The Sweeney (2012)

 

Sweeney written in the centre of the poster on top of an image of the two main actors with guns. London skyline can be seen in background,.

The Sweeney Movie Poster © Vertigo Films / Embargo Films Production

Writers: Nick Love, John Hodges

Director: Nick Love

Producer: Allan Niblo

Starring: Ray Winstone, Ben Drew (aka Plan B), Damien Lewis and Hayley Atwell

Production company: Vertigo Films

Kent Locations used: Isle of Sheppey, Queenborough, Sheerness

The popular 70’s British police drama series The Sweeney has been remade into a star-studded must see feature! Expect an action packed thrill ride with car chases, fight scenes and a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure!

Ray Winstone and Ben Drew walking besides a boat yard with guns

Ray Winstone as Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Ben Drew aka Plan B as George Carter © Vertigo Films / Embargo Films Production

The movie follows two hardened Flying Squad detectives in London’s Metropolitan police. Ray Winstone (The Departed, Last Orders) plays Detective Inspector  Jack Regan and singer and actor Ben Drew aka Plan B (Adulthood, Harry Brown) plays his loyal partner George Carter. Armed and dangerous, the pair tackle a bank heist and with the re-appearance of an old enemy will do whatever it takes to get the job done – even if it means defying orders of no nonsense ‘Guv’ Damian Lewis (The Escapist, Homeland).

Directed by Nick Love (Outlaw, Football Factory), the film has many familiar faces including Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avengers, The Duchess), Alan Ford (Snatch), Kara Tointon (Eastenders), and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey).

four actors crouched to the side of a black car with guns,

The Sweeney team in action © Vertigo Films / Embargo Films Production

The production visited the Isle of Sheppey  to film a dramatic high-speed car chase using the Kent Film Office’s legal powers to close roads for filming. The chase also features a caravan park near the Minster Cliffs in Queenborough.  The Top Gear team assisted with filming the car chase scenes, which was featured in an episode earlier this year.

The Isle of Sheppey is in North Kent and boasts beautiful landscapes and coastlines as well as harbour towns and wildlife reserves.  The island is a popular destination for tourists as it has many holiday parks surrounding the beaches. The Isle of Sheppey has been seen on screen before on The Hide (2009) and Strawberry Fields (2012).

 

 

Don’t miss The Sweeney which is set for cinema release on September 12th 2012.

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


Great Expectations (2011)

 

Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Vanessa Kirby staring into the camera in front of a misty sky and house

Great Expectations featuring Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Vanessa Kirby © BBC

Directed By: Brian Kirk

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Sarah Phelps (Adaptation)

Starring: Gillian Anderson, David Suchet, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth & Harry Lloyd.

Production Company: BBC and Masterpiece co-production

Kent Locations Used: St Thomas A Beckett Church in Fairfield

This three part mini-series based on Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations has been adapted by writer, Sarah Phelps (Oliver Twist, Dickensian). The story centers on orphan Pip (Douglas Booth) and his transformation to becoming a gentlemen when a mysterious benefactor leaves him a large sum of money.

This BBC production was directed by Brian Kirk (Luther, Game of Thrones) and stars Douglas Booth (Noah, Jupiter Ascending), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Snow White and the Huntsman), Gillian Anderson (The X Files, Hannibal) and David Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot, The Bank Job).

This adaption forms the centrepiece of the BBC’s celebration of Dickens as we move into 2012 and the bicentenary of his birth.  The most recent version of the novel to have been shot by the BBC was in 1999 and starred Ioan Gruffudd as Pip and Charlottte Rampling as Miss Havisham. This version aims to capture the romance whilst giving it a thrilling edge.

For those unfamiliar with the story, it tells of young orphan Phillip Pirrip (Pip) who lives with his sister and her husband, the kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery. Local spinster Miss Havisham requests his company at her home where she entertains herself by encouraging her adopted daughter Estella to be cruel to the young boy.  As he grows up, Pip’s circumstances change after the visit from Mr Jaggers who brings news that an unknown benefactor has left a substantial fortune on the condition that the boy is educated as a gentleman. Consequently, Pip travels to London where he lodges with Herbert Pocket, a boy from his youth and it is there that Pip finally learns the truth about his benefactor.

The filming for this adaption took place near Fairfield, at the isolated St Thomas Becket Church, which is situated on Romney Marsh. This iconic location was the ideal setting for the opening scenes, where Pip visits his parent’s graves and instantly the theme is set in a melancholy manner. Dickens found inspiration for this scene from another Kentish Church, St James’ at Cooling, on the marshes near the Hoo Peninsula.

An interesting piece of trivia for Dickens fans of Dickens is the fact that the role of Herbert Pocket, Pip’s friend in London, is played by none other than Charles Dickens’s great, great, great grandson Harry Lloyd, who also featured in a remake of David Copperfield starring a young Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). Filming took place near Fairfield, at the isolated St Thomas A Becket Church. Situated on Romney Marsh, it was the perfect setting for the bleak opening scenes of the novel where Pip visits the graves of his parents. Another Kentish church, St James’ at Cooling on the marshes near the Hoo Peninsula , inspired Dickens to write this dramatic scene which also introduces Pip’s nemesis, prisoner Magwitch.

Great Expectations also features in the Kent Film Office Dickens Trail which launched in 2012.

Great Expectations aired on BBC1 from Tuesday 27 December 2011 at 9pm and is now available for DVD purchase.

 

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


Henry VIII (2003)

close up of Ray Winstone wearing a gold crown looking away from the camera

Henry VIII © ITV

Director: Pete Travis

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Ray Winstone, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, David Suchet, Danny Webb, Helena Bonham Carter, Emilia Fox, Sean Bean, Emily Blunt

Production Company: Granada Television, Power, Powercorp, WGBH

Kent locations: Leeds Castle

Henry VIII is an Emmy Award winning two-part TV movie, which follows the life of Henry VIII throughout his radical 38 year reign and unpicks the volatility of Henry’s nature, particularly when it comes to love, as he marries and discards a string of wives with quick succession.

Henry VIII was written by British film writer and playwright Peter Morgan and directed by Pete Travis (Dredd, Vantage Point).

The cast includes an array of renowned British actors, such as Ray Winstone (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Great Expectations), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Alien 3), Mark Strong (Kick Ass, Sherlock Holmes), David Suchet (Poirot, Great Expectations) Danny Webb (Alien 3, Valkyrie), Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd, The King’s Speech), Emilia Fox (The Pianist, Merlin), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) and Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria, The Devil Wears Prada).

Long shot of Leeds Castle and lake

Leeds Castle in Henry VIII © ITV

Historically, Leeds Castle was used as a palace by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon but the production chose Leeds Castle to represent exteriors of Henry’s castle in Richmond.

Leeds Castle is near Maidstone and is set within 500 acres of parkland and gardens and surrounded by a moat. Features include original marble bathrooms, a river and maze with shell grotto. The location has previously featured in productions such as Gadget Man (2014), Lady Jane (1987) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

Henry VIII also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Henry VIII was first shown on ITV in 2003 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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