The Great Escaper (2023)

Michael Caine as Bernard Jordan stands on a boat, saluting the camera. On the deck above him is the ships crew, also saluting. Caine wears a navy blazer with war medals, green cardigan, blue shirt and green striped tie.

Michael Caine in The Great Escaper (2023) © Pathe

Director: Oliver Parker
Writer:
William Ivory
Starring:
Michael Caine, Glenda Jackson
Production Company:
Ecosse Films, BBC Films, Filmgate Films, Ingenious, Pathe UK
Kent Locations Used:
Port of Dover, Abbot’s Cliff

Inspired by true events, The Great Escaper (2023) chronicles the story of WWII veteran Bernard Jordan, who masterminded a ‘great escape’ from his care home in order to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.

Written by BAFTA-nominee William Ivory (Made in Dagenham, Truckers) and directed by BAFTA-nominee Oliver Parker (Johnny English Reborn (2011), St. Trinian’s), the film stars Michael Caine (Children of Men (2006), King of Thieves (2018)) as Bernard Jordan and Glenda Jackson (Elizabeth R (1971), Women in Love) as his wife Irene in her last role.

Scenes were filmed at the Port of Dover cruise terminal, where Bernard boards a ferry to France. Filming also took place on the P&O Ferry ‘Spirit of Dover’. Abbot’s Cliff also features briefly in the film; in an early scene as Bernard is driving to the Port and later in a flashback of young Irene (Laura Marcus) watching fighter jets fly over.

The Port of Dover is the busiest passenger port in Europe and includes a freight terminal, two cruise terminals, a yachting marina, harbour wall, lighthouses and seafront promenade. Recent productions to have filmed there include After Love (2021), Season 1 of The Rook (2019), and Next of Kin (2018).

Situated between Folkestone and Dover, Abbot’s Cliff comprises of a WWII sound mirror and isolated single-track lane on top of white cliffs. Back to Life (2019-2021), King Lear (2018) and King of Thieves (2018) also filmed here.

The Great Escaper (2023) was released in UK cinemas on Friday 6th October 2023.

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


Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023)

Idris Elba as Luther stands on a snowy mountaintop against a sunset sky. He wears a pale blue shirt, red tie, navy trousers and a grey trench coat.

Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) © BBC Films

Director: Jamie Payne
Writer: Neil Cross
Starring:
Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Cynthia Erivo, Dermot Crowley
Production Company:
BBC Films, BBC Studios, Chernin Entertainment
Kent Locations Used:
Port of Dover Ferry Terminal, White Cliffs of Dover

Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) is a feature film of  of the popular BBC TV series of the same name. Taunted by the psychopath he could never catch and stuck inside a prison cell, disgraced detective John Luther decides to break out and finish the job once and for all.

Directed by Jamie Payne (Outlander, Primeval), and written by series creator Neil Cross (The Fixer (2008), Hard Sun (2018)), the film stars Idris Elba (Yardie (2018), In the Long Run (2019)) as John Luther, Andy Serkis (Burke and Hare (2010), The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself (2022)) as David Robey, Cynthia Erivo (Harriet, Widows) as Odette Raine and Dermot Crowley (The Death of Stalin, The Foreigner) as DSU Martin Shenk.

Production visited Kent to film scenes at the Port of Dover ferry terminal where Luther follows the psychopath Robey to Norway, as well as the White Cliffs of Dover – although this scene didn’t make the final cut.

The Port of Dover is the busiest passenger port in Europe, and includes a freight terminal, two cruise terminals, yachting marina, harbour wall, lighthouses and a seafront promenade. The Port has featured in many productions, including After Love (2021), Series 1 of The Rook (2019) and Next of Kin (2018).

The White Cliffs of Dover are an iconic lan affording spectacular views across the Channel and of dmark, Dover Castle. Other productions to have filmed there include Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows (2011), Missing (2009-2010) and On a Clear Day (2005).

Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) will be released in select UK cinemas on Friday 24th February and will release on Netflix on Friday 10th March 2023.

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


True Things (2022)

Ruth Wilson as Kate leans against a grey concrete wall. She has long brown hair and is wearing a brown jacket with a fur collar. Tom Burke as Blond is leaning over her with his hands on the wall either side. He has dyed blond hair and a dark stubbly beard. He wears a worn black leather jacket.

True Things (2022) © BBC Films.

