Movies set in London
London is the kind of city that attracts people from all around the world, of all kinds, from tourists and businessmen to people that want to find a job, a better life, an opportunity. Film producers represent another important example. There are actually so many movies where the action takes place in London that I will only get to mention some of them that remained in the mind and heart of all of us.
Probably one of the most well-known images of the city is the Victorian era of Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. Imagine that there have been roughly 200 movies based only on Charles Dickens’s books. It is well known the fact that when this particular writer was working on a new book, he used to take long walks in the night through London’s streets, paying attention to all the details, so that the set and the characters were so amazing, but in the same time, so close to reality.
Maybe if he would have known at that time that in less than 100 years from his death his books will become movies, he would have given us even more details. Among the novels that became famous movie scripts are the following: Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol or Nicholas Nickleby. Of course, for all of these there was more than just one version. Other less famous examples are: Little Dorrit or The Pickwick Papers.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character, Sherlock Homes, was the hero in a noticeable number of films as well. Hollywood successfully recreated London in the studios for some of the film setting. Other notable Holmes films which have featured London backgrounds and locations are Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), and the comedies The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975) and Without a Clue (1988), as well as many television series.
Different film adaptations for the Bram Stoker novel Dracula have parts of the action that take place in London. And if we are talking about horror movies, we should definitely mention A Study in Terror and Murder by Decree, because Jack the Ripper is a legend as well. Some of the films showed a grimier, more realistic depiction of 18th century London, including Where’s Jack? (1968), based on the true story of highwayman Jack Sheppard and crime boss Jonathan Wild.
„It Always Rains On Sunday”, directed by Robert Hamer, was one of the best British films of its period, and maybe the most convincing example of the London noir picture. This film portrays the after-war East End atmosphere like few other films manage to do.
London has been the set for movies of all kind: comedies, romantic, action, drama, post-war, thrillers, science fiction, movies with kids, musicals, and some of them will always be remembered.