Churchill’s Secret (2016)

Churchill's Secret - Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill holding a cigar

Churchill’s Secret – Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill © ITV

Director: Charles Sturridge

Writer: Jonathan Smith (Novel), Stewart Harcourt (Adaption)

Starring: Michael Gambon, Lindsay Duncan, Romola Garai, Matthew Macfadyen, Daisy Lewis, Daisy Lewis, Rachael Stirling, Tara Fitzgerald

Production Company: Daybreak Pictures, Masterpiece

Kent Locations: Chartwell, Westerham

Set in 1953, ITV’s Churchill’s Secret is a feature length drama which tells the little known story of Winston Churchill’s (Michael Gambon) second time as Prime Minister when he suffered a life-threatening stroke, which is kept from the public.

Based on Jonathan Smith’s book, The Churchill Secret: KBO, the drama is told from the perspective of Churchill’s family, his doctor and young Nurse, Millie Appleyard (Romola Garai). Whilst his political peers plot his succession, family tensions surface when his long suffering wife, Clemmie (Lindsay Duncan) calls his children to visit him at his  Chartwell home in Kent, unsure if he will survive.

Michael Gambon (Harry Potter series, Gosford Park) plays Sir Winston Churchill with a supporting cast including Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, Alice in Wonderland), Romola Garai (The Hour, Emma), Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street, Anna Karenina), Daisy Lewis (Downton Abbey, Pusher), Rachael Stirling (Snow White and the Huntsman, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones, Legend).

The film is adapted by Stewart Harcourt (Treasure Island, Dracula) and directed by Charles Sturridge (Gulliver’s Travels, Lassie).

Chartwell was the real life Churchill family home from 1924 until Winston Churchill’s death in 1965 and was naturally chosen by the production to feature as the Churchill homeExteriors of the house and garden were filmed on location at Chartwell, whilst the interiors were recreated at West London Film Studios.

Set in delightful gardens, Chartwell is a National Trust property in Westerham and the rooms remain much as they were when Churchill lived there. Chartwell has previously been used as a film location by productions such as Flog It! (2014) and The Gathering Storm (2002).

Churchill’s Secret will be shown on ITV1 on Sunday 28th February 2016 at 20:00.

 

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

 


Incendiary (2008)

Ewan McGregor getting out of a black car with people in a smokey background behind him

Ewan McGregor in Incendiary © Optimum Releasing

Writer/Director: Sharon Maguire

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Michelle Williams, Matthew Macfadyen, Sidney Johnston

Production Company: Aramid Entertainment Fund ,Archer Street Productions ,Capitol Films ,Film4 ,Incendiary ,Sneak Preview Films,UK Film Council, Wild Bear Films

Kent Filming Locations: Metropolitan Police Training Ground, Gravesend

Incendiary is the heartbreaking story of a young wife and mother whose family falls victim to a terrorist attack when a bomb explodes during a football match. Watching the horrific events unfold before her eyes on TV, her feelings of are intensified by guilt, because at the time of the blast she was with another man. Anguished, she rejects her lover and seeks comfort from the officer investigating the incident.

Adapted from Chris Cleave’s controversial novel, Incendiary caused furore at the time of its release: appearing in bookshops only a week after the 7/7 attacks in London, the story seemed chillingly close to reality, causing major retailers to pull their marketing campaigns for the novel.

Michelle Williams and Sidney Johnson running on the beach

Michelle Williams and Sidney Johnson © Optimum Releasing

The film visited the Metropolitan Police training facilities near Gravesend to shoot the scenes under the football stadium, after the bomb has exploded.

Incendiary was released in cinemas in October 2008 and is now available on DVD.

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


Little Dorrit (2008)

The Cast of Little Dorrit standing on steps in front of a old worn out building with glass windows.

The Cast of Little Dorrit © BBC

Directed By: Adam Smith, Dearbhla Walsh & Diarmuid Lawrence

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Andrew Davies (Adaptation)

Starring: Clare Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay, Amanda Redman & Mackenzie Crook.

Production Company:

Kent Locations Used: Deal Castle

et Gowan (Georgia King) and Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen) having a conversation behind a market stool

Pet Gowan (Georgia King) and Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen) in Marseilles © BBC

Writer Andrew Davies achieved success with his adaptation of the Dickens’ classic Bleak House in 2005. Now the BBC has commissioned him to bring another Dickens tale to life, this time it was the  bard’s eleventh novel, Little Dorrit.