Writer: Harry Wootliff, Molly Davies,
Director: Harry Wootliff
Starring: Ruth Wilson, Tom Burke
Production Company: BBC Films, The Bureau
Kent Locations Used: Ramsgate, Margate Broadstairs, Kingsgate Bay

True Things (2022) follows Kate, a young woman living on the edge of society as she becomes intoxicated with a stranger who overturns her quiet lifestyle.

Based on the book of the same name by Deborah Kay Davies, True Things was adapted for the screen by Molly Davies and Harry Wootliff (Only You, Totally Frank) and stars Ruth Wilson (Luther, Saving Mr. Banks) as Kate, and Tom Burke (Only God Forgives, The Souvenir) as Blond, the man she falls in love with.

Production based themselves in Kent for the majority of their location filming.

The film is set in the seaside town of Ramsgate, and various locations in the town feature throughout. Roads, such as Military Road and the Ramsgate Harbour Approach Tunnel, feature in driving sequences. Notable landmarks such as the Ramsgate lifts, Royal Harbour and the Jacobs Ladder steps appear in short establishing shots. The exterior and lobby of the Ramsgate The Argyle Job Centre on York Street doubles as the job centre where Kate works. The Royal Harbour Parade car park features as the location in which Blond and Kate have their first tryst, and appears later on in a night-time scene.

Ramsgate is a thriving seaside town with beautiful Victorian terraced housing, a Marina, Port and Promenade. The location often doubles for period London streets and has been used in the productions such as The Flood (2019) and Hard Sun (2018).

The interior and exterior of Kate’s flat was filmed at a private residence in Margate. Nasza Biedronk convenience store on Northdown Road also features as the supermarket in which Kate buys breakfast ingredients for Blond. Margate is a seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and the ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. Margate has previously featured in Above the Clouds (2020) and Jellyfish (2018).

Harpers Bar in Broadstairs features as the pub that Kate visits with Blond, and later with her friend Alison (Hayley Squires). The terrace of The Royal Albion Hotel appears in the scene where Blond and Kate have a romantic lunch date. The old Canterbury Christ Church University campus in Broadstairs was used to film the interior of the job centre that Kate works at. Broadstairs is a traditional seaside town and home to Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. It features a sandy beach lined with traditional beach huts, Morelli’s cafe bar complete with original 1950’s interior, band stand and large Victorian terraces. Previous productions to film here include Dracula (2020) and Juliet, Naked (2018).

Kingsgate Bay is used for a dream sequence in the film’s opening. Kingsgate Bay is a small sandy bay surrounded by chalk cliffs that connects at low tide through Whiteness cliff arch to Botany Bay. It features a Victorian castle on top of the sea defences which were turned into private residences. Sulphur and White (2020) and Bhikari (2017) have previously filmed here.

True Things was released in UK cinemas on Friday 1st April 2022.

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


Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Queen Victoria sitting at table writing with Abdul standing next to hear looking down

Victoria and Abdul © Focus Features

Writer:  Lee Hall, based on the book Victoria & Abdul by Shrabani Basu

Director: Stephen Frears

Starring: Dame Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Olivia Williams, Michael Gambon and Eddie Izzard

Production Company: BBC Films, Working Title Films

Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Queen Victoria and Abdul walking on tree lined pathway

Victoria and Abdul © Focus Features

 

The BBC’s newest biopic feature, Victoria and Abdul, tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Dame Judi Dench) and her servant Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). The film is based on the book Victoria &Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant, by Shrabani Basu.

Dame Judi Dench stars as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim (Fast and Furious 7 and 3 Idiots). The supporting cast include Olivia Williams

(The Sixth Sense and An Education), Michael Gambon (The Harry Potter Series and Sleepy Hollow), Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie and Ocean’s Thirteen) and Adeel Akhtar (The Dictator and Pan).

The production filmed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham on The HMS Gannet and the quayside adjacent to the ship.

With over 100 Georgian and Victorian buildings, spread over 80 acres, The Historic Dockyard Chatham is one of Kent’s most popular filming locations. Some of the productions that have filmed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham include, Call the Midwife (2012-present), Downton Abbey (2013) and Les Misérables (2013)

Victoria and Abdul will be released in cinemas on Friday 15th September 2017.

