Tag Archives: Tourism

Hercule Poirot solves murder in Thornhill Crescent

27 Feb

In a similar way than Chapel Market, this week’s Islington Film Location survived the upheavals of the 20th century without any major changes. Similarly, it features regularly on our screens and you can be sure that “we’ll be back”. This is where the similarity ends.

Agatha Christie’s crime novels have been adapted time and time again for the big screen, the television or the stage. It is for an episode of ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, that Belgium detective Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), graces us with his presence.

In The Clocks (Season 12 – 2009), Hercule Poirot investigates a murder in Wilbraham Crescent. Wilbraham Crescent? No such crescent in Islington my dear Monsieur X, non, non, non!

In fact, there is no reason why one should think or realise that we are in the heart of Islington. The whole episode is set in Dover, as the regular views of the Castle and the sea remind us, not to mention the seagulls we hear on most outdoor scenes. Furthermore, when Lt Colin Race (Tom Burke) presents the case to Poirot he refers to Wilbraham Crescent as “a quiet street away from the seafront”. How could you possibly guess you are in Thornhill Crescent?

Since Wilbraham Crescent is the crime scene, Poirot keeps coming back to it: to visit the house where the body was found, talk to the neighbours, once, twice…

The first time we get to spot Thornhill Crescent is when typist-for-hire Sheila Webb (Jaime Winstone) arrives to the house of Ms Pebmarsh (Anna Massey). She arrives from Crescent Street and turns left.

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - Film 01

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - Film 02

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - MRX 02

Later on Poirot and Lt Race go back to ask the neighbours a few questions. We can see them arriving by car from Bridgeman Road (east side) and turning right onto Thornhill Crescent.

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - Film 03

After their visit, they stop on the pavement to discuss progress with Inspector Hardcastle (Phil Daniels) who has joined them.

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - Film 04

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - Film 05

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - MRX 03

Finally, when our Belgium detective has all the evidences he needed, he rings Inspector Hardcastle. The red phone box used was a prop but St Andrew’s Church can be seen in the background.

 Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - Film 06

Poirot - Thornhill Crescent - MRX 04

A particular Thank You to our Twitter friends @thecallyroad and Jan in particular for  pointing us in the right direction us!

We will come back to Thornhill Square for more Islington Film Locations adventures…

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Thornhill Crescent N1 1BJ

Caledonian Road Tube Station (Zone 2)

Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground (Zone 2)

Many buses to Caledonian Road

Clerkenwell Close: A Fish Called Wanda Returns

20 Feb

 As promised in November we are back for more A Fish Called Wanda adventures, with the sequel of Fishy Wanda on the Run.

As you may remember, we had seen how George, Ken and Otto (Georgeson, Palin, Kline) having just carried out a heist in Hatton Gardens, made their way to Clerkenwell Green where Wanda (Curtis) was waiting for them in a getaway car. We left them vanishing towards Farringdon Road.

One may assume that they would want to go as far away as possible surely. You would not expect to find them just around the corner, would you? Well, that’s exactly what they did!

In the next scene, our culprits swap cars. They can be seen stopping their car in an alleyway, running down a flight of steps where another car is waiting for them, getting rid of potential clues not to mentioned Wanda’s moustache.

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 01

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 02

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 03

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 04

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 05

All this was shot within yards of the previous scene in Clerkenwell Green: They leave their car on Robert’s Place, off Bowling Green Lane and get down the steps to reach Clerkenwell Close.

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - MRX 01

While they change cars, a police one passes by coming from Pear Tree Court and rushing towards Clerkenwell Green.

 A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - FILM 06

A Fish Called Wanda - Exchanging Car - MRX 02

If you look at our Islington Film Locations Map, you will be able to see how close both scenes were shot.

Interestingly, as part of the promotional material used ahead of the release was a photo of the four actors posing in front of the car in Robert’s Place. Not quite as obvious as the Houses of Parliament or Tower Bridge but there you go: Shot in Islington!

A Fish Called Wanda - Lobby Card

Publicity picture for the release of the film

While George, Otto and Wanda are off in their new car, Ken gets on a motorbike.

Will we come across our culprits in Islington again? Probably, and closer than you may think…To be continued!

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Clerkenwell Close EC1R 0AY

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Farringdon Road and Mount Pleasant

Related Article:

Clerkenwell Green: Fishy Wanda on the Run

Michael Caine’s Alfie in Exmouth Market

13 Feb

1960s London…The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the first supermodels Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Carnaby Street, King’s Road… Swinging London at its best!  As for movie stars, if there is one who epitomizes the British actor of the mid-1960s, it would have to be Michael Caine.

