) filming at Fort Amherst ©Columbia-Cannon-Warner

The Mission is an Oscar winning action film focused on the story of Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), who after killing his brother, is given the chance by Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) to redeem his sins. They both travel to Brazil on a mission to bring Christianity to a native South American tribe. However, when the church comes under pressure from the Portuguese empire, they sell the land the mission is built on, putting its future in jeopardy.

The film features Oscar winners Robert De Niro (Taxi Diver, Mean strrets) and Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Waterland). Also starring Liam Neeson(Non-Stop, Batman Begins), Ronald Pickup(Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and Aidan Quin(Legends of the Fall, Unknown).

The tunnels of Fort Amherst were used as part of the monastery where Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is being held after he murders his brother. Fort Amherst was originally built in 1755, containing a labyrinth of underground tunnels and hidden gun positions, to improve the defense of the River Medway. Fort Amherst has previously welcomed other productions such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Saint (1997).

The Mission first premiered in 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.  

 

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


Young Sherlock Holmes (1986)

Young Sherlock Holmes written in white with three cast members stood in a row underneath.

YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES
Available on DVD or Digital Download

 

Director: Barry Levinson

Writer: Arthur Conan Doyle, Chris Columbus

Starring: Nicolas Rowe, Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, Anthony Higgins

Production Company: Amblin Entertainment, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Paramount Pictures

Kent locations used: Penshurst Place

Young Sherlock Holmes is a new take on the classic tales of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in which we see the famous Sherlock Holmes first meet his trusty companion Watson at boarding school where they work together to solve a series of puzzling murders plaguing London.

Directed by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Toys) and written by Chris Columbus (Gremlins, The Goonies), the film stars Nicolas Rowe (Da Vinci’s Demons), Alan Cox (The Dictator), Sophie Ward (Jane Eyre) and Anthony Higgins (Raiders of the Lost Ark).

The film included the first fully computer-animated character and was nominated for Best Effects, Visual Effects at the Oscars.

The historic Barons Hall in Penshurst Place served as the Brompton School gym for the scenes where Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) fences with Professor Rathe (Anthony Higgins).

Penshurst Place is a 14th century building known for its historical significance and architectural beauty. Its medieval design has made it a popular location for a number of film and television shows including The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Merlin (2008) and The Princess Bride (1987).

Young Sherlock Holmes was released in cinemas in 1985 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Dempsey and Makepeace ‘Cry God for Harry’ (1985)

Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and Makepeace (Glynis Barber) facing each other inside Chilham Castle

Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and Makepeace (Glynis Barber) inside Chilham Castle © ITV

Directed by: William Brayne

Written by: Neil Rudyard

Starring: Michael Brandon, Glynis Barber, Ray Smith, Ralph Michael, Keith Bonnard Ralph Arliss, Seretta Wilson, John Terry

Production Company: Golden Eagle Films, London Weekend Television (LWT)

Kent Filming Locations: Chilham Castle, Chilham Square

Dempsey and Makepeace is a British crime drama focusing on the relationship between American Lt. James Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and British Detective Sgt. Harriet Makepeace (Glynis Barber). Dempsey was sent to England after his career ran into trouble in New York, and has been partnered up with Makepeace, under the watchful eye of Chief Superintendent Spikings (Ray Smith).

In episode 9 of Series 1, Makepeace receives the news that her father’s house has been burgled. By Royal Intervention, the detective duo is ordered to investigate and restore the missing collection of priceless Jade artefacts.

Dempsey and Makepeace driving through Chilham village in a white classic car.

Dempsey and Makepeace driving through Chilham © ITV

The episode stars franchise regulars Michael Brandon (Captain America: The First Avenger) Glynis Barber (Hammer of the Gods) and Ray Smith (Struggle, We’ll Meet Again). Guest stars include Ralph Michael (The Quest, Kessler), Keith Bonnard (Noble House, Shanghai Surprise), Ralph Arliss (Grange Hill, Retrace), Seretta Wilson (The Da Vinci Code, London Bridge), and John Terry (Brothers and Sisters, Lost).

