I Want You (1998)

Dungeness estate houses with fields in front

I Want You Screenshot © Polygram Filmed Entertainment/Revolution Films

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Alessandro Nivola, Luka Petrusic

Production Company: Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Revolution Films

Kent location used: Dungeness, Folkestone Harbour arm

I Want You is a film noir about a young boy, Honda (Luka Petrusic) and his sister Smokey (Labina Mitevska) who get drawn into the relentless pursuit of Helen (Rachel Weisz) by her former lover, Martin (Alessandro Nivola) after he is released from prison.

Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart, The Killer Inside Me) directs and Oscar winning actress Rachel Weisz (The Mummy, About A Boy, Enemy at the Gates) stars alongside Alessandro Nivola (Face/Off, American Hustle, Jurassic Park III) and Luka Petrusic (Bumerang, Sorry for Kung Fu).

The production chose Dungeness as the coastal town in the film.  The Folkestone Harbour arm is the location for Martin’s (Alessandro Nivola) argument with his colleague. Nearby Hastings was also used as a film location.

Folkestone Harbour Arm at night

I Want You Screenshot © Polygram Filmed Entertainment/Revolution Films

Dungeness is a large nature reserve in the Shepway district of Kent with a beautiful shingle beach, a mixture of old and modern homes, two lighthouses, a historic railway station and a Power Station. Dungeness is a popular film location previously been used by productions such as Ginger and Rosa (2012), The Inspector Lynley Mysteries – Natural Causes (2006) and The Garden (1990).

The town of Folkestone is in the Shepway district of Kent and has a harbour, beach, quaint streets and the Creative Quarter boasts many studios and galleries. The area has previously been used as a location for filming by productions such as The Tunnel (2013) and Is Anybody There? (2009).

I Want You was released in cinemas on 30th October 1998 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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

 


Our Mutual Friend (1998)

Eugene Wrayburn (Paul McGann) and Mortimer Lightwood (Dominic Mafham) standing behind a wooden deck, wooden boats that are upside down can be seen behind them

Eugene Wrayburn (Paul McGann) and Mortimer Lightwood (Dominic Mafham) © BBC

Directed by: Julian Farino

Produced By: Caroline Wearing

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Sandy Welch (Adaptation)

Starring: Keeley Hawes, Paul McGann, Anna Friel, David Morrissey & Steven Mackintosh

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, River Medway

Our Mutual Friend was Charles Dickens’ last complete novel. It was written in 1864-1865 when he was at the height of his fame having recently published A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. The main theme of the novel is money and the effect that it can have on personal values and relationships.  At it’s very core is the love triangle between repressed schoolteacher Bradley Headstone (David Morrissey Thorne: Sleepyhead), his rival Eugene Wrayburn (Paul McGann New Tricks)and their shared love interest Lizzie Hexam (Keeley Hawes Upstairs Downstairs).

When  John Harmon, a young man whose inheritance is dependent on his marrying a woman he has never met, is found dead in the Thames, his fortune is passed onto the Boffin family who take both Harmon’s would-be bride Bella Wilfer (Anna Friel Pushing Daisies) and mysterious secretary Rokesmith (Steven Mackintosh Camelot) into their home. Meanwhile, Lizzie Hexam’s father is accused of Harmon’s murder and she is relentlessly pursued by her two suitors.

close up of Lizzie Hexam wearing a hood with a lantern behind her

Lizzie Hexam (Keeley Hawes) © BBC

Filmed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, the location was used for the bleak side streets surrounding the workhouse. Charles Dickens’ father worked as a Naval Pay Officer at the Dockyard and it was here that Dickens developed a love of the sea, accompanying his father as a young boy. Later, these childhood adventures were a source of inspiration for novels such as Great Expectations and Our Mutual Friend.