Following the success of Zulu in 1964, Michael Caine shot to fame and become a household name thanks first to his role as Harry Palmer (The Ipcress File, 1965) and then to the title role in Alfie.

Alfie (1966), for those who really don’t have a clue, is an unrepentant womanizer who only cares about one thing: Himself. He charms women – sorry, birds – cheats on them, treats them disrespectfully… you get the picture. The role earned Caine his first Oscar nomination.

And where best to enjoy life to the full than…Islington!  Whereas James Mason strolled along Chapel Market, Alfie preferred Exmouth Market!

Early on in the movie, Alfie’s official girlfriend Gilda (Julia Foster) is getting back home. She gets off the bus and then can be seen running through Exmouth Market with the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer clearly visible in the back…

Alfie - Exmouth Market - FILM 01

Alfie - Exmouth Market - MRX 01

… before disappearing in Northampton Row.

Alfie - Exmouth Market - FILM 02

Alfie - Exmouth Market - MRX 02

And what about Michael Caine I hear you say. No Michael Caine in Exmouth Market?

(cockney accent) Let me tell ya something luv. Bet ya he got busy with some bird in Spa Fields. Obvious, innit?

Ah…Swinging London: Carnaby Street, King’s Road…Exmouth market!

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Farringdon Road and Rosebery Avenue

Joan Collins released from Holloway Prison

6 Feb

If the borough of Islington as we know it today was established in 1965, our Islington film location of the week has been around since 1852. Movies did not exist back then and Holloway Prison would have to wait another 100years before being the set of a film. Initially a mixed prison when it first opened in 1852, it became a women only one at the turn of the century in 1903 and has remained so to this date.

In Turn the Key Softly (1953), Director Jack Lee tells the story of three women of different backgrounds who walk out of H.M. Holloway Prison together: Monica (Yvonne Mitchell), Stella (Joan Collins) and Mrs Quilliam (Kathleen Harrison). As they are about to leave prison, Monica proposes that they should meet up later for dinner to discuss how their first day of freedom has gone.

Holloway Women’s Prison steals the show from the first second of the movie. The entire opening credits sequence is set against the backdrop of ‘Holloway Castle’ as it was known back then due to its peculiar appearance. Outside the prison one can see a few cars and trolley buses passing on Parkhurst and Camden roads on a foggy London morning.

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Women Prison - FILM 04

‘Holloway Castle’

Straight after the opening sequence, the first scene takes was filmed inside the prison rather than in a studio. Indeed, a ‘Thank You’ message was added to the credits: “We acknowledge, with gratitude, the help given by the Home Office, the Prison Commissioners and the Governor of H.M. Prison, Holloway”.

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Women Prison - FILM 01

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Women Prison - FILM 02

In the early 1970s, Holloway Prison met a similar fate than The Ladykillers’ Frederica Street and a new prison was built on the same spot.

Today, standing across the road, the trees seem to be the only remains of the Castle.

Turn the Key Softly - Holloway Women Prison - MRX 01

Outside of the prison not much has changed though.

When the 3 women leave prison, Stella’s fiancé is waiting for her outside. Behind him on the left, on the corner of Camden Road and Hillmarton Road is a three-floor house. This is still here and is ‘The Castle Bar’. I do not know what it is was back then, but wouldn’t be surprised to learn it had been a pub or small hotel for the families visiting their relatives and friends.

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Women Prison - FILM 06

Turn the Key Softly - Holloway Women Prison - MRX 02

Turn the Key Soflty - Holloway Women Prison - FILM 03

A young Joan Collins on her way to Hollywood

Last but not least, not only did Holloway Women’s Prison made it to the big screen, it also featured on the Lobby Cards used to promote the films in cinemas around the world.

Turn the Key Softly - Holloway Women Prison - Lobby Card

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Parkhurst Road N7 0NU

Caledonian Road Tube Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Camden Road and Parkhurst Road

Liam Neeson: from Angel Station to Milano

30 Jan

After Farringdon Station in V for Vendetta, our Islington Stations mini series bring us this time to Angel for a new movie and a new star to film in our borough.

In The Other Man (2008), Liam Neeson is Peter, a Cambridge based software engineer whose wife (Laura Linney), a shoe designer, passes away at the beginning of the movie. While grieving, Peter discovers emails she kept private and understands that he may not have been the only man in her life. Confused, he decides to get to the bottom of this and track down that other man. A quest he initiates in Islington and will take him to Milan and Lake Como.