 

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


The Ones Below (2016)

Jon (David Morrissey), Teresa (Laura Birn), Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) at a dinner table

Jon (David Morrissey), Teresa (Laura Birn), Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) © Icon Film Distribution

Director and writer: David Farr

Starring: Clemence Peoesy, Stephen Campbell Moore, David Morrissey, Laura Birn

Production Companies: Cuba Pictures, Tigerlily Films, BBC Films, Kreo Films FZ (in association with)

Kent Locations Used: The Port of Dover and surrounding cliffs

The Ones Below is a film about Kate (Clemence Poesy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore), who are expecting their first baby. They make friends with another couple who have moved into the apartment below and are also expecting a child. However, a tragic accident throws the couples into a nightmare of psychological terror.

The film is written and directed by David Farr (Hannah, Spooks) and stars Clemence Peoesy (In Bruges, The Tunnel), Stephen Campbell Moore (Burnt, Season of the Witch), David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, True Love) and Laura Birn (Purge Purge, Heart of a Lion).

The production visited Kent to film at The Port of Dover and took some close up shots of the water and Theresa (Laura Birn) as she leaves the UK., and then again when Theresa is on the boat.

The Port of Dover is the UK’s busiest passenger port and the coastline is well known for its iconic white cliffs. The area has previously featured on screen in The Tunnel (2013), Johnny English (2003) and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011).

The Ones Below is released in cinemas on 11th March 2016.

 

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


Mr. Holmes (2015)

Mr. Holmes walking along a tree lined path

Mr. Holmes © See-Saw Films

Director: Bill Condon

Writers: Mitch Cullin (Based on the novel by), Arthur Conan Doyle (Characters), Jeffrey Hatcher (Screenplay)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Milo Parker, Laura Linney, Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy

Production company: AI Film, BBC Films, FilmNation Entertainment, Archer Gray Productions, See-Saw Films

Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Mr. Holmes is a crime film starring Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, X-Men Trilogy) as a retired Sherlock Holmes dealing with the decline of his health and mental ability. He looks back at his incredible life, and with the help of Roger, his housekeeper’s son, Holmes seeks closure of an old, unsolved case.

Based on the seventh novel by author Mitch Cullin, the film is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Fifth Estate) from a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess, Casanova).

Ian McKellen is supported by Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson), Hattie Morhan (Summer in February), Patrick Kennedy (Warhorse) and the film introduces up and coming actor, Milo Parker.

For 5 days in July 2014, the Mr. Holmes production team visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent, to use Anchor Wharf as a street in Japan. They also dressed the Tarred Yarn Store as a Japanese restaurant and the exterior of the Ropery for a street scene.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham has previously been used as a film location by BBC for Call the Midwife (2015), ITV’s Arthur and George (2015) and Les Miserables (2013).

Don’t miss Mr. Holmes was released in cinemas on Friday 19th June 2015 and is now available for DVD and online purchase.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qng3t9RZk6Q

 

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


Strawberry Fields (2012)

Strawberry Fields Film Poster- Strawberry Fields written in pink with a montage of images of the cast members and clips from the film

Strawberry Fields Film Poster © BBC Films

Director: Frances Lea

Writer: Frances Lea and Judith Johnson 

Starring: Emun Elliott, Philip Martin Brown and Anna Madeley

Production Companies: BBC Films, Film London, Spring Pictures

Kent Filming Locations: Foxbury Farm, Sevenoaks; Shellness, Leysdown

Strawberry Fields is another offering from the highly successful Film London Microwave Project and set for cinema release this week!

Directed by Frances Lea (Fugee Girl, Everyone’s Happy), Strawberry Fields is a tale of sibling rivalry and playing of mind games set in the strawberry fields of Kent. Starring Anna Madeley (In Bruges) Christine Bottomley (The Arbor, Shameless) and Emun Elliott (Prometheus, Game of Thrones) the film tells of the sexual awakening of Gillian during a long, hot British summer picking strawberries, where she meets and falls in love with fellow picker Kevin. But her idyllic new life is jeopardised by the arrival of her sister Emily.

 This ‘terrific British debut’, (Jason Solomons, The Observer)   is released across the UK this week. There will be a special preview at BFI Southbank on 4 July. The film will also be shown at the London Film Festival in October this year.

Making the most of what Kent has to offer, Strawberry Fields features locations in the Kent countryside such as Foxbury Farm in Sevenoaks, Groombridge Railway Station and the Isle of Sheppey.