The Kingswear Castle Paddlesteamer that is based at The Historic Dockyard Chatham was also used for filming the scene where Bella Wilfer and the Boffin family go for a day out.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham dates back to the 17th century and contains over 100 buildings from the Georgian and Victorian periods. The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular film location that has previously featured on screen in Suffragette (2015) and Les Miserables (2013).

Dickens has a rich history with Kent and the Kent Film Office celebrates Dickens history with the county including TV and film adaptions in The Dickens Trail which launched in 2012.

Our Mutual Friend aired on the BBC in March 1998 and is now available on DVD.

 

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


The Saint (1997)

The Saint movie poster- head shot of main character staring at the camera with blue mist behind him, Saint is written in white.

The Saint movie poster © Paramount Pictures

Director: Phillip Noyce

Starring: Val Kilmer, Elizabeth Shue, Henry Goodman, Rade Šerbedžija, Alun Armstrong 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Rysher Entertainment, Mace Neufeld Productions, Robert Evans Company

Kent Filming Location: Fort Amherst, Chatham

Inspired by the 1928 novels and following in the footsteps of the 1960’s TV series, starring Roger Moore, The Saint is about Simon Templar (Val Kilmer – Batman Forever, Heat), a suave and sophisticated international thief who has one last job before he can comfortably retire. Known as a master of disguise, he assumes the names of saints for his false identities.  When he is tasked by the Russian Mafia with stealing the cold fusion formula created by the stunning Dr Emma Russell (Elizabeth ShueHollow Man, Back to the Future II) love proves to be a dangerous distraction.

The Saint is directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt, The Bone Collector, Patriot Games) and stars Val Kilmer (Heat, Batman Forever, Top Gun) and Elizabeth Shue (Back to the Future Part II, Hollow Man, Leaving Las Vegas), Rade Šerbedžija (Snatch, Batman Begins), Henry Goodman (Notting Hill, Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Alun Armstrong (Braveheart, Sleepy Hollow).

The atmospheric Georgian fortress of Fort Amherst, Chatham, provided the perfect location to film the scene in the sewers of Moscow where Templar and Russell hide.

Fort Amherst is a Georgian Fortress over 17 acres, including a tunnel complex, park like setting, woodland, WW2 gun battery and sloping grassland and is known as one of the most haunted forts in Britain. Fort Amherst has also been used as a filming location by Jekyll and Hyde (2015), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Mission (1987).

The Saint was released in cinemas in April 1997 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Hercule Poirots Christmas (1995)

 

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in a Snowy Chilham with a black classic car behind him

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in a Snowy Chilham © ITV

Director: Edward Bennett

Writer: Clive Exton

Starring: David Suchet, Philip Jackson, Vernon Dobtcheff,  Simon Roberts

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

Kent Filming Locations: Chilham 

In 1995 Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) visited Chilham in Kent for a further instalment of his adventures as written by Agatha Christie.

Multi millionaire Simeon (Vernon Dubtcheff) arranges a Christmas gathering with all the family, including prodigal son Harry (Brian Gwaspari) and a newly discovered grand daughter, Pilar (Sasha Behar).

When everyone is gathered, Simeon hints at changing his will and favouring the newcomers Harry and Pilar . The scene is set for a power game with deadly consequences and when Simeon is mudered, Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) calls upon Poirot to investigate.

Edward Bennett (Agatha Christie, Second Sight: Hide and Seek) directs with David Suchet (Flushed away, A Perfect Murder, The Bank Job) returning as Poirot alonsgside Philip Jackson (Deception, My Week with Marilyn), Vernon Dobtcheff (Before Sunset, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and Simon Roberts  (Hollow, Ted & Ralph).

For this drama, the pictureque Kentish village of Chilham was transformed into a winter wonderland. A layer of snow covered the beautiful timber framed houses lining the square and the approach to Chilham Castle, which represented the family home.

Although it was the first time that the picturesque village was used as the set for an Agatha Christie adaptation, it wouldn’t remain the last as  Miss Marple – The Moving Finger was also filmed there in 2005.  Other filming projects which have filmed in Chilham include Channel 4 comedy Chickens (2011) and BBC’s Emma (2009).

