Which of These Famous Films Have You Seen That Were Shot in London?
London is one of the most popular filming locations in the world. The iconic city is famous for some of our most-loved films. While some may associate London with Buckingham Palace, Big Ben or The London Eye, there is one element of the capital that is the very epitome of London-the underground system.
One video production agency in London has pulled together a list of well-known movies that have taken the opportunity to make the most of the tubes to showcase the backdrop of the city.
Let’s face it, if you’re going to show off London, any good location scout, writer and director would want to make use of these silver screen stations. If filming locations aren’t accurate and properly depict such a well-known place, audiences are quick to criticise and the authority of the entire film can be lost. Below, we take a look at just some of the stations that have been featured on the silver screen.
This hugely successful family film bases its story around a young bear who left Peru to find a better life in London. After being found by The Browns on the platform of Paddington Station, he has bestowed the name of Paddington.
It was only natural for the filmmakers to choose Paddington Station as a location, if they hadn’t, it is likely audiences would have been in an uproar! If you want to see the scene yourself, it can be found 11 minutes into the film.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Nothing screams ‘British movies’ like the Harry Potter franchise. While Harry actually lives in Surrey and Hogwarts is in Scotland, J.K. Rowling simply couldn’t resist featuring London in her books and, of course, the films had to follow suit.
The Hogwarts Express boards from Kings Cross Station, one of the busiest hubs in London. However, muggles are blind to the magic going on there. The barrier for platform 9 ¾ is located on the muggle platform, but can only be accessed by wizards and witches.
Not only was one of the most recognisable scenes filmed on the actual platform, but Harry Potter fans can visit the magic for themselves. On platform 9 ¾ there is the perfect opportunity for Potter lovers to take a photo with their luggage trolley to Hogwarts half disappearing through the magical barrier. You can view this scene at 33 minutes into the movie.
Fast and Furious 6 (2013)
Aldwych Station has been a popular filming location for both TV and movies. The station is no longer in use but still functions perfectly for a film set, especially if the scene calls for a dishevelled look.
When the Fast and Furious franchise moved across the pond for the sixth instalment, it wasn’t just cars that were involved in chase scenes. With the hustle and bustle of London roads, even Vin Diesel had to use the public transport system to get around. You can see this at 49 minutes in.
V for Vendetta (2005)
In this dystopian setting of Britain, tubes still play a part in London life. Another chance for filmmakers to make use of Aldwych Station with little dress setting due to its derelict nature.
Natalie Portman makes use of the underground towards the end of the film, while explosives are detonated within the tunnel at 48 minutes in.
Love Actually (2003)
Nothing quite says ‘Christmas in London’ than Love Actually. From shopping in the distinguished stores to no.10 featured prominently, London is one of the stars of the film.
Jamie, played by Colin Firth, can be seen running through the platforms of Canary Wharf at 1 hour and 22 minutes in, trying to fit in his last-minute Christmas shopping, while also learning Portuguese so he can finally converse with his love interest.
Rogue One (2016)
Another location in Canary Wharf, however, this time filmmakers were not wanting to portray a tube station.
Canary Wharf is one of the most modern stations in London with some of the longest platforms. This made it the perfect setting for this instalment of Star Wars. As Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor run from Storm Troopers at 1 hour and 59 minutes in, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that through set dressing and CGI, this fantasy world is a little closer to home.
Doctor Who (1986)
While The Doctor may have been born on Gallifrey, he is still strongly associated with Britain and London.
So when the feature-length special The Trial of a Timelord was created, writers created a scene in Marble Arch to show the world the life of The Doctor on Earth. This can be seen at the 12-minute mark.
These are just a few of the films that feature the underground system. Others include Billy Elliot, Atonement, Thor: The Dark World and Skyfall. This list is always growing as filmmakers continue to choose on-location over traditional film sets to create a more authentic scene and, on occasion, reduce the budget.