Summerland (2020)

Alice (Gemma Arterton) laying on the grass with a book smiling at the camera with white cliffs as a backdrop.

Gemma Arterton in Summerland (2020) © Michael Wharley Flying Castles Ltd

Writer: Jessica Swale
Director: Jessica Swale
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay
Production Company: British Film Institute, Quickfire Films
Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Dover Castle

Set during WWII, Summerland is a period drama from writer and first time director Jessica Swale (Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans, Leading Lady Parts) which tells the story of reclusive writer Alice (Gemma Arterton) as she learns to open her heart to Frank (Lucas Bond), a young Blitz evacuee.

This BFI and Quickfire Films production features Gemma Arterton (St. Trinian’s, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time ) as Alice , Lucas Bond as Frank (The Cleansing Hour, The Miniaturist) alongside other cast members Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle 2013), Concussion 2015), Penelope Wilton (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , Shaun of the Dead) and Tom Courtenay (Doctor Zhivago, 45 Years).

Production for Swale’s directorial feature film debut visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham, making use of multiple areas at the location including; the exterior of the Captain’s House, Officers’ Terrace, Old Pay Office, Sail and Colour Loft and the Fitted Rigging House cellars on Anchor Wharf. The exterior of the medieval Dover Castle makes a small cameo in the film in a dream-like scene.

Set on the River Medway The Historic Dockyard Chatham was once an active Royal Navy shipyard and is a popular Kent filming location, especially for period dramas looking for London street doubles. Recent productions include Hetty Feather (2015-2020), Call the Midwife (2012-2020) and Pagalpanti (2019).

Dover Castle towers above Dover town, signalling Dover’s strategic importance in the defence of the country in World War Two. Other feature films shot at Dover Castle include Christopher Robin (2018), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and ‘Into the Woods (2015).

Summerland was released in UK cinemas and Amazon Prime Video Cinema on 31st July 2020.

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


King of Thieves (2018)

 

King of Thieves Movie Poster with pink background and main actors faces in the shape of a diamond.

King of Thieves Movie Poster ©IMDb

 

Writer: Joe Penhall

Director: James Marsh

Starring: Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay

Production Company: Working Title Films

Kent Locations Used: The Harbour Arm, Turner Contemporary, Wig and Pen Pub, Nayland Rock Hotel, Margate train station, and Dover

Feature film King of Thieves is based on the infamous Hatton Garden Robbery, in which a crew of retired crooks pull off a major heist in London’s jewelry district. The thieves, most of them in their 60s and 70s, employ their old-school tricks of the trade to plan the heist over the Easter holiday weekend of 2015. After taking over £200 million worth of jewels, arguments erupt in the group as the police start to move in on the group.

Starring Michael Cain (The Dark Knight, the quiet American, The Prestige) as widower Brian Reader, Michael Gambon  (The Kings speech, Harry Potter) as Billy ‘The Fish’ Lincoln. Tom Courtenay (45 years, Nicholas Nickleby) as John Kenny Collins.

A short scene was filmed at the footbridge that leads to Shakespeare’s Beach in Aycliffe, Dover, but the main bulk of the scenes were filmed in and around Margate, including scenes at the Wig and Pen Pub, the Nayland Rock Hotel, Harbour Arm in Margate, outside the Turner Contemporary, and a scene at Margate Train Station.

Margate is a popular film location for films and has recently featured in film productions such as King Lear (2018), The Carer (2016) and True Love (2012).

Dover, where production filmed a small scene, is the site of the famous white cliffs of Dover and has been used in films such as Sherlock Holmes (2011).

The film will be released in cinemas on Friday 14th September 2018.

 

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


Little Dorrit (2008)

The Cast of Little Dorrit standing on steps in front of a old worn out building with glass windows.

The Cast of Little Dorrit © BBC

Directed By: Adam Smith, Dearbhla Walsh & Diarmuid Lawrence

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Andrew Davies (Adaptation)

Starring: Clare Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay, Amanda Redman & Mackenzie Crook.

Production Company:

Kent Locations Used: Deal Castle

et Gowan (Georgia King) and Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen) having a conversation behind a market stool

Pet Gowan (Georgia King) and Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen) in Marseilles © BBC

Writer Andrew Davies achieved success with his adaptation of the Dickens’ classic Bleak House in 2005. Now the BBC has commissioned him to bring another Dickens tale to life, this time it was the  bard’s eleventh novel, Little Dorrit.

The novel was originally published over 19 monthly instalments between 1855 and 1857 and Davies’ adaptation tried to mirror this by creating 14 half hour episodes. First shown on BBC One over the festive period in 2008, it can now be purchased on DVD.

The series boasts an all star cast with appearances from Clare Foy (Upstairs, Downstairs) in the title role,  Matthew McFadden (Pride and Prejudice), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), Amanda Redman (New Tricks) and Kent’s very own Mackenzie Crook (The Office).

