The Big Sleep (1978)

The Big Sleep film poster- a man pointing a gun at the camera, with a women looking at his behind. Smokey red background with Big sleep written in white

The Big Sleep film poster © Incorporated Television Company (ITC)/Winkast Film Productions

Director: Michael Winner

Writers: Raymond Chandler (novel), Michael Winner (screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Miles, John Mills, Oliver Reed, Edward Fox, James Stewart, Joan Collins

Production Company: ITC Films, Winkast Film Productions

Kent Locations Used: The Royal Harbour in Ramsgate

The Big Sleep is a film adaption of Raymond Chandler‘s 1939 novel of the same name. Set in 1970’s London, private eye Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is asked by a retired general (James Stewart) to investigate who is blackmailing his family.

The detective mystery film is directed and written by Michael Winner (Death Wish, The Sentinel, The Mechanic) and stars an array of acting talent including Sarah Miles (Blow-Up, Hope and Glory, The Servant), John Mills (Gandhi, Bean, Great Expectations), Oliver Reed (Gladiator, Oliver!, Tommy), Edward Fox (The Day of the Jackal, Never Say Never Again, The Bounty), James Stewart (Rear Window, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo) and Joan Collins (Benidorm, Dynasty, The Bravados).

A black classic car parked at Ramsgate Harbour with cast members walking towards it, Boats and sea can be seen behind

The Big Sleep screenshot at Ramsgate Harbour © Incorporated Television Company (ITC)/Winkast Film Productions

a car being pulled out of the water at Ramsgate Harbour- a boat is in the water behind

The Big Sleep screenshot at Ramsgate Harbour © Incorporated Television Company (ITC)/Winkast Film Productions

The production visited The Royal Harbour in Ramsgate to film the scenes where General Sternwood’s chauffeur (Martin Potter) drives his car into the sea.

Ramsgate is a historic coastal town with England’s only Royal Harbour, stunning Victorian architecture, a sandy beach, amusements, arcades as well as shops and eateries. Ramsgate has previously been used as a film location in Big Bad World (2013), True Love (2012) and Gypo (2006).

The Big Sleep was released in 1978 and is now available on DVD.

 

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

 


The Shuttered Room (1967)

Carol Lynley as Susannah and Gig Young as Mike walk along a wooden boardwalk over a creek. Mike has his arms wrapped protectively around a frightened looking Susannah. On the opposite end of the boardwalk stand three men looking at them.

Carol Lynley and Gig Young in The Shuttered Room (1967) © Troy-Schenck Productions / IMDb

Director: David Greene
Writers: D.B. Ledrov, Nat Tanchuck, August Derleth
Starring: Oliver Reed, Gig Young, Carol Lynley, Flora Robson
Production Company: Troy-Schenck Productions
Kent Locations Used: South Foreland Lighthouse, Hollowshore Boatyard and the Shipwright’s Arms in Faversham

The Shuttered Room (1967), also known as Blood Island, is a British horror film about Susannah Kelton (Carol Lynley) who, upon the death of her estranged parents, inherits an old mill. Ignoring the warnings from the townspeople that the mill is cursed, Susannah soon discovers a family secret that has remained hidden since her childhood.

Based on the short story by August Derleth, The Shuttered Room was adapted for the screen by D.B. Ledrov and Nat Tanchuck (Fury, Federal Man) and directed by David Greene (Godspell, Rich Man, Poor Man). It stars Carol Lynley (Bunny Lake is Missing, The Poseidon Adventure) as Susannah Whately Kelton, Gig Young (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) as her husband Mike Kelton, Oliver Reed (The Big Sleep (1978), Gladiator) as estranged cousin and violent thug Ethan, and Flora Robson (Black Narcissus, Clash of the Titans) as Aunt Agatha.

South Foreland Lighthouse in Dover features throughout the film as the exterior of Aunt Agatha’s clifftop home. A Victorian structure perched on the White Cliffs of Dover, the South Foreland Lighthouse was not only the first lighthouse powered by electricity, it was also the site of the first international radio transmission. The Bollywood film Rustom (2016) features the Lighthouse, as well as Series 3 Episode 7 of the ITV period drama Mr Selfridge (2015).

The Shipwright’s Arms and Hollowshore Boatyard in Faversham also feature throughout the film. The Boatyard doubles for Susannah’s hometown of Dunwich, Massachusetts and various driving scenes were shot on the site. Situated on the North Kent Coast among the marshes, Hollowshore Boatyard still continues its tradition of wooden boat building, repairs and mooring. Also on the site, and estimated to be over 300 years old, The Shipwright’s Arms remains an operating pub to this day. Previous productions to have filmed in Faversham include ITV’s The Larkins (2021), the Channel 4 drama Southcliffe (2013) and Bollywood movie Jagame Thandhiram (2021).

The Shuttered Room was released on Tuesday 27th June 1967.

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