Chilham Castle becomes Winfield Hall, the grand English estate of Lord Winfield (Ralph Michael) in this episode. The Jacobean mansion was built in 1616 on the site of an ancient castle, and is now the private home of the Wheeler family. The castle has previously hosted productions such as Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1995) and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2006).

Chilham Square, which is considered to be one of the most perfectly preserved medieval settings in the South East of England, makes a brief appearance in this episode. Dempsey and Makepeace drive through the square as they approach the grand gates to Winfield Hall. Chilham has previously featured in Chickens (2011), Emma (2009), and The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965).

The episode first aired in 1985 on ITV and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Mapp & Lucia (1985–1986)

Mapp and Lucia DVD cover- three characters in a triangle on a purple patterned background. Mapp & Lucia written in pink on top

Mapp and Lucia DVD © London Weekend Television (LWT)

Director: Donald McWhinnie

Writer: E.F. Benson (novel) and Gerald Savory (screenplay)

Starring: Prunella Scales, Geraldine McEwan, Nigel Hawthorne, Denis Lill, James Greene

Production Company: London Weekend Television (LWT)

Kent Locations: Chilham including Cumberland Lodge, Hever Castle

Mapp and Lucia is a Channel 4 series, based on three 1930’s novels by E. F. Benson. Set in the fictional Sussex coastal town of Tilling-on-Sea, the show centres around social schemers Mapp (Prunella Scales) and Lucia (Geraldine McEwan) who will stop at nothing to bolster their position amongst their community’s elite.

Mapp and Lucia, aired in two series of five episodes and was directed by Donald McWhinnie (Moll Flanders, Churchill’s People, Much Ado About Nothing), with the screenplay adapted by Gerald Savory (Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Victorians).

The series stars Prunella Scales (Howards End, After Henry, Wolf), Geraldine McEwan (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Magdalene Sisters, Agatha Christie’s Marple), Nigel Hawthorne (Amistad, Demolition Man, Gandhi) Denis Lill (Batman, The Royal, Richard III) and James Greene (Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla, Empire of the Sun).

Chilham village with lots of cast members walking around in front of a tudor style house

Mapp and Lucia screenshot at Chilham © London Weekend Television (LWT)

Hever Castle - a car outside the castle

Mapp and Lucia screenshot at Hever Castle London Weekend Television (LWT)

The production was largely filmed in Rye and Winchelsea with Kent also featuring – Chilham is seen in episodes 1, 2 and 10, doubling as Risholme, with Lucia’s home in the Cumberland Lodge on The Street, Olga Braceley’s Home in the Old Rectory and the Tudor Lodge in the square doubling as the Ambermere Arms.

In episode 10, Hever Castle features as the residence of Poppy (Irene Handl), Duchess of Sheffield.

Chilham is a delightfully preserved Tudor village in the Ashford borough of Kent. It is a popular film location due to its stunning fifteenth century square with black and white timbered buildings, Jacobean castle, church, pub and school. Chilham has been chosen as a film location by many filming projects including Emma (2009) and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2005).

The thirteenth century double moated Hever Castle boasts formal Italian Gardens, ornamental lake, adventure playground and maze. The castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and has featured in a variety of productions including The Apprentice (2014), Inkheart (2008) and Anne of a Thousand Days (1969).

Mapp & Lucia aired in 1985–1986 and is now available on DVD.

 

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

 


The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984)

Robin Hood (George Segal) standing on a tree with a bow and arrow

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) Poster © Charles Fries Productions

Director: Ray Austin

Writer: Robert Kaufman

Starring: George Segal, Morgan Fairchild, Roddy McDowall, Robert Hardy

Production Company: Charles Fries Productions

Kent Locations: Penshurst Place, Allington Castle

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood is a made-for-TV spoof of the classic story of forest rogue Robin (George Segal) who, along with his merry men, foils Prince John’s (Roddy McDowall) plot to oust King Richard (Robert Hardy).

