5 films to gear you up for your trip to london
Much of the joy of a trip is the anticipation and planning. Many movies have been set in London and cosying up on the sofa as a couple with some popcorn is a great way to prepare for your holiday. Be inspired and share the excitement with your partner by watching these films before you visit London.
Notting Hill is the quintessential London film. Not only does it star the excessively British Hugh Grant as a hapless bookshop owner, but it also showcases west London in all its glory. Who wouldn’t want to wander the charming streets of Notting Hill looking out for a particular blue door or have a romantic moment in one of the capital’s secluded garden squares?!
Fact: In the film, Julia Roberts’ character, Anna, is seen to give William (Grant) an original Marc Chagall painting. The filmmakers used as replica but were made to destroy it afterwards in case it got into the wrong hands and was put on the market as the real thing.
The London Underground is such a ubiquitous part of life in the city that it is wonderful to see it used as a plot device in Sliding Doors. When the film was released in 1998, the depiction of two parallel universes was well-received. Among the places featured in the movie that you can visit on your stay in London are Hammersmith and Albert bridges, the Blue Anchor pub and Primrose Gardens.
Fact: The 1949 film The Interrupted Journey used the same split storyline device.
V for Vendetta
While the totalitarian London depicted in V for Vendetta is not the place that you will find today, this thought-provoking thriller features many of the capital’s iconic sites. Scenes including Big Ben and the Old Bailey tie in with the political themes of the movie, while filming at the disused Aldwych Tube station added a real sense of history to this dystopian vision.
Fact: V for Vendetta was based on an original graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. It was re-released in a hardback edition to coincide with the film.
As the eagerly-awaited Mary Poppins Returns is yet to hit cinemas, it is always worth re-watching the original. Despite being released in the 1960s, it is Edwardian London that we are presented with and many of us had formed our first impressions of the city watching this film. Tap into your own childhood nostalgia as you follow Michael and Jane on their adventures around London, meeting colourful characters and singing some very catchy tunes.
Fact: As well as playing jack-of-all-trades Bert in the film, Dick Van Dyke also portrays Mr Dawes Senior, the director of the bank.
An American Werewolf in London
As much as An American Werewolf in London shows you exactly how you hope your trip to the city won’t go, this cult classic is a fun watch. Featuring London Zoo, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, as well as many of London’s streets and the Undergound, it will whet your appetite for the capital. The makeup and effects were forward-thinking for the 1980s and advanced the genre.
Fact: No filming had been allowed in Piccadilly Circus for 15 years prior to An American Werewolf in Paris. Traffic was stopped for just two minutes at a time to capture the scene with the double decker bus and it was completed in three takes.
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