Having discovered the emails, he gets on a train. We are left to wonder where is he off to until…we spot him walking out of Angel Tube station, head down, deep in thought.

The Other Man - Angel Tube Station - FILM

Angel Tube Station - MRX

Where is Liam Neeson heading? Will he be staying in Islington? You’ll have to keep reading your favourite Islington Film Locations blog to find out!

 Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel and Islington

Mountgrove Road: A Vintage Sally Hawkins Lived Here

23 Jan

From one Islington boundary to another and yet again it is with our Hackney neighbours that we are getting cosy. No surprise here when this week’s film was mainly shot in North London between Camden, Hackney, Islington as well as Southwark.

In Mike Leigh’s sparkling comedy Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Poppy (Sally Hawkins) is a cheerful and cheeky primary-school teacher whose happiness and exuberance irritate in no small measure her bitter driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan). Screenwriter and director Mike Leigh and his actors went on to collect countless awards and nominations for their work.

Once again ladies and gentlemen, we can proudly say that the main character of a movie ‘Lived in Islington’.

Happy Go Lucky - House - FILM 01

Or can we? Did she really?

Poppy’s house is on the corner of Finsbury Park Road (Hackney) and Mountgrove Road (Islington). Technically speaking the house’s door is the last one on Finsbury Park Road but the living room and its 3 windows overlook Mountgrove Road!

Since Poppy is taking driving lessons and getting in and out of the flat, you can spot it, the street and the area many times throughout the film. In fact, this is likely to be a familiar corner to many Islington residents. What in the film is an empty orange corner shop ‘To Let’ has since Happy-Go-Lucky become the popular Cafe Vintage.

 Happy Go Lucky - House - FILM 03

Happy Go Lucky - House - MRX o

On another occasion, when returning from a day out to visit her pregnant sister, Poppy and her flatmate Zoe (Alexis Zegerman) can be seen driving down Canning Road, at the corner of which Scott is standing, looking at their flat. When Poppy spots him, he shoots off, up Canning road.

Happy Go Lucky - Canning Road - FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Canning Road - MRX 01

At her next driving lesson, Poppy confronts Scott. While walking towards the car parked on Mountgrove Road you can recognise the blue front shop of Bennet & Brown, the peculiar grey double-doors next to it and the small food market store.

Mountgrove Road - Bennet & Brown FILM

Happy Go Lucky - Mountgrove Road - MRX

Once in the car, they turn left onto Wilberforce Road, back to Hackney. Where will we next spot our heroes? Yet again another movie we’ll be coming back to.

For now, and since you have made it that far, you may as well want to reward yourself with one of Cafe Vintage’s yummy treats!

Fade Out

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Mountgrove Road N5 2LT

Arsenal Tube Station (Zone 2)

Finsbury Park Station (Zone 2)

Buses to Blackstock Road and Clissold Park

 

Related Happy-Go-Lucky posts

On Holloway Road, Mind the Driving Instructor 

At Highbury Corner, Keep Your Lane!

 

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

 

 

Westland Place: Julia Roberts’ Studio!

16 Jan

One of the funniest aspects of Lights, Camera…Islington! and one of the main reasons I started it, is the time spent walking around the borough discovering areas, streets and corners I did not know before, including its boundaries. Last week we stopped by Farringdon Station and were therefore within yards of Camden. Today, we stay in the southern part of Islington but head off to City Road, an area we have not yet covered.

The reason I mention Islington boundaries here is that when I was strolling along City Road towards Old Street, as I was getting closer to our destination, I realised that at some point, on one side of City Road I was in Islington, on the other Hackney… Damned! Yep, you’ve guessed it. Our film location was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Dilemma. What should I do?

In the end, I opted to take the picture. I mean Come on !!! Five steps before I was in Islington. Worry not dear reader, Islington has film locations galore and I will not make a habit of trespassing our boundaries to travel all over London. I may on  similar occasions to this one do so when the location is within yards of the borough, and when other scenes of the same movie were shot in the borough. This point clarified, let’s reveal our Islington Film Location of the Week!

Closer (2004), is Mike Nichols’ adaptation to the big screen of Patrick Marber’s award winning play. This drama with a stellar cast that included Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen and Jude Law, tells the story of 2 couples whose relationships become, well, slightly complicated shall we say.

Early on in the movie, Dan (Jude Law) gets his picture taken by Anna (Julia Roberts) for his book. Dan’s girlfriend Alice (Natalie Portman), comes to meet him at the end of the session. It is when Dan steps outside to greet Alice that we can spot that Anna’s studio is in Westland Place, off City Road, in what used to be John Redman ltd & British Empire Pipe Company.