The film was written by Robert Kaufman (Love at First Bite, Divorce American Style, Ski Party),directed by Ray Austin (Zorro, The Champions, Curse of the Dead) and stars George Segal (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Cable Guy, Look Who’s Talking), Morgan Fairchild (The Seduction, Flamingo Road, Holy Man), Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes, A Bug’s Life, Fright Night) and Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great and Small, Harry, Sense and Sensibility).

Largely filmed in Kent, the production used The Barron’s Hall at Penshurst Place to double as King John’s (Roddy McDowall) Hall and the Cathedral. Allington Castle exterior doubles as King John’s castle and the hall as the Bank of Normandy.

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor style manor house set in gorgeous parkland in West Kent with formal Elizabethan gardens, state rooms and Gardens, adventure playground and maze. Penshurst Place  previously featured in productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Gathering (2003) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1986).

Set in 42 acres near the town of Maidstone, Allington Castle boasts a moat, lakes and extensive gardens. The castle is a private residence which has been used for filming by projects such as Covington Cross (1992) and Bernard Matthews and Mars commercials.

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood aired in 1984.

 

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


The Draughtsmans Contract (1982)

Anthony Higgins in costume staring at the camera in front of a field

Anthony Higgins as Mr Neville in The Draughtsman’s Contract © BFI

Writer/Director: Peter Greenaway

Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman and Dave Hill

Production Company: British Film Institute (BFI), Channel Four Television

Kent Filming Locations: Groombridge Place

Set in the 17th Century, The Draughtsman’s Contact focuses on the contract between Mr Neville (Anthony Higgins) and Mrs Herbert (Janet Suzman) to paint a picture of her husband’s estate. As part of Neville’s preparation for his masterpiece, he dresses the house with sculptures and then instructs the household not to move any objects. But when the statues in the house suddenly start to move about and even shift shape, the very particular Mr Neville becomes increasingly upset.

Janet Suzman as Mrs Herbert standing in a garden with an umbrella facing away from a man who has his back to the camera

Janet Suzman as Mrs Herbert © BFI

The plot is further complicated when Mr Herbert (Dave Hill) is found dead and it is discovered that Mr Neville’s paintings inescapably point towards his having been murdered. The (mis-en-)scene is set for mystery, intrigue and blackmail.

Although the film alludes to the Herbert house being located in Wiltshire, The Draughtman’s Contract was actually filmed at Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells.

One of the formal gardens at Groombridge used in the film has been renamed in commemoration of the filming: The Draughtman’s Lawn boasts beautiful primroses in the spring and striking ornamental trees in the summer.

Groombridge Place Gardens and Enchanted Forest is open from spring until early November but the house itself is not open to the public. It has previously been used as a film location by Pride and Prejudice (2005).

The Draughtsmans Contract was released in cinemas in 1982 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


The Mirror Crack’d (1980)

Angela Lansbury, Rock Hudson and Edward Fox stood having a conversation in front of a window with beige curtains

Angela Lansbury, Rock Hudson and Edward Fox © Columbia-Warner Distributors

Starring: Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Geraldine Chaplin, Edward Fox and Kim Novak

Production Company: G.W. Films, EMI Films

Kent Locations used: St Clere Estate, Smarden, Shoreham

The Mirror Crack’d is a detective drama based on an Agatha Christie novel of the same name. In this instalment of the Miss Marple Franchise, a visiting Hollywood production has come to the town of St Mary Mead. The story focuses on the life of Marina Rudd (Elizabeth Taylor), a veteran actress competing for the spotlight with a younger actress, Lola (Kim Novak), in an upcoming production. When a local resident is poisoned at a grand reception, it is thought that Marina herself was the intended victim.

