Guide to East London

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East End TV and Film Locations


Television dramas such as 'The Sweeney' (1975-78) were made in the abandoned wharves and warehouses of the old London Docks. The new Docklands was the setting of the recent BBC's science fiction series 'Bugs'.

The exhilarating opening scene of the cult television series 'The Prisoner' (1967) shows Patrick McGoohan driving his Caterham Seven through the Rotherhithe Tunnel much quicker than the legal 20 mph speed limit .

Independent Television's long running 'soap-style' drama 'The Bill' is filmed using numerous East London locations.

Many big film makers have chosen East London streets and landmarks. The 1950 crime film the 'Pool of London' was the first of many to use the then thriving London Docks. More recently in 1987 Stanley Kubrick transformed Gallions Reach, the site of the old Beckton Gas Works into the Vietnam film set for 'Full Metal Jacket'.

The cobbled streets and towering warehouses of Shad Thames on the South side of the Thames featured in 'Oliver!' (1967) and the 'The Elephant Man' (1980) and much further downstream, Stanley Kubrick filmed the notorious scene in 'Clockwork Orange' (1971) of Alex and his Droogs attacking the tramp in the subway behind Tavy Bridge Shopping Centre on the unappealingly modern Thamesmead Housing Estate.

One of the most famous events in London's East End was the seige at 100 Sidney Street, Stepney on 3rd January 1911 involving Russian Anarchists and a Bolshevik. The film recreation of 'The Siege of Sidney Street' (1960) starred Donald Sinden, Peter Wyngarde, Nicole Berger, Kieron Moore, Leonard Sachs and Tutte Lemkow. Sadly, it wasn't restaged in East London, but instead in Dublin, Ireland.

The latest film made in the streets of London's East End is 'Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' (1998). This black comedy stars Dexter Fletcher and hard-man ex-Wimbledon footballer, Vinnie Jones as part of a team of gangsters.

Some Films made on location in East London
"Face," BANCROFT ROAD, ROBERT CARLYLE, 1997
"Full Metal Jacket," BECKTON GAS WORKS & ISLE OF DOGS, MATTHEW MODINE, 1987
"Brannigan," BECKTON GAS WORKS & ST. KATHERINE'S DOCK, JOHN WAYNE, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, LESLEY-ANNE DOWN, JUDY GEESON, 1975
"A Place To Go," BETHNAL GREEN, RITA TUSHINGHAM, 1963
"Secrets and Lies," HOLBORN UNDERGROUND STATION, BETHNAL GREEN (Quilter Street), BRENDA BLETHYN, TIMOTHY SPALL, 1996
"Nineteen Eighty-Four," DOCKLANDS, RICHARD BURTON, JOHN HURT, 1984
"Fairy Tale: A True Story," HACKNEY EMPIRE THEATRE, 1997
"The File of the Golden Goose," LIVERPOOL STREET RAILWAY STATION, YUL BRYNNER, 1969
"Mission Impossible," LIVERPOOL STREET RAILWAY STATION, TOM CRUISE, JON VOIGT, 1996
"Beautiful Thing," ROTHERHITHE (The Anchor Pub), MEERA SYAL, 1996
"Four Wedddings &* A Funeral," ST.BARTHOLOMEW-THE-GREAT, EC1, HUGH GRANT, ANDIE MACDOWELL, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, JAMES FLEET, SIMON CALLOW
"Battle of Britain," ST.KATHERINE'S DOCK, MICHAEL CAINE, LAURENCE OLIVIER, 1969
"The Long Good Friday," ST.KATHERINE'S DOCK, ACTORS: BOB HOSKINS, HELEN MIRREN, 1980
"The Revengers' Comedies," TOWER BRIDGE, HELENA BONHAM CARTER, SAM NEILL, 1998
"The Boy Who Turned Yellow," TOWER OF LONDON, MARK DIGHTAM, 1972
"I.D.," THE TOWER THISTLE HOTEL, REECE DINSDALE, 1995



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