The Long Memory (1953)

 

The Long Memory film poster- a man and women hugging, the man is faced away from the camera. The Long Memory written in yellow

The Long Memory film poster © General Film Distributors (GFD)

Director: Robert Hamer

Starring: John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars

Production Company: J. Arthur Rank Organisation, Europa, British Film-Makers

Kent Locations Used: Gravesend, Stangate Creek

The Long Memory is a black and white 1953 film based on the 1951 novel of the same name by Howard Clewes. The crime thriller is about Philip Davidson (John Mills) who is wrongfully convicted for murder and given parole after 12 years. Will Philip choose revenge upon the witnesses who lied during the trial, or give himself a fresh start?

Directed by Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets, Dead of Night, Father Brown), the film stars John Mills (Gandhi, Bean, Great Expectations), John McCallum (Skippy, Boney, Attack Force Z) and Elizabeth Sellars (The Barefoot Contessa, The Chalk Garden, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England).

Queen Street and Granby Road in Gravesend feature in the film as the locations for the two Tim Pewsey residences.

black and white image of Stangate Creek, with a wooden fence in front

The Long Memory screenshot at Stangate Creek © General Film Distributors (GFD)

 Gravesend street at night with a man in a trench coat walking away from the camera down the middle

The Long Memory screenshot at Gravesend © General Film Distributors (GFD)

The marshes of the Medway Estuary around Stangate Creek and Iwade were used as the location where Phillip Davidson’s (John Mills) barge is moored.

The historic market town of Gravesend is on the south bank of the River Thames and boasts a cast iron pier, promenade and high street. The area is easily accessible with train links at the nearby Ebbsfleet International station and is close to the M25. The Gravesend area has previously welcomed film productions such as The Interceptor (2015), Babylon (2014) and Age of Heroes (2011).

Stangate Creek is part of the River Medway and has been used as a film location by productions such as Mr Turner (2014), feature film adaption Great Expectations (2012) and the BBC’s Great Expectations (1999).

The Long Memory was released in 1978 and is now available on DVD.

 

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


Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

 

Kind Hearts and Coronets poster- two ladies wearing extravagant hats, with a man behind bars behind them. Kind Hearts and Coronets is written on a poster behind them

Kind Hearts and Coronets © Eagle-Lion Films

Director:Robert Hamer

Writers: Robert Hamer

Starring: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Hugh Griffith

Production Company:  Ealing Studios, Michael Balcon Productions

Kent Locations: Leeds Castle, Harrietsham, Boughton Monchelsea

Kind Hearts and Coronets is based on the novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman which tells the story of Louis Mazzini, an aristocrat descendent  who sets out to murder eight D’Ascoynes family heirs in order to become the Duke.

The film has become a timeless classic, being regarded as one of best British films of all time. It has been included in both Time magazine and the BFI top 100 British films of all time.

Eight of the D’Ascoynes, are played by the legendary Alec Guiness who are one by one they are murdered in a variety of ways from poisoning to drowning and even exploding.

Leeds Castle doubled as Chalfont Castle, the D’Ascoynes family home. Located on the outskirts of Maidstone,  Leeds Castle was built as a Norman stronghold and became the home of royalty, including Henry VIII when he visited Kent. Surrounded by a mote and 500 acres of gardens, the Castle became a monument to the Tudor era and a popular tourist destination.  It has previously been used for productions such as Lady Jane (1987).

The film also shot outside The Cock Inn pub in Boughton Monchelsea village for the scene where Louis (Dennis Price) takes photos and meets Henry (Alec Guinness). The village is on the outskirts of Maidstone and contains an array of urban and rural land and historic features including a church built in 1100 and a 16th century manor house.

Harrietsham village was also used for the scene where Louis (Dennis Price) rides around the village. Harrietsham is a  rural village to the east of Maidstone and  has many Grade I listed buildings including The Old House and Saxon Church of St John the Baptist.  

Kind Hearts and Coronets was released in 1969 and is now available on DVD.

 

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


The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947)

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Arthur Alce (John McCallum) stood next to each other in front of a tree

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Arthur Alce (John McCallum) © Ealing Studios

Directed by: Charles Frend and Robert Hamer

Starring: Googie Withers, Jean Kent, John McCallum, Derek Bond, Henry Mollison, Chips Rafferty, Sonia Holm

Production Company: Ealing Studios

Kent Locations Used: Romney Marsh, St Clements Church, Dungeness beach, The New Inn, The Woolpack Inn

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) inherits Little Baynham Sheep Farm after the death of her father and decides to defy tradition and run the farm herself. However, her resilient dedication to make the farm a success as well as stubbornness to accept help means she risks losing the man she truly loves.

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Martin (Derek Bond) talking on Dungeness beach with the lighthouse behind

Joanna Godden (Googie Withers) and Martin (Derek Bond) on Dungeness beach © Ealing Studios

Starring Googie Withers (Shine, Dead of Night), Jean Kent (The Browning Version, The Prince and the Showgirl), John McCallum (Skippy, Barrier Reef), Derek Bond (The Hand, Scott of the Antartic), Henry Mollison (The Man in the White Suit, Chelsea Story), Chips Rafferty (Mutiny on the Bound, the Sundowners), and Sonia Holm (Miranda, the Calendar).

A historical British drama largely filmed on location on the idyllic Romney Marsh. The Marsh covers an area of 100 square miles and is one of three great coastal marshlands of Southern England. Dungeness features as the setting for the romantic scenes where Joanna and her fiancé Martin (Derek Bond) take a trip to the beach. Romney Marsh and Dungeness have since welcomed productions such as Parades End (2012) and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries – Natural Causes (2006).

St Clement’s Church in Old Romney features in the film as the local church where a Christmas carol service is held for the villagers. It is one of the oldest churches in Kent, constructed in the 12th century. The same church later doubled as Dr Syn’s Dymchurch parish in Walt Disney’s production of Dr Syn (1964).

The No.3 train was hired out by the production team from the Kent and East Sussex Railway for the scene at Lydd Town Station, where Joanna greets her sister.  The train was disguised with plates reading ‘SE&CR’. Kent and East Sussex Railway has also featured in Last Passenger (2013).

Other Kent Locations include The New Inn, a grade II listed pub situated on New Romney High Street and The Woolpack Inn, a 600 year old Inn located in the heart of the marsh.

The Film first premiered in 1947 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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