The Medusa Touch (1978)

 

The Medusa Touch Movie Poster- image of a man's face in black and white facing the camera. Telekinesis written in white with The Medusa Touch written in purple

The Medusa Touch Movie Poster © Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)

Directed By: Jack Gold

Written By: Peter Van Greenaway (novel), John Briley (screenplay)

Starring: Richard Burton, Lee Remick and Lino Ventura

Production Company: Coatesgold, Incorporated Television Company (ITC)

Kent Filming Locations Used: Herne Bay & Reculver

The Medusa Touch is the chilling tale of a man with a gift for disaster. Richard Burton (Cleopatra, Where Eagles Dare) is John Morlar, a man with astonishing powers of telekinesis. When French detective Brunel (Lino Ventura-Army of Shadows) is tasked with investigating John Morlar’s murder whilst on assignment with Scotland Yard, he discovers that the victim is not as dead as he first appears. Working with Morlar’s psychiatrist Doctor Zonfeld (Lee Remick- The Omen), the detective reconstructs Morlar’s mysterious life.

It is in the childhood memories of John Morlar that Kent makes its debut. The “Welcome Hotel”, where Morlar and his parents spend their holidays, stands in the coastal town of Herne Bay. Although the Hotel may have been fictional, the building remains the same. Spanning numbers 37-40 Central Parade in Herne Bay, the building is now a row of residential properties next to the Royal British Legion Headquarters.

On their holiday the family also visit the nearby Reculver Towers for a seaside picnic. It is in this scene that Morlar first makes use of his powerful telekinetic abilities.

Although the film was released in 1978, the Reculver Towers have stayed unchanged and are. a distinctive landmark on the Kent Coast They are the  remains of a 12th Century church that once stood there among the ruins of a Roman Saxon Shore fort and a Saxon monastery,  and part of  Reculver Country Park which is a Special Protection area due to its rare cliff top meadows and the yearly migrating birds.

The nearby coastal town of Herne Bay offers two miles of seafront lined with café’s, amusement arcades and fish and chip shops,  all overlooked by  stunning examples of Victorian Architecture. In true spirit of an English seaside town, brightly coloured huts line the beach and the location is popular with tourists every summer. The town is home to several antique shops and hosts one of Kent’s biggest markets every Saturday. Productions that have filmed in the area include  Got To Dance (2012), Things I Haven’t Told You (2008) and French Dressing (1964).

The Medusa Touch is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Anne of The Thousand Days (1969)

Anne standing by the fountain at Penshurst Place, Penshurst place can be seen in the background

Anne by the fountain at Penshurst Place © Universal Pictures

Oscar winning epic film depicting the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII.

Director: Charles Jarrott

Writers:  Maxwell Anderson (Play), Bridget Boland (Screenplay writer), John Hale (Screenplay writer), Richard Sokolove (adaptation)

Starring: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Anthony Quayle, John Colicos, Irene Papas

Production Company: Hal Wallis Productions

Kent Filming Locations:  Hever CastlePenshurst Place

Geneviève Bujold as Anne walking down steps on a garden path, her hand is raised

Geneviève Bujold as Anne © Universal Pictures

Based on the Broadway play by Maxwell Anderson, Anne of the Thousand Days is an account of the rise and fall of the beautiful and ambitious Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold), second wife of the tyrannical Henry VIII (Richard Burton).

The film was nominated for 10 Oscars in 1970, including best picture and won best costume design.  It also won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress and Best Director.

Hever Castle was an obvious choice for Anne Boleyn’s home, as it was her real-life home. It was used for the scenes where King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) visits the Boleyn household to pursue Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold).

The stunning Kentish scenery of both Hever Castle and Penshurst Place bought this Oscar winning tale to life with Hever Castle being an obvious choice to double as Anne Boleyn’s home, as it was her real-life home and was used for the scenes where King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) visits the Boleyn household to pursue Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold). Hever Castle is now a visitor attraction and includes many 16th century Tudor portraits, furniture and tapestries. The castle also displays two prayer books, signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn.  The castle has been used for other film projects such as Inkheart, (2008) The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and Lady Jane (1987).

Exteriors of Penshurst Place were used to double as the King’s court and the stunning formal Tudor gardens were used for the scenes where King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) is shooting targets when Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold) joins him as well as  where she announces her pregnancy. The Gardens, arranged into “garden rooms” each with a different style and character are also open to visitors between March and November. Penshurst Place has been seen on screen in projects such as The Hollow Crown – Henry V (2012) and  Merlin (2008).

Anne of The Thousand Days also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Anne of the Thousand Days was released in 1969 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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


Green Grow the Rushes (1951)

Long shot of Romney Marsh

Green Grow the Rushes screenshot at Romney Marsh © A.C.T. Films Ltd

Director: Derek N. Twist

Writer: Howard Clewes

Stars: Roger Livesey, Honor Blackman, Richard Burton

Production Company: Association of Cinema Technicians (A.C.T.)

Kent Locations Used: New Romney, Romney Marsh

British comedy film Green Grow the Rushes is based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Howard Clewes. Captain Biddle (Roger Livesey) smuggles alcohol along with Robert (Richard Burton), who poses as a fisherman, but when a reporter, Meg (Honor Blackman), arrives in town as well as a group of Government officials investigating the lack of farming on the marshes, will their scheme be exposed?

The film is directed by Derek Twist (Police Dog, Rx For Murder, All Over the Town) and stars Roger Livesey (The Entertainer, A Matter of Life and Death, The League of Gentlemen), Honor Blackman (Goldfinger,The Avengers, Bridget Jones’s Diary) and a young Richard Burton (Anne of the Thousand Days, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Where Eagles Dare).

Green Grow the Rushes was filmed in New Romney and on Romney Marsh which double as the town and marshland.

New Romney high street with a lady walking her bike on the pavement

Green Grow the Rushes screenshot at New Romney © A.C.T. Films Ltd

Romney Marsh is a unique landscape boasting over 100 square miles of woodland, wetlands plus sand and shingle shores. On the edge of Romney Marsh sits its principal town, New Romney. The area has been used as a filming location for projects such as The Honourable Woman (2014), Great Expectations (2011) and Dr Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (1963).

Green Grow the Rushes was released in November 1951 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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