Angela Lansbury (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Murder She Wrote, Beauty and the Beast) stars as Miss Jane Marple alongside Elizabeth Taylor (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Cleopatra), Tony Curtis (Some Like it Hot), Rock Hudson (Dynasty, McMilan & Wife, Pillow Talk), Geraldine Chaplin (Remember my Name, Doctor Zhivago) Edward Fox (Gandi, Never Say Never Again) and Kim Novak (The Great Bank Robbery, Falcon Crest).

St Clere Estate, Heaverham in the Sevenoaks District of Kent is a private, family run country estate that today prides itself on being an ideal location for filming and photography, due to its period architecture and beautiful grounds. In this episode, it was perfect of the setting for Gossington Hall, the grand home of the Rudds.

 Ye Olde George Inn and a Bridge on Church Street in Shoreham are both noticeable in the production, doubling as part of the village of St Mary Mead. Shoreham is a picturesque village near Sevenoaks, famous for its traditional pubs and annual May Day duck race.

The village of Smarden and St Michaels Church are also used to double as the village of St Mary Mead. The Thatched House in Smarden was used as Miss Marple’s cottage. Smarden is located in the Ashford district of Kent, and the traditional thatched houses and village shops made it a perfect filming location.

The Mirror Crack’d was first released in February 1980 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Henry VIII (1979)

image of a man and women dressed in tudor costumes stood next to each other in front of a pillar

Henry VIII screenshot © BBC

Director: Kevin Billington

Writer: William Shakespeare (play),

Stars: John Stride, Timothy West, Ronald Pickup, Claire Bloom, Julian Glover, Jeremy Kemp, Peter Vaughan

Henry VIII dvd cover- images of two tutor men on a black background. Henry VIII written in white underneath

Henry VIII dvd cover © BBC

Production Company: BBC, Time-Life Television Productions

Kent Locations Used: Hever Castle, Leeds Castle, Penshurst Place

Henry VIII is a BBC television film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s original play which provides a dramatized account of the events surrounding the divorce of Henry VIII from his first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

Originally broadcast in February 1979; the film was produced as part of BBC Shakespeare (1978-85), a series of Shakespeare plays adapted for television.

The film was directed by Kevin Billington (Outside Edge, The Good Soldier) with John Stride (Macbeth, The Omen) playing Henry VIII alongside Timothy West (Crime and Punishment, Eastenders), Ronald Pickup (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Chronicles of Narnia), Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech, Clash of the Titans), Julian Glover (For Your Eyes Only, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), Jeremy Kemp (Z-Cars, Space: 1999) and Peter Vaughan (Porridge, Game of Thrones).

The entire film was shot on location at Hever Castle, Leeds Castle and Penshurst Place, which all have an association with the historical figures within the play.

Leeds Castle doubles as Henry VIII’s palace. Both interiors and exteriors are used to create a sense of real grandeur.

Penshurst Place was used for a number of scenes, including Katherine of Aragon’s residence, a council chamber at Westminster. Baron’s Hall was used as a hall in Blackfriars when it announced that Henry and Katherine shall split. One of the halls is used to double as a room in York Place where Cardinal Wolsey holds a ball; this is where Henry VIII and Anne Bullen first meet.

The timber-clad section of Hever Castle is used to double as streets in Westminster where two gentlemen meet to discuss the royal divorce.

Leeds Castle is set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens and has been used in various productions, including the ITV version of Henry VIII (2003), Lady Jane (1987) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) .

Hever Castle is a thirteenth century castle which was once home to Anne Boleyn; it boasts formal Italian gardens and an ornamental lake. This location has also been used in various historical dramas, including Walking through History (2013), Inkheart (2008) and Anne of The Thousand Days (1969).

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor Fortified Manor set in gorgeous parkland. It is a film friendly location, having been used in notable productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and Merlin (2008).

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

This film was originally broadcasted on 25th February 1979, and is available to purchase on DVD.

 

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