As a film
nerd buff, I don’t just like some films, I get obsessed with them. And on the evidence of the London Film Location Guide, author Simon R.H. James is very much from the same mould.
This is detail over and above the call of duty. 276 pages and something like 750 films about London featured, dating from the 1920s through to the present day – an exercise that’s taken the author the best part of 10 years to complete. And if that sounds a little too much to deal with, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a film index, postcode index and even a street index to help you through the mass of movies featured.
It’s fascinating stuff too, both for the film fan and indeed anyone interested in the capital. Broken down into areas, the book picks out key locations for both the blockbusters and the lesser-known or long-forgotten flicks, padding things out with images where available, both of classic scenes in the particular place and of the location as it looks today. Just in case you fancy finding it for yourself.
I’ve spent the last week or so trying to catch it out, but so far without success. Even ridiculously obscure TV spin-offs like the Man About The House movie are listed here (St John’s Wood, NW8 if you are interested), alongside cult classics like Blow-Up (you’ll find the park in Charlton, SE7) and Hollywood pulp like Legally Blonde (which was partly-filmed in Dulwich Village, SE21). It’s also quite a good way of discovering films too, especially if you happen to live in one of the areas featured.
Incredibly detailed, well-written and well thought out, the London Film Location Guide is something of a must for any British film fan. And if you happen to be a London resident, a good excuse to get out and about to discover some movie history.