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The List: Top films that feature London

- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 18, 2012

Missing the Olympics? Missing the city of London? Check out some of these films where London is often one of the leading ladies.

  • 15. 102 Dalmatians (2000) — This comedy starring Glenn Close used iconic London locations such as St Pancras Station, Westminster Bridge, Borough Market, the South Bank and Lambeth Palace.
  • 14. Entrapment (1999) — In this thriller, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones are seen at Tower Bridge, Finsbury Circus and the Lloyd's building.
  • 13. A Fish Called Wanda (1988) -— John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin star in this comedy set in London, which features Tower Bridge, Heathrow Airport and the Old Bailey law courts.
  • 12. Frenzy (1972) — The opening scene in this murder thriller from Alfred Hitchcock is stunning. A helicopter shot scans the River Thames and Tower Bridge before focusing on a politician outside County Hall. There are plenty of scenes of the fruit-and-vegetable market at Covent Garden in its heyday, where the murderer runs a stall.
  • 11. The Ladykillers (1955) — In this dark comedy, Alec Guinness is the leader of a gang of robbers renting rooms in the house of an eccentric old widow who lives near King's Cross Station. There are some great shots of London in the 1950s.
  • 10. 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) — The film follows the correspondence between an American author (Anne Bancroft) based in New York City and a London bookseller (Anthony Hopkins) over a period of 40 years. London settings include Buckingham Palace, Soho Square, Trafalgar Square and White Hart Lane soccer stadium.
  • 9. Match Point (2005) — This Woody Allen murder thriller was meant to take place in New York but was moved to London for financial reasons. London landmarks such as the Tate Modern gallery, the Royal Opera House, the Palace of Westminster and Blackfriars Bridge are seen in the film, which starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson.
  • 8. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) — London's famed Borough Market, the city's biggest food market, located near London Bridge, is a key backdrop to this comedy starring Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth.
  • 7. The Fallen Idol (1948) — A stunning and gripping film set in a London embassy in the late 1940s and directed by Carol Reed. A diplomat's young son idolizes his father's butler, who finds himself under investigation for possible murder. Many of the scenes were shot in wealthy Belgravia and at London Zoo.
  • 6. A Hard Day's Night (1964) — This film features the Beatles being chased by hordes of female fans around the streets on London in the 1960s.
  • 5. Spice Girls (1997) — In this musical comedy, the Spice Girls, who dominated the music scene in the late 1990s, are getting ready for their first big gig at the Royal Albert Hall. The film is chock-full of stars, including Roger Moore, and features numerous scenes of London, such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Royal Albert Hall, Tower Bridge and the South Bank.
  • 4. Sliding Doors (1998) — This clever and thought-provoking film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah and London's famed Underground, or the Tube, as it's often called. Miss Paltrow (Helen) sees her life change when she boards the wrong train at Embankment Station. Many of the scenes were filmed at Waterloo Station and Hammersmith Bridge.
  • 3. Blow-Up (1966) — If you want to get a good idea of how the Swinging' 60s looked in London, check out this powerful film from director Michelangelo Antonioni. A fashion photographer, played by David Hemmings, thinks he has snapped a murder. The key murder scene was filmed at Maryon Park in Charlton.
  • 2. Notting Hill (1999) — Much of the filming in this romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts was done around the trendy Portobello Road in the Notting Hill area of London. There also are scenes at the Ritz and Savoy hotels. London never looked better.
  • 1. The Long Good Friday (1980) — London gangster Bob Hoskins shows members of the American Mafia parts of London on a boat ride on the River Thames in this critically acclaimed crime thriller. You can see how London looked three decades ago, before the abandoned Docklands and the East End were transformed into the modern Canary Wharf and now famous Olympic Park. Helen Mirren also stars in the film, which features numerous other London locations.

Compiled by John Haydon, who lived in London in the late 1970s.
Sources: the Evening Standard, the Independent and Time Out

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