Hercule Poirots Christmas was first shown in 1995 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Moon and Son (1992)

 Civic Centre, Folkestone- concrete building with cast members being filmed by a crew in front of the building

Behind the scenes, Moon and Son at Civic Centre, Folkestone © Shepway District Council

Creator: Robert Banks Stewart
Directors: Ken Grieve, Robert Tronson, Paul Harrison, Roger Tucker
Writers: Michael Aitkens, Leslie Darbon
Cast: Millicent Martin, John Michie, Laure Killing, Ian Redford, Patrick Drury, John Fitzgerald Jay
Production Company: BBC
Kent locations Used: Folkestone, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Oare Marshes, Chilham Castle, Crabble Corn Mill, Deal, Folkestone Harbour, Dungeness Estate, The Grand Hotel in Folkestone, The Leas Cliff Hall and The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

Moon and Son (1992) is a 13-episode BBC series created by Robert Banks Stewart (Darling Buds of May (1991-1993), Doctor Who), which follows a professional fortune teller, Gladys Moon (Millicent Martin), and her son Trevor (John Michie) as they solve a multitude of mysteries.

The series stars Millicent Martin (Days of Our Lives, Grace and Frankie), John Michie (Coronation Street, Holby City), Laure Killing (Paris Criminal Investigations, Nouvelle Vague), Ian Redford (The Remains of the Day, Coronation Street), Patrick Drury (The Crown (2016-2020), Father Ted) and John Fitzgerald Jay (Roujin Z, Reign).

The production filmed at a variety of locations in Kent and in Nord-Pas-De-Calais across the Channel. Folkestone is the main UK setting and hometown of the Moons. Folkestone Harbour is also used frequently as the Moons travel between Folkestone and Boulogne. The Folkestone area has been used for previous productions including The Tunnel (2013) and Everyone’s Going to Die (2013).

Wittersham Road Station, which is part of Kent and East Sussex Railway, features as a hideout in Episode Two. It is a versatile historic railway that boasts an extensive list of production credits including Mapp and Lucia (2014) and Last Passenger (2013).

The Oare Marshes appear as the location for Mr Marsh’s (Gregory Floy) business in Episode Two and again as the quarry lake where his body is discovered. The Oare Marshes is a reserve consisting of one the few grazing marshes left in Kent. Other productions to have filmed there are A Taste of Britain (2014), Channel 4’s Southcliffe (2013) and Great Expectations (2012).

Chilham Castle, a historic building set in the Tudor village of Chilham features as Lady Doddington’s Estate in Episode Nine of the series. The village of Chilham has welcomed other productions including BBC’s Emma (2009), Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2006) and Dempsey and Makepeace ‘Cry God for Harry’ (1985).

Crabble Corn Mill also features in Episode Nine as Denham’s Auction House. Recognised as one of Dover’s hidden treasures, Crabble Corn Mill is one of the most complete working Georgian watermills. Dover has often been seen on screen, in particular Dover Castle, in productions such as The Apprentice (2015), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

The Old Boatmen’s Room on Deal’s Marina doubled as Basil’s Chapel in Episode Ten. Deal boasts a stunning seafront and pier, as well as two Tudor castles and a thriving high street. Other productions to have filmed in Deal include Legacy (2013) and Ruby Blue (2007).

Other locations that appear in Moon and Son include the palm court at Folkestone’s The Grand, which features frequently as Gladys’ preferred haunt for tea. Additionally, The Leas Cliff Hall is home to the final showdown of Episode Two and The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway features in Episode Twelve as the location of hidden diamonds.

Moon and Son aired in 1992.

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


Waterland (1992)

Waterland Movie Poster- top image of a man standing in front of marshes facing the camera, bottom image of man and women embracing as a boy in a boat sits in the water behind them. Waterland is written in the middle of the images.

