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.  


Living (2022)

Bill Nighy, as Williams, stands in front of a large, grey, historic courthouse building. He is wearing a black pinstripe suit, polka dot tie, and black bowler hat. He carries an umbrella in his hand and is looking at a watch on his wrist.

Bill Nighy in Living (2022) © Ross Ferguson

Director: Oliver Hermanus
Starring:
Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp
Production Company:
County Hall, Film4, Filmgate Films, Ingenious, Kurosawa Production Co., Lipsync Productions, Number 9 Films
Kent Locations Used:
The Historic Dockyard Chatham, King’s Theatre – Chatham

Living (2022) is an English-language adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s classic film Ikiru by Kazuo Ishiguro, set in 1950s London.

Directed by Oliver Hermanus (Moffie, Beauty), Living stars Bill Nighy (The Boat that Rocked (2009), Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)) as Williams, Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education (2021), The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022)) as Margaret Harris and Alex Sharp (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Hustle) as Peter Wakeling.

In June and July 2021, production visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham to film various scenes. The exterior of the Lead and Paint Mill doubles as the bomb site which Williams later transforms into a playground, the Ropery alley doubles for the streets of London, and the Commissioner’s House Gardens doubles for St James’s Park in London.

A historic 17th-Century dockyard spanning over 80 acres, Chatham Dockyard contains over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian Periods. It is the most popular filming location in Kent, having played host to many high-profile films and TV shows. Most recently, Operation Mincemeat (2022), The Nevers (2021) and The Phantom of the Open (2022) shot various scenes on the site.

A group of people sit in an old-fashioned cinema.

Behind the scenes at King’s Theatre, Chatham. Alex Sharp, Bill Nighy and Aimee Lou Wood with Spotlites staff © Spotlites

Filming also took place at King’s Theatre in Chatham, where Bill Nighy and Aimee Lou Wood’s characters watch a film at the cinema. Chatham is a historic town situated in Medway, North Kent and is known for its historic dockyard, army barracks and high street. The Last Rite (2021) also filmed a short scene in Chatham town.

Living was released in UK cinemas on Friday 4th November 2022.

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