The novel was originally published over 19 monthly instalments between 1855 and 1857 and Davies’ adaptation tried to mirror this by creating 14 half hour episodes. First shown on BBC One over the festive period in 2008, it can now be purchased on DVD.

The series boasts an all star cast with appearances from Clare Foy (Upstairs, Downstairs) in the title role,  Matthew McFadden (Pride and Prejudice), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), Amanda Redman (New Tricks) and Kent’s very own Mackenzie Crook (The Office).

Maxine Peake, Freema Agyeman, Amanda Redman and Anton Lesser wearing period costumes standing in a street

Maxine Peake, Freema Agyeman, Amanda Redman and Anton Lesser in Little Dorrit © BBC

Telling the tale of young Amy Dorrit, known to those around her as Little Dorrit, who lives with her father in Marshalsea Debtors Prison in London, Dickens hoped to highlight the shortcomings of government and society at the time.  With the arrival of young Arthur Clenham, a business man returning to the family home after an extended stay in China, Amy Dorrit finds her whole world turned upside down. Hindered by the poorly run Circumlocution Office, Clenham begins an investigation into the secret his elderly mother is hiding and hopes to restore the Dorrit family’s wealth.

The production visited Deal Castle in April 2008 to film scenes set in Marseilles. Many locals were confronted with the strange sight of a French flag flying high over the Tudor fortress. The castle itself was transformed into a traditional Moroccan market, complete with aromatic spices, bright cloth and exotic birds in elaborate Victorian cages.

A fan of the Kentish Coast, Charles Dickens often spent time in the county’s popular seaside towns. From his summer residence in Broadstairs he would often enjoy “a walk of ten miles” to Deal, “a seaside town with no cliff”. He wrote about Deal in his novel Bleak House, where he set the temporary home of Richard Carstone, one of the wards in the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, who was visited by Esther Summerson.

It was also in Broadstairs that Dickens found inspiration for one of his most famous characters, that of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. In what is now The Dickens House Museum, there lived a woman named Miss Mary Pearson who would often entertain Dickens with her belief that she had the right to stop donkeys from crossing the front of her cottage. It was this peculiarity that would find its way into David Copperfield.

Deal Castle is a Tudor castle built by the order of King Henry VIII located on the seafront. The Deal area has previously had filming from The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016), Antiques Roadshow (2015) and Legacy (2013).

The first hour long episode aired on Sunday 26th October 2008 at 8pm on BBC1 and is now available to buy on DVD.

Little Dorrit also features in the Kent Film Office Dickens Trail which launched in 2012: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/dickens-movie-trail/ 

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


Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) and Mrs Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) running down some steps in a garden, plants and shrubbery either side of path

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) and Mrs Bennet (Brenda Blethyn)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Deborah Moggach

Starring: Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Matthew Macfadyen, Judy Dench, Talulah Riley, Kelly Reilly, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan

Production Company: Focus Features, Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Scion Films

Kent Filming Locations: Groombridge Place and Gardens

Jane Austen’s classic love story “Pride and Prejudice” is adapted for the big screen with an all-star cast which follows Elisabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) through the trials and tribulations of love in the 1800’s. A first encounter between head strong Elisabeth and the rich and cold Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) leaves Elisabeth hating him and declaring that he is the ‘last person’ she could ever marry. Are they able to overcome their ‘pride and prejudices’ to realise that they truly are meant to be together?

Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) and starring a wealth of acting talent including Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean series, Anna Karenina), Brenda Blethyn (Vera, Secrets and Lies), Matthew Macfadyen (The Three Musketeers, Frost/Nixon), Judy Dench (Philomena, Skyfall), Talulah Riley (Inception,  St. Trinian’s), Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes, Flight), Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, Die Another Day), Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games, The Italian Job), Jena Malone (Step Mom, Sucker Punch) and Carey Mulligan (Drive, Never Let Me Go).

Keira sitting under a tree at Groombridge holding a stick

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) sitting under a tree at Groombridge © Groombridge Place

Groombridge Place in Tunbridge Wells was chosen for the perfect location to where they made use of the 17th century house, gardens, extensive woodlands and lake which doubled as the Bennett’s house and grounds.

Jane Austen has many connections with the county as her family originated from Kent and her brother Edward Knight owned Godmersham Park which lies between Ashford and Canterbury. Both Jane and her sister Cassandra were frequent visitors; this is perhaps why Kent appears throughout her novel Pride and Prejudice and it is therefore no surprise that Kent was chosen as the prime location for the new adaptation.

Pride and Prejudice was released in cinemas in September 2005 and can now be bought on DVD.

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