The Isle of Sheppey boasts some unique landscapes, such as salt marshes and shell beaches that have attracted many previous filmmakers, such as The Hide (2009) and Great Expectations (1989).

Foxbury Farm is a large fruit grower in Sevenoaks and was a new find for this project.

Strawberry Fields was screened at selected cinemas in Summer 2012 and will be shown on Saturday 20th July 2013 at 23:00 on BBC 2.

 

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


My Week with Marilyn (2011)

My Week with Marilyn Movie poster with Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, & Kenneth Brannagh. A london skyline can be seen in the background, My week with Marilyn is written in blue

My Week with Marilyn Movie poster © The Weinstein Company

The Silver Screen Icon comes to life in this blockbuster biopic.

Directed by: Simon Curtis

Writers: Adrian Hodges (Screenplay) & Colin Clark (Books)

Starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Brannah

Production company: The Weinstein Company, BBC Films, LipSync Productions, Trademark Films

Kent Filming Locations: Gibraltar Lane, Hawkinge & Saltwood Castle

Released in cinemas from 18th November, My Week with Marilyn tells the story of the infamous blonde bombshell and her love affair with Colin Clark.

My Week with Marilyn is based on true events that took place when Monroe arrived in the UK to film Sir Laurence Olivier’s The Prince and the Showgirl. At the time the actress was married to Arthur Miller. They had a famously turbulent relationship. A tragic miscarriage lead to increasingly erratic behaviour by the star and the depicted time span in her life was one of the most dramatic. Sadly the actress died five years after the film was made.

The production was adapted by Adrian Hodges (Survivors, Primeval) and directed by Simon Curtis (The Practise, Cranford), and stars Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl) and Kenneth Brannah (Valkyrie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit).

In 2010, Kent welcomed the crew and stars of this historic Hollywood tale. Filming took place in Gibraltar Lane in Hawkinge and it was the first film to give the Kent Film Office an opportunity to use their new powers to close a road for filming.

Shooting also took place at the beautiful Saltwood Castle, still privately owned by members of the Clark family. Only rarely open to the public, the castle was also used for the BBC drama series The Alan Clark Diaries, starring John Hurt. Its earliest mention is in the year 488.

The Shepway area has previously featured in productions including The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016),  The Only Way is Essexmas (2014) and The Harry Hill Movie (2013).

My Week With Marilyn is out on DVD.

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


Is Anybody There? (2009)

Is Anybody There? Film Poster- a man and a child stood in front of a white wooden bus shelter with a blue bench. Is Anybody There? written in yellow underneath

Is Anybody There? Film Poster © Optimum Releasing

Director: John Crowley 

Writer: Peter Harness 

Starring: Michael Caine, Bill Milner, David Morrissey, Anne-Marie Duff, Ralph Riach

Production Company: Heyday Films, BBC Films, Big Beach

Kent Filming Locations: Hythe, Folkestone Central Train Station and St Peter’s CEP School in Folkestone

Set in the 1980’s, Is Anybody There? is about a young boy called Edward (Bill Milner) growing up in an old people’s home. Whilst his parents struggle with their personal problems, Edward becomes obsessed with ghosts and the afterlife. Arming himself with his trusted tape recorder and camera, he tapes the residents in his quest to find out more about what happens to people when they die.

Living a fairly solitary existence, Edward strikes up a friendship with resident magician and rebel Clarence (Michael Caine). The pair become good friends, teaching each other to live each day in the present and how to come to terms with the past.

In 2007, the production visited several Kent locations including Folkestone Central Train Station which doubled as a Yorkshire train station  Princes Parade in Hythe was turned into Yorkshire for two days where they used the sea-shelter as a bus shelter (see the movie poster!) and the road was used for the scenes where Clarence (Michael  Caine) and Edward (Bill Milner) are pushing the vehicle along the sea road after the crash.

Filming on Princes Parade in Hythe - green double decker bus on the road with crew and filming equipment on the pavement

Filming on Princes Parade in Hythe © Kent Film Office

Produced by the same company who bring Harry Potter to the big screen, the film also visited St Peter’s CEP School,  Folkestone where the children themselves were extras for a day! To thank them for their time and help they were rewarded with signed posters from the main cast of Harry Potter and Michael Caine signed their school mural.