Waterland Movie Poster © Fine Line Features

Directed by: Stephen Gyllenhaal

Starring: Jeremy Irons, Ethan Hawke, Sinéad Cusack,  Maggie Gyllenhaal

Production Company: British Screen Productions, Channel Four Films, Palace Pictures, Pandora Cinema

Kent Filming Locations Used: Doddington Place Gardens

Based on the 1983 novel of the same name, Waterland, by Graham Swift, discusses how the events in our youth can leave a damaging mark on our future.

Jeremy Irons  plays English born History teacher, Tom Crick whose family life begins to fall apart when his wife suffers a mental breakdown. Unable to connect with both his students and his wife, he faces the possibility of being fired. In a desperate attempt to forge a bond with his students, he begins to recount the history of his own extraordinary life. When one challenging student Matthew – played by Ethan Hawke forces him to face shocking revelations about his youth, he realises that his buried past still has a grip on his present day life, threatening all he holds dear.

Stephen Gyllenhaal (Homegrown, Losing Isaiah) directs the film which stars Jeremy Irons (Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Man in the Iron Mask), Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Total Recall), Sinéad Cusack (V for Vendetta, Wrath of the Titans) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, Donnie Dark).

The beautiful Doddington Place, near Faversham was used as the ancestral home to Tom Crick (Jeremy Irons). Surrounded by wooded countryside in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the imposing Victorian Manor was built around 1860. With landscaped gardens that are recognised as being of historical importance by English Heritage, Doddington place grounds spread to nearly 10 acres.

The nearest town is the historic market town of Faversham which lies nestled between the North Downs and the Kent Coast. The town is home to the Shepherd Neame Brewery which is not only famous for their ales but is also the oldest brewery in England. A popular filming location, the brewery doubled as Bristow’s brewery in The Darling Buds of May.

Waterland was released in cinemas in August 1992 and is now available on DVD.

 

 

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


Darling Buds of May (1991 – 1993)

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette standing in front of a table of food with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background

 

Director : David Giles, Robert Tronson, Rodney Bennett, Steve Goldie

Writer: H. E Bates, Paul Wheeler, Stephen Bill

Production Company: Excelsior, Yorkshire Television

Kent Filming Locations: Pluckley, Folkestone,

Set in Kent in the 1950’s Darling Buds of May was filmed on location in Pluckley and Folkestone. The programme focused on the Larkin family who appeared to have the ideal family life living off the land.

Pop and Ma sat by the River with a picnic smiling at the camera

Pop and Ma by the River © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming- scaffolding with crew on surround it

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming © Roger Holmes

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront- cast and crew stood on the beach with filming equipment

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront © Shepway District Council

Amazingly, ‘Pop’ Larkin (David Jason) has managed to avoid the tax man. In the first six episodes, tax inspector Cedric (Philip Franks) comes to the farm to collect debts and ends up abandoning his career to live the dream of country living and marry ‘Pop’s’ daughter, Mariette (Catherine Zeta Jones). The programme has long been accredited with launching Catherine Zeta Jones’ career.

The series was hugely successful and achieved high viewing figures throughout its run. The effects are still felt in the lovely village of Pluckley, Kent which still welcomes those seeking a glimpse of the ‘perfick’ life.

For many, Darling Buds of May reflects the dream Kentish Life, involving living in an Oast House and enjoying the countryside that Kent has to offer with family and friends. It is perhaps this, which made the series so popular.

Pluckley to this day remains a sleepy countryside village but it is not only famous for its Darling Buds of May appearances, it is also renowned for its more ghostly inhabitants. Pluckley has earned the title of the most haunted village in Britain. It is said that 12 to 16 ghosts inhabit the village and every year on Halloween tourists inundate the village to see if they too can have a supernatural experience. The village however remains unspoilt and picturesque, reminding visitors of its Kentish beauty as depicted in the series.

The series aired between 1991 and 1993 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


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.