Location, Location
Fete Accomplished

On Film

Withnail and I tea room locationThe location of Withnail and I's Penrith Tea Rooms is 240 miles from Penrith.

North Bucks in Feature Films Part 2

I blithely said in part one that there would be more on Thursday, and since then, I've had no internet. None. That'll teach me to take things for granted!

I had this post all ready to go except for two or three photos, and thought I'd just pop out on Thursday morning, take the photos, load 'em up and I'd be good to go. Ha ha. Anyway, nearly a week late, here is the post.

Here's the second of two posts about filming locations in North Bucks. As in Part One, Location, Location, I'll tell you about when I watched some of the filming.

Milton Keynes
The Fourth Protocol (1987) used a location on Tranlands Brigg, Heelands. I watched some of the filming there, where an external house and garden set was made in the corner of a parking area.

The garden was raised up on scaffolding and planks, with the hedge shrubs in pots set just below garden level. The house set was a reproduction of an early eco home built on another estate, just used for interior shots.

Winter Gardens and Argos building  Central Milton KeynesThe Winter Gardens and Argos building, used as sets for Superman IV.

Superman IV The Quest For Peace (1987) had several locations in Central Milton Keynes. They used the railway station as the United Nations building, and the Metropolis Hyatt Hotel is now Argos’s HQ. The entrance to the Daily Planet newspaper building was in the Winter Gardens, just behind the Argos building.

I had a look round one location not too long after filming. I think it was Station Square, and life sized photos of shops were pasted on to outside walls, making the square look like an American one, at least from a distance.

I’ve seen this done in other films. I might watch two characters walking down the street, deep in conversation, and when I concentrate on them it all looks most realistic.

But when I look instead at the background shops, I can see they were just a series of giant photos.

Station Square  Central Milton KeynesThe "United Nations building", Milton Keynes. Or maybe it's just the railway station...

Stony Stratford
The Market Square here played the part of Penrith in Cumbria, for the 1987 film Withnail and I. The 17th Century Crown Inn was transformed into the King Henry pub, and the “Penrith Tea Rooms” are a chemist’s, as I think they were in 1987.

Fans of the film are said to have visited Penrith in search of the pub and tea rooms, in the days before you could look up film locations on the internet. But Penrith’s Market Square looks completely different from Stony Stratford’s.

Withnail and I pub locationStony Stratford's Crown Inn was the location used for The King Henry pub, Penrith.

Stowe School
Indiana Jones manages to get the Führer’s autograph here, at the “Berlin Rally”, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

In The World is not enough (1999) a Pierce Brosnan Bond film, a funeral scene is filmed in the chapel.

The Avengers (1998), based on the English 1960s television series, sees Mrs Peel held captive in the school’s Marble Saloon and Music Room; interiors of ‘Hallucinogen Hall’. Another house was used for the exterior shots.

The school is the “Royal Academy Observatory” in the fantasy film Stardust (2007)

Market Square  Winslow  BucksWinslow's Market Square was transformed into a late 1940s town for the film Little Stranger.

The town’s Market Square was transformed into a 1948 town centre for the Little Stranger, a 2018 Gothic drama. I grew up in Winslow in the 1960s; not that long after the film was set, at least in its general appearance.

I watched some of the filming. Modern shop signs were covered with 1940s ones. Road signs and markings were disguised. Old cars were parked up as though their owners had just popped into town.

Do you have favourite films that were filmed in, or even just have a connection to, North Bucks?

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.


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