Maxine Peake, Freema Agyeman, Amanda Redman and Anton Lesser wearing period costumes standing in a street

Maxine Peake, Freema Agyeman, Amanda Redman and Anton Lesser in Little Dorrit © BBC

Telling the tale of young Amy Dorrit, known to those around her as Little Dorrit, who lives with her father in Marshalsea Debtors Prison in London, Dickens hoped to highlight the shortcomings of government and society at the time.  With the arrival of young Arthur Clenham, a business man returning to the family home after an extended stay in China, Amy Dorrit finds her whole world turned upside down. Hindered by the poorly run Circumlocution Office, Clenham begins an investigation into the secret his elderly mother is hiding and hopes to restore the Dorrit family’s wealth.

The production visited Deal Castle in April 2008 to film scenes set in Marseilles. Many locals were confronted with the strange sight of a French flag flying high over the Tudor fortress. The castle itself was transformed into a traditional Moroccan market, complete with aromatic spices, bright cloth and exotic birds in elaborate Victorian cages.

A fan of the Kentish Coast, Charles Dickens often spent time in the county’s popular seaside towns. From his summer residence in Broadstairs he would often enjoy “a walk of ten miles” to Deal, “a seaside town with no cliff”. He wrote about Deal in his novel Bleak House, where he set the temporary home of Richard Carstone, one of the wards in the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, who was visited by Esther Summerson.

It was also in Broadstairs that Dickens found inspiration for one of his most famous characters, that of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. In what is now The Dickens House Museum, there lived a woman named Miss Mary Pearson who would often entertain Dickens with her belief that she had the right to stop donkeys from crossing the front of her cottage. It was this peculiarity that would find its way into David Copperfield.

Deal Castle is a Tudor castle built by the order of King Henry VIII located on the seafront. The Deal area has previously had filming from The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016), Antiques Roadshow (2015) and Legacy (2013).

The first hour long episode aired on Sunday 26th October 2008 at 8pm on BBC1 and is now available to buy on DVD.

Little Dorrit also features in the Kent Film Office Dickens Trail which launched in 2012: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/dickens-movie-trail/ 

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


Last Orders (2002)

Last Orders Movie Poster - 6 cast members stood in a circle laughing at each other in a pub. Last Orders written in white

Last Orders Movie Poster © Metrodome Distribution Ltd.

Director: Fred Schepisi

Writer: Graham Swift (Novel) and Fred Schepisi

Starring: Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Ray Winston, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay

Production Company: Future Films, MBP, Scala Productions, Winchester Films 

Kent Locations: Rochester, the Historic War Memorial in Chatham, The Mount – Old Wives Lees near Chilham, Canterbury Cathedral, Margate

Last Orders is based on the novel of the same name by Graham Swift, and tells the story of how one man’s death affects the lives of those close to him as his best friends make a journey to pursue his final wish to have his ashes scattered at sea.

Throughout the journey, Jack’s companions share their own individual memories of him and how he made an impact on their lives. Flashbacks are used throughout the film stretching through six decades telling the story of the group of London pals as they make their heart felt journey to say goodbye to their friend.

Directed by Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees of Separation, A Cry in the Dark) and starring a host of acting talent including Michael Caine (The Italian Job, Batman Begins), Ray Winston (The Departed, The Sweeney), Bob Hoskins (Made in Dagenham, Ruby Blue), David Hemmings (The Rainbow Jacket, Gangs of New York), Tom Courtenay (Doctor Zhivago, The Golden Compass) and Helen Mirren (Calendar Girls, The Queen).

Rochester was used as a stop off during the friend’s journey and you can see them drive over Rochester Bridge and also walk down the high street. Rochester is a historic City that boasts an impressive cathedral and castle and has many links with Charles Dickens. Previous productions to have filmed in the area include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012)and Veer (2009).

The Historic War Memorial in Chatham features in film for the scenes where the men stop off and reminisce about their time at war. Nearby, The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular location having been used for productions such as Dom Hemingway (2013) Call The Midwife (2012-2013) and Children of Men (2006).

The Mount in Old Wives Lees was also one of the stop offs on the groups journey and is used for the flashback scenes of how Jack met his wife Amy. Neighboring village to Chilham, has a remarkable fifteenth century square of black and white timbered buildings and has been used for a variety of filming projects including Channel 4 comedy Chickens (2011)and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2005).

Canterbury Cathedral was used within the film as the characters make a stop to the grounds and look around the Cathedral. Canterbury is a vibrant City with parks and open spaces, shopping areas and neighbouring quaint, traditional towns. Previous productions that have shot in Canterbury include Canterbury Tales (2003).

Margate features in the final scenes of the film where the men scatter Jack’s ashes from the harbor arm. Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, and period housing. The Old Town has lots to offer including galleries, quirky shops and trendy cafes. Margate is a popular location having previously welcomed productions such as BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012).

Last Orders was released in UK cinemas in January 2002 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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