The seaside town of Folkestone has an elegant clifftop promenade, a lower coastal park, a fishing harbour and Victorian cliff-top lifts. Hythe is a small coastal town situated between Folkestone and the Romney Marsh. The area has featured in a wide range of productions including Future Tense: The Story of H.G. Wells (2016), The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016) and Everyone’s Going To Die (2013).

The film was released on 1st May 2009 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Scarlett Johansson standing behind Natalie Portman, both looking out of the window in front of them

Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman as Mary and Anne Boleyn Photo Credit Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Director: Justin Chadwick

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Scarlett Johansson,  Natalie Portman, Eric Bana, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Morrissey, Benedict Cumberbatch

Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Focus Features, BBC Films, Relativity Media, Ruby Films, Scott Rudin Productions
Kent Filming Locations: Knole House, Dover Castle, Penshurst Place
The screen adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s best selling novel The Other Boleyn Girl is a dramatic story of love, passion and ambition set in the cut-throat court of Henry VIII. Mary (Scarlett Johansson), considered the more beautiful sister, gains the young king’s (Eric Bana) attention and, though married, becomes his mistress. When it becomes politically adventageous, Mary is cast aside for her dazzling young sister Anne (Natalie Portman) and can only watch as Anne’s ruthless pursuit of the crown propels her towards her doom.

The Boleyn family had extensive connections with Kent; the family lived in Hever Castle while Henry VIII adored Knole. With this connection in mind, filming took place at three fantastic locations across Kent.

Filming in Kent began at Knole in Sevenoaks, a grand house set in a deer park that Henry VIII was so impressed with; he demanded that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer give it to him. In the film, Knole was the setting for many of the film’s London night scenes and the inner courtyard doubles for the entrance of Whitehall Palace where the grand arrivals and departures were staged.

 

Filming of The Other Boleyn Girl at Knole- courtyard of Knole filed with cast members and filming equipment

Filming of The Other Boleyn Girl at Knole © Photo Credit : Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) in the Grounds of Penshurst Place walking away from a wooden door

Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) in the Grounds of Penshurst Place © Photo Credit : Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Behind the scenes at Dover Castle- queues of cast members entering the entrance to the castle along a concrete driveway. Cars and lorries are scattered along the side.

Behind the scenes at Dover Castle © Dover Castle

 

Behind the scenes at Penshurst Place- lighting equipment and stage set up against church wall

Behind the scenes at Penshurst Place © Penshurst Place

Production then moved to Penshurst Place near Tonbridge, which was also once owned by Henry VIII  and where the unspoiled estate and gardens still bring the Tudor era to life. The Baron’s Hall was transformed into the interiors of Whitehall Palace to film the scenes of Henry’s extravagant feast. The Tudor Gardens were also used for the scene where Anne (Natalie Portman) and the King (Eric Bana) talk about their relationship.

As England’s oldest fortress at the shortest sea crossing to Continental Europe, Dover Castle was a vital strategic centre in the Tudor era and able to provide the ideal setting for the final and climatic scenes in The Other Boleyn Girl. Dover Castle was transformed into the Tower of London for the execution scenes of George Boleyn (Jim Sturgess) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman).

Knole Park is nestled in a medieval deer-park .  The area has welcomed filming from productions such as Rush (2013) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011).

Historic house Knole is set in a medieval deer-park in Sevenoaks. Now a National Trust property, it is over 500 years old and was once the palace of archbishops and royal property of the Tudor dynasty. Knole has previously featured in productions such as Great British Railway Journeys – Series 7 (2016), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011).

Medieval and Tudor style manor house, Penshurst Place is set in gorgeous parkland and boasts period rooms and formal Elizabethan gardens. Penshurst Place is a popular film location, having previously welcomed productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and The Hollow Crown – Henry V (2012)

Situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, overlooking the English Channel is the stunning medieval fortress – Dover Castle. A popular film location, Dover Castle has featured in Into the Woods (2015), Poirot “The Clocks” (2009) and Hamlet (1990).

To celebrate the cinematic release and the locations that were used in the film, the Kent Film Office and Kent Tourism Alliance in association with Universal, National Trust, English Heritage, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle and the Heart of Kent released a movie map in 2011 to highlight the Kent locations to the world! You can download your own The Other Boleyn Girl movie map and to find out more about the Kent Campaign at: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/austens-in-kent/

The Other Boleyn Girl features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail, released in May 2016, celebrating Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

The film was released on 7th March 2008 and is now available on DVD.

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