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.  


Cape Wrath (2007)

Cape Wrath Cast at Leybourne Lakes with houses behind

Cape Wrath Cast at Leybourne Lakes © Channel 4

Director: Duane Clark, Andrew Gunn

Writer: Robert Murphy

Starring: David Morrissey, Lucy Cohu, Ralph Brown, Tom Hardy

Production Company: Ecosse Films

Kent Filming Locations: Leybourne Lakes, Mote Park Leisure Centre, Whatman warehouse Maidstone, Kings Hill, Imperial College-Wye Campus

Cape Wrath is a 7-part thriller which is known in the US as Meadowlands. This sinister series followed the lives of the Brogan family, headed by David Morrissey, as they relocate to the seemingly safe suburban town of Meadowlands as part of a witness protection programme. The Brogan family begin to doubt just how safe the village of Meadowlands truly is when it turns out that they’re not the only ones with secrets to hide.

Starring David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, The Reaping, The Other Boleyn Girl) as Danny Brogan and Lucy Cohu (Becoming Jane, Broadchurch, The Queen’s Sister) as his ever-patient wife Evelyn, Cape Wrath also showcases a number of well-known talents including Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Like Crazy, The Diary of Anne Frank), Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road), Ralph Brown (Withnail and I, Star Wars: Episode 1 -The Phantom Menace, Wayne’s World 2) and Nina Sosanya (Love Actually, Last Tango in Halifax, Code 46).

The series based and filmed in Kent, utilising an empty warehouse in Rusthall to create a number of central sets which were used for most of the interiors. The main characters homes were filmed at housing development next to Leybourne Lakes Country Park which double as “Meadowlands”. Liberty Square at Kings Hill features as the local town centre and The Kings Hill Golf Course is also used for a number of scenic exterior shots. Wye College also features as Samantha’s Father’s place of work in London. The Gym, the sports hall and the exterior of Maidstone Leisure Centre also feature frequently throughout the series.

Leybourne Lakes and Kings Hill are new developments in the Tonbridge and Malling district. The areas have great transport links, local amenities, a network of cycle paths and a number of sports facilities including The Kings Hill Golf Course. The area has previously has been seen on Great British Railway Journeys (2014), Couples Come Dine with Me (2014) and Missing Series Two (2010).

Maidstone is the county town of Kent which lies on the River Medway and boasts lovely parks and gardens such as Mote Park where Mote Park Leisure Centre, is situated. The town also has many shops, bars and restaurants and is home to The Maidstone Studios an independent TV studio complex on an 11 acre site offering 5 television studios, dubbing facilities, edits suites, office space and parking. Productions which have previously filmed in the area include Later… with Jools Holland (2013-2018) and Missing (2009).

Cape Wrath was originally shown on Channel 4 in July 2007 and is available to buy on DVD.

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