Two locations in one photo. This Munchkin village set for the forthcoming film Wicked has been built by the canal at Ivinghoe, and the village's Beacon Hill is in the background, a location for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
North Bucks in Feature Films Part 1
Easy to reach from London and not too far from Pinewood Studios, North Bucks is in a handy spot for film makers.
I’ve been looking at the many locations film makers have used. In the past I’ve even watched a few films being made.
Some locations have been used for a wide variety of productions and I’ve listed as many as I can here. There’s even a couple of films that haven’t come out yet. Here they are in alphabetical location order; this is part 1 of 2.
In September 2022 filming for the comedy mystery film Wicked Little Letters was going on at the Court House at the bottom of the Market Square. The film is still under production.
In the now replaced Brutalist concrete setting of Friars Square, a scene was filmed for Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.
I’ve seen a photo showing filming going on at night in Friars Square, next to Dollonds Photographic where I bought my first new camera. I think I bought it in 1971, too. The scene was cut from the final production.
In The Imitation Game (2014), the story of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing, the real Bletchley Park was used for its own interiors shots. They used the ballroom.
The hall briefly appeared in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life in the Find the Fish sketch. It also appeared in Black Beauty (1994).
In Enigma (2001) it was used as “Bletchley Park” and was used as the home of British government official George Berenson in The Fourth Protocol (1987) which also had an exterior set in Milton Keynes (see below).
Jane Austen’s Emma (1987) used the North Hall to film the grand dance scene, and the house was the mansion of Mr. William Boldwood in Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
Halton Hall, now used as an RAF officer’s mess, was used as a location for Disney’s 2021 Cruella.
The set for the burning the village scene from the 1995 First Knight was built behind Ivinghoe’s Beacon Hill. Tipped off by my dad who lived nearby, I watched some of the filming.
The flames were fed by gas jets either hidden behind rooflines or in fireproof “buildings”, but while I was there somebody got carried away and set fire to a cottage they shouldn’t have! I picked up a momento (see photo)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) used Beacon Hill as the location of a “manky old boot” that turned out to be a portkey; a magical transportation device.
Wicked, due to come out next year, is a film in the magical world of Oz, as in The Wizard of Oz. Big sets have been constructed next to the canal. I took the shot here in April, when I could hear Munchkins singing. Filming is due to finish at the end of this month.
This house, built for the Rothschilds, has often been a location.
Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut (1999) used the house as an exterior for the masked party sequence, but another house was used for the party’s interior shots.
In Batman Begins (2005) it is Wayne Manor.
In Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985) the entrance hall is a “pompous” restaurant.
The house is the Cairo Museum of Antiquities in the the 1999 The Mummy, but in The Mummy Returns it is the home of our hero, Rick O’Connell.
More film locations on Thursday.
(Edited) I lost my Internet for six whole days (aaargh!) so Part Two didn't appear until the following Wednesday. But click on the link below to read about many of the other film locations in North Bucks.
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