A lot of great films have been shot around the UK over the years, from the earliest James Bond pictures to some of the latest summer action hits and Best Picture Oscar contenders.
Even so, we’re betting many would be surprised to learn about some of the major films that actually shot scenes right in Buckinghamshire. These five make for some particularly impressive credits.
1. Batman Begins
Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy was famously filmed largely in Chicago and New York — or at least made use of both cities to build the fictional setting of Gotham.
However, Batman Begins made a stop in Buckinghamshire as well, specifically in order to use the gorgeous Mentmore Towers to shoot scenes at Wayne Manor.
Known as the family estate inherited by Bruce Wayne/Batman, Wayne Manor functions as a sort of home getaway outside of Gotham City (and also resides on top of the Bat Cave, which is not a real feature at Mentmore!).
The Daily Mail cited valuation for Wayne Manor in the neighbourhood of $32 million, which honestly sounds about right for the real Mentmore Towers.
Click here to see “Young Bruce Wayne at Wayne Manor”
2. The King’s Speech
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, The King’s Speech was one of the most definitively British mainstream films we’ve seen in the last decade. So, naturally, it used a variety of filming locations around the country.
One such location was Halton House in Buckinghamshire, which was used specifically for some of the royal interiors portrayed in the film. Interestingly enough, Halton House has become such a popular filming location over the years that it has its own page on IMDB, listing credits for Downton Abbey, the Bond film The World Is Not Enough, and a handful of other projects.
3. Casino Royale
The 2006 film Casino Royale effectively rebooted the Bond franchise around Daniel Craig, and is probably best known for sparking a fresh wave of poker players among its fans.
Some of the most memorable scenes take place at a high-stakes poker table, where Bond takes on the sinister Le Chiffre, and ultimately wins with a memorably drawn straight flush.
If you’re not familiar with the game, partypoker explains how a straight flush is the second-best hand you can get — which made the scene dramatic, but not entirely implausible (whereas a royal flush, the best possible hand, might have been a bit much).
While this poker play helped to establish the film’s long-term legacy though, Casino Royale was also packed with action and intrigue. And long before Le Chiffre found himself on the wrong end of that straight flush, he was introduced as the newest Bond villain in a scene at a “Ugandan rebel camp,” which was actually filmed at Buckinghamshire’s Black Park.
This example just goes to show that a film location isn’t always entirely recognisable on screen!
Click here to see “Le Chiffre at a Uganda rebel camp”
4. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter films, or books for that matter, then you may recall that dragons can come from all over he world.
In fact, Wizarding World posted a useful dragon list that tells of the various breeds J.K. Rowling dreamed up, and where they come from.
There are dragons from Ukraine, Peru, Sweden, and so on…. But in the films, most of the dragon action takes place right at good old Hogwarts, most notably when four beasts are shipped in for a challenge at the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.
Leading up to that challenge, the character Hagrid takes Harry into the forest to see the dragons in advance, so as to know what he’ll be up against.
That memorable scene was actually filmed at Black Park as well (despite looking nothing like the Uganda scene from Casino Royale).
5. Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
We’ll wrap up with Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, because this one was actually shot partially in Milton Keynes!
We made note of Lorraine filming in Milton Keynes, and that fits in with the idea that more recently, the area has been more closely associated with television than film.
However, in this Superman film (the last one Christopher Reeve shot), Milton Keynes actually provided a number of filming locations for Metropolis.
Most notably, the film made use of Milton Keynes Central Station to provide the visuals for the exterior of the United Nations.
Click here to see “Superman at the United Nations”