The Riddle (2007)

The Riddle Movieposter- Three cast members standing in a row with buildings faintly shown in the background. The Riddle is written in white on a black strip underneath.

The Riddle Movieposter ©  Image Entertainment

Director and writer: Brendan Foley

Starring: Vinnie Jones, Julie Cox, Jason Flemyng, Derek Jacobi, P.H. Moriarty, Vanessa Redgrave

Production Company: Grosvenor Park Productions, Manuscript Productions, Riddle Productions

Kent Filming Locations: Sittingbourne Greyhounds Racing Track

Journalist Mike Sullivan (Vinnie Jones) investigates a series of murders that occur after the discovery of an unpublished Charles Dickens’ manuscript. As Sullivan grows obsessive over the novel and its connection to his investigation, he seeks the help of police officer Kate (Julie Cox) and a beach-combing tramp  (Derek Jocobi) who together unravel a century-old crime hidden within the manuscript which enables them to solve the modern-day crime.

Brendan Foley’s latest project stars Vinnie Jones (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement) Julie Cox (David Copperfield) and Jason Flemyng (Snatch)

The Riddle production team visited Sittingbourne Greyhounds Racing Track to shoot the opening sequence of the film where sports tabloid journalist Mike Sullivan (Vinnie Jones) is reporting on a dog race. What fans may not know is that Jones has been known to race his own greyhound, Smoking Bullet, at the stadium!

Sittingbourne falls under the district of Swale and The Riddle isn’t the only filming project to visit the district. Brogdale Farm in Faversham saw The Hairy Bikers visit in 2009 and the Shepherd Neame Brewery featured in The Darling Buds of May series.

Another location to feature was the Chislehurst Caves in Bromley as they were the perfect location to act as the home to Derek Jacobi’s beach combing tramp.  Chislehurst Caves has over 200 miles of caverns dug over a period of 8000 years and three distinct sections, Druid, Roman and Saxon and has also been used in filming for Doctor Who in 1976 and more recently for BBC’s Merlin.

The film was released in cinemas in September 2007 and is now available on DVD.

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


Essex Boys (2000)

Main poster of the Essex Boys production- black car with essex boys written in yellow

Essex Boys movie poster © Granada Film Productions

Writers: Jeff Pope, Terry Winsor

Director: Terry Winsor

Starring: Sean Bean, Alex Kingston, Tom Wilkinson, Charlie Creed-Miles, Larry Lamb

Production Company: Granada Film Productions

Kent Location: Dartford Crossing

Essex Boys is a British crime thriller based loosely around events in 1995 that culminated in the murder of three drug dealers in Rettendon, Essex. Young taxi driver Billy Reynolds (Charlie Creed-Miles) gives up his job to become the driver for gangster Jason Locke (Sean Bean) and finds himself in some difficult situations.

The film was co-written by Jeff Pope (Cilla, Mo) and Terry Winsor (Mad Money, Party Party) who also directs.

The cast features lots of familiar faces including Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings, Martian). Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, American Odyssey, ER), Tom Wilkinson (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Charlie Creed-Miles (Ripper Street, Harry Brown) and Larry Lamb (Gavin and Stacy, Eastenders).

 The Essex Boys production team visited the Dartford Crossing to film scenes where the gang travels from Kent to Essex.

Dartford is a historic town situated close to London and home to one of Europe’s largest shopping centres. The Dartford Crossing – QEII Bridge has also been used as a film location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), London Spy (2015), Hummingbird (2013).

Essex Boys was released on 14th July 2000 and is now available to purchase 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. 

 


Inspector Morse – Deceived by Flight (1989)

Inspector Morse with his hands in his pockets looking at the camera with the port of dover queue behind him.

Inspector Morse (John Thaw) © ITV

Starring: John Thaw, Kevin Whatley, Nathaniel Parker, Peter Amory, Norman Rodway

Directed by: Anthony Simmons

Production Company: Zenith Productions, Central Independent Television

Kent locations used: Port of Dover, Dover Priory Station

Deceived by Flight is episode 3, from series 3, of the well-known Inspector Morse series based on the novels by Colin Dexter where Morse is investigating the murder of a member of the old boys’ cricket team, who have reconvened before starting their European tour. However, after a second murder, it soon becomes clear that some members of the cricket club have another agenda when it comes to the tour. Detective Sergeant Lewis agrees to go undercover as a member of the team in an attempt to reveal the murderer.

As well as regulars in the franchise; John Thaw (The Sweeny, Chaplin), and Kevin Whatley (Auf Wiedersehen Pet 1983) this episode also features Amanda Hillwood (Die Hard 2),  Sharon Maughan (Holby City, Shes out of my league),  Norman Rodway (Mother Night) and Nathaniel Parker (The Bodyguard, Haunted Mansion).

Dover Priory Station and the Port of Dover both feature towards the end of the episode when the cricket team arrive in Dover, with the intention to catch a Ferry, to begin their European tour.

The Port of Dover in Kent is the UKs busiest passenger Port and the coastline is well known for its white cliffs. Dover’s Port has previously featured in Johnny English (2003), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011) and more recently in Sky Atlantics drama, The Tunnel (2013).

Deceived by Flight first aired on the 18th January 1989 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


The Mission (1986)

The Mission DVD cover- Robert De Niro standing on tree branches and rocks pointing a sword at the camera. The mission written in green.

The Mission DVD cover ©Columbia-Cannon-Warner

Director: Roland Joffe

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Ronald Pickup, Aidan Quin

Production Company: Warner Bros., Goldcrest Films International, Kingsmere Productions Ltd., Enigma Productions, AMLF

Kent locations used:  Fort Amherst

Mendoza (Robert De Niro) holding Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons)up by the collar in confrontation

Mendoza (Robert De Niro) and Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) filming at Fort Amherst ©Columbia-Cannon-Warner

The Mission is an Oscar winning action film focused on the story of Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), who after killing his brother, is given the chance by Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) to redeem his sins. They both travel to Brazil on a mission to bring Christianity to a native South American tribe. However, when the church comes under pressure from the Portuguese empire, they sell the land the mission is built on, putting its future in jeopardy.

The film features Oscar winners Robert De Niro (Taxi Diver, Mean strrets) and Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Waterland). Also starring Liam Neeson(Non-Stop, Batman Begins), Ronald Pickup(Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and Aidan Quin(Legends of the Fall, Unknown).

The tunnels of Fort Amherst were used as part of the monastery where Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is being held after he murders his brother. Fort Amherst was originally built in 1755, containing a labyrinth of underground tunnels and hidden gun positions, to improve the defense of the River Medway. Fort Amherst has previously welcomed other productions such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Saint (1997).

The Mission first premiered in 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.  

 

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