Monday, February 15, 2010

Hey Look That's Me!


Have you ever seen the film Bunny Lake Is Missing?

I'm sure I'd heard of it, and I can't believe I've never seen it. It's got Laurence Olivier in it and it's a lightweight tale about a woman whose daughter disappears. But the crux is, did she ever exist? I'll leave that one for you to work out. The best thing about it though is that it's British. Moreover, it's London.

I can't get enough of old British films, purely and simply for the locations. And even better if they're in London because you're likely to see the very place you live preserved on celluloid as it was forevermore.

Recent examples I've seen of this are Brannigan, starring John Wayne as this longhorn cop who's on a mission in London. There's a scene in which he steals someone's car and it's right outside our old flat. In 1974! The street was rundown and all the buildings had that black coating from industrial soot. Also - and I've noticed this a lot - all window frames seem to be painted this maroon colour. It seemed to be the colour of everyone's window frames. Does anyone know why?

Another is The Optimists, starring Peter Sellers as an eccentric who attracts he attention of two local children (not in that way). That's actually got scenes in my current road. Fascinating stuff if you sit wondering what things used to be like. There's also a glimpse of it in Up The Junction.

I hear there's a film called All Neat in Black Stockings, which is possibly as saucy as it sounds, starring a nubile Susan George as a swinging Sixties flat sharer and that's filmed entirely around my manor. Shame it's not on DVD, unless you know different...

While I'm here, if you're as obsessed with Old London as I am, you might like this link. Some great shots here.

14 comments:

Clair said...

You'll love this, then...

http://www.howtobearetronaut.com/

Chris Hughes said...

Oh, those photos are fantastic. My favourite so far is the row of the 1970s red phone boxes.

Cocktails said...

All I know about this film is that the poster was designed by Saul Bass. Did he do the titles too?

There are a couple of the more obscure 50s/60s London films coming up at the NFT/BFI in April. Unfortunately I can't actually remember what they are, but when I do I'll let you know.

Mondo said...

Love the seventies set - no surprise really. Episodes of The Sweeney are another source for seventies street scenes - the shops, billboards, corrugated steel fencing, bombed/broken houses with chintzy wallpaper still showing and ease of parking in any street.

Richard Burton's Villain and Jean Luc Goddard's One Plus One is almost unwatchable as a piece of work, but worth it for the street shots.

Five-Centres said...

Yes, Cocktails, he does do the opening sequence. It's rather unnerving as you'd expect.

Glad you like the pics. They're ace.

Thanks for the link, Clair, that's great.

TimT said...

I've got a great book I picked up in a remainder store recently that gives the details of what was filmed where in London. Most of the stuff filmed in my part of Fulham was chase scenes for The Sweeney around the gas works.

Also, do you know Another Nickel In The Machine? One of my favourite blogs (apart from this one, obviously):

http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/

Amy said...

I had a genius moment a few years back watching "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em", the one where Frank's motorbike goes a little crazy. Turns out he was racing up and down the road I was currently living in.
That's in and around Castle Road in Bedford and the town centre too, by the way.

Ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsmXxh5-2N4&feature=related

LF Barfe said...

You got my hopes up then. I thought this was going to be about Chris Harris and his cycle-powered tent.

Cocktails said...

The film is Four in the Morning, Judi Dench's first film - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060426/

Ever seen it?

Five-Centres said...

No I haven't Cocktails, but now I shall track it down.

It's always nice when you recognise stuff in film, but it's only happened to me since I've lived in London.

I saw Chris Harris (completely forgotten his name there, Louis), when I went to see Superman on my friend Stuart's 14th birthday in 1979. We did that thumb wave at him and he was not amused.

The next day my rabbit died.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I hadn't heard of this film but I'll definitely seek it out now, so thanks. Sounds just my cup of tea. And I've just posted on another that I think you'd like if you haven't already seen. I can't get enough of this stuff.

Five-Centres said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Barfe said...

Chris Harris is still going, and the top panto dame in the west country by all accounts.

I'm a sucker for a bit of location-spotting. If you want to see 1968-vintage Notting Hill, catch Otley next time it turns up on TV in the middle of the night. I'm quite lucky living where I do, as practically every Tales of the Unexpected used Norfolk or Suffolk locations. Stranger In Town uses my local railway station, and captures it when it still had a roof. I wrote about it when ITV3 repeated it a couple of years back - http://bit.ly/bIb4bN.

I've got a good book called London on Film by Colin Sorenson. It was the accompaniment to an exhibition at the Museum of London. Sadly I missed the exhibition.

Bright Ambassador said...

Some houses do still have maroon window frames:
http://www.vebra.com/property/2440/15045068

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