Closer - Ana's Studio - FILM 01

Closer - Ana's Studio - FILM 02

If you go there today, I am pleased to say that you will still be able to find studios. However, I am equally sad to report that, after months of keeping an eye on the door in thunder, lightning or in rain, no signs of Julia. Bet she’s moved to Islington! 

Closer - Ana's Studio - MRX

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Westland Place N1 7LP

Old Street Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to City Road and Old Street

Lights, Camera…Islington! in the NEWS

31 Dec

Having only started this blog mid-October, I could not decently do a 2013 Review post. However, in the little time that I have been publishing posts, I have been pleasantly surprised by the interest and feedback generated.

Although the topic of film locations is interesting more and more people everyday, by concentrating on the London borough where I live, one of the smallest London boroughs, I had not anticipated such response. I am glad to see that I am not alone in being keen on such subject!

From bloggers, twitter and other social media connections commenting, providing feedback, pointing out some web pages to local people, neighbours and local organisations. I will not mention anyone in particular here – I do not want to have one of those award-winning speech moment when actors start naming everyone but then fail to mention that all important person – but you know who you are so a big THANK YOU to you all.

Local journalists and media have also shown their interest.

First, Amy Smith from the Islington Tribune mentioned Lights, Camera…Islington! and our Islington Film Locations Map on Caught on Camera published on 22nd November, only a month after the blog being launched.

NEWS - Islington Tribune 22112013 750KB

Islington Tribune
22nd November

Online version: Caught on Camera

On 19th December, Yannic Rack from St John Street News, published a very nice article From the Italian Riviera to Islington, referring at the same time to my Hollywood on the Italian Riviera project.

NEWS - St John Street 23122013

St John Street News
19th December

Online version: From the Italian Riviera to Islington

Finally, under the Christmas tree, I found Rory Brigstock-Barron’s present on Page 3 of the Islington Gazette: Lights, Camera, action…it’s Islington .Yes, Ladies & Gents, I have made Page 3!

NEWS - Islington Gazette Article 26122013

Islington Gazette
26th December

Online version from the 25th: French film buff reveals Islington’s famous flick spots

NEWS - sneak peak

With all this media frenzy going on, I’d better keep calm and carry on writing for 2014. I wouldn’t want to disappoint that lady, would I?

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

Islington Film Locations Map

Islington Film Locations Map Launch

14 Nov

It is once month this week that Lights, Camera…Islington! was thrown into the spotlight.

To celebrate this, here is a slightly different post. Not one about a movie location in the borough, but one about the Islington Film Locations Map I have started.

A link to the map will be available below each post in the ‘How to Get There?’ section, and via the ‘Categories Column’ on the right-hand side menu.

Click on the link to get an overall map with icons spread around the borough.

Islington Film Locations Map 01

On the left, you’ll see a menu with the different film titles. Click on the one of your choice to go straight there or, alternatively, get closer to the icon or area of your choice, and a box will appear. Inside such box you’ll find a still of the scene, a picture of the location today, and the link to the relevant post…Et voila!

Islington Film Locations Map 02

Considering that Lights, Camera…Islington! is only celebrating its first month, there are understandably only a few locations at present. However, I am delighted to say that after spending many weekends going back and forth, up and down the borough, I have now gathered enough materials to publish a post a week for the next year or so.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the Islington organisations, residents and other movie fanatics that have already got in touch with me willing to share their knowledge and open their doors. Glad to see that I am not the only one keen on the subject…When you think that a few weeks ago, I thought I would run out of materials after 3 months!

Hope you get to make the most of the map as it expands and I look forward to seeing many of you with your smartphones, tablets and cameras discovering and enjoying Islington.

 Islington Film Locations Map

 

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

Lights, Camera…Islington!

13 Oct

In London, hordes of tourists visit the places where Harry Potter, James Bond, Bridget Jones or The Da Vinci Code were filmed.

And what about Islington? After all, this has been my home for the last few years, many directors have filmed here and crews can be spotted around the borough on a regular basis.

LCA_Islington01

Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Mark Strong, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Jude Law, Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts, Mike Leigh, Sir Alfred Hitchcock… were, at some point, in Islington for filming and probably on your doorstep!

From blockbusters, award winning movies and more modest films to TV series, documentaries and adverts, old and new, we will follow the footsteps of some of our favourite stars and explore Islington from a different angle.

Do you live or work in Islington? Know a place, a park, a house, a venue which has been used for filming? Have you been involved yourself? Do you have any anecdotes or “behind the scenes” pictures you’d be happy to share with us? Get in touch!

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