Images above: Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde in Darling (1965)
Celebrating Chiswick’s rich film heritage
Chiswick has a rich film heritage, both in terms of the number of films with sequences shot here and the contribution made by people working in the industry who live locally.
From the 1960s – Goodbye Mr Chips, Help!, Darling, The Servant, Quatermass and the Pit – to the 2000s – Vanity Fair, Never Let me Go, Love Actually – film makers have chosen Chiswick locations.
See if you can name the films and the actors with Chiswick associations in Andrea Carnevali’s video.
Chiswick In Film video created by Andrea Carnevali
Location, location, location
Some locations are instantly recognisable – Reese Witherspoon as the artful Becky in Vanity Fair (2004) practising the art of social climbing in the ‘Pleasure Gardens’ at Chiswick House; Julie Christie scrambling up the riverbank at Strand on the Green in Darling (1965) declaring how lovely it would be to live here.
Others you would really have to know.
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as Professor Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane making themselves comfortable at the vicarage of St Paul’s Church in Grove Park in The Theory of Everything (2014).
David Naughton as American college student David waking up in hospital (the old Chiswick maternity hospital) having been bitten by a werewolf in An American Werewolf in London (1981).
The operating room in the dystopian Never Let Me Go (2010), in the top floor of Chiswick Town Hall, where friends Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) find out the true purpose of why they have been brought up together.
Images above: David Tennant presenting a prize at Chiswick House dog show; Colin Firth in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011), which had scenes shot in Chiswick; Eileen Atkins at Chiswick Book Festival, photograph Roger Green; Phyllis Logan at the Tabard theatre; Kevin McNally with Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean
Famous Chiswick faces
Famous faces who are instantly recognisable include David Tennant, Colin Firth, Dame Eileen Atkins, Kevin McNally and Phyllis Logan, but they represent the tip of the iceberg of actors, writers, producers, directors, editors and designers living in Chiswick.
Image above: Knightly with Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour (2020)
Writers, directors, designers
Misbehaviour (2020) was created and scripted by Rebecca Frayn.
Maudie (2016) was directed by Aisling Walsh.
Mike Bassett England Manager (2001) and Gnomeo & Juliet (2011) were both written by Rob Sprackling.
For Downton Abbey: A New Era you virtually had to have a W4 postcode to be involved. Actors Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes) and Michelle Doherty (Lady Mary Crawley), director Simon Curtis, producer Liz Trubridge and designer Donal Woods all live locally.
Image above: Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins in Maudie (2016)
The Chiswick In Film festival, Friday 30 September – Sunday 2 October 2022 – celebrates this hive of cultural activity on our doorstep. Jointly organised by The Chiswick Calendar and Chiswick Cinema with scriptwriter Rob Sprackling and award winning editor Andrea Carnevali.
Tickets now available to book on the Chiswick Cinema website.
Images above: James Fox with Dirk Bogarde; Sarah Miles; Dirk Bogarde in The Servant (1963)
Chiswick In Film festival programme
Friday 30 September, 6.30pm The Servant
1963 British drama film directed by Joseph Losey and written by Harold Pinter, starring Dirk Bogarde and Sarah Miles.
The film sees the aristocratic Tony move to London and hire manservant Hugo Barrett. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony’s girlfriend Susan does not like him and asks Tony to send him away. Some of the film’s icy scenes as the relationship becomes strained, were shot at Chiswick House and Gardens.
There will be a screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with Torin Douglas and Harold Pinter’s Biographer Michael Billington. Both Pinter and Michael Billington also have associations with Chiswick.
Book tickets: chiswickcinema.co.uk/The Servant
Saturday 1 October, 3pm, Maudie
2016 biographical drama film directed by Chiswick resident Aisling Walsh, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.
This moving film paints a powerful portrait of an artist. Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) falls in love with a fishmonger (Ethan Hawke) while working for him as a live-in housekeeper.
There will be a screening of the film followed by a Q&A with Aisling and fellow Chiswick resident, Daily Mail’s Books editor Sandra Parsons.
Book tickets: chiswickcinema.co.uk/Maudie
Saturday 1 October, 7pm, Misbehaviour
2020 British comedy-drama film directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, from a screenplay by Rebecca Frayn, starring Keira Knightly, Jessie Buckley and Phyllis Logan.
A film with numerous Chiswick talents attached, which tells the story of the 1970 Women’s Liberation Movement protest against the Miss World pageant. Women protesters invaded the stage and disrupted the live broadcast of the competition, at that time the most-watched TV show in the world with over 100 million viewers. Show host American comedian Bob Hope had to be nimble to dodge the flour bombs.
There will be a screening of the film followed by a Q&A with producer Suzanne Mackie, creator Rebecca Frayn, actress Phyllis Logan, all Chiswick residents, and three of the protestors whose story is told in the film: Jo Robinson, Sue Finch and Sarah Falcon.
Book tickets: chiswickcinema.co.uk/Misbehaviour
Sunday 2 October, 11am, Gnomeo & Juliet
2011 computer-animated romantic comedy film for children directed by Kelly Asbury from a screenplay by Rob Sprackling and John Smith.
A sparkling and inventive take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, following Gnomeo and Juliet, a pair of garden gnomes who fall in love. The soundtrack has an all-star cast featuring James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Julie Walters, Richard Wilson, Patrick Stewart, and Ozzy Osbourne.
A screeing of the film, followed by Q&A with Screenwriter Rob Sprackling and award winning film editor Andrea Carnevali, who both live in Chiswick.
Book tickets: chiswickcinema.co.uk/Gnomeo&Juliet
Sunday 2 October, 1.30pm, Darling
1965 film directed by John Schlesinger starring Dirk Bogarde and Julie Christie.
Julie Christie turns in an astonishing Oscar-winning performance in this tale about wanting it all – and getting exactly what you wish for. Nominated for five Academy awards including Best Picture, this story about the beautiful but amoral model Diana Scott sleeping her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties was shot partly at Strand on the Green.
Before the film Dennis Firminger, who was for many years LB Hounslow’s film officer, gives a short presentation on the films he has been involved with, shot in Chiswick.
Book tickets: chiswickcinema.co.uk/Darling
Sunday 2 October, 6pm, Downton Abbey, A New Era
2022 historical drama film and the sequel to the 2019 film Downton Abbey, following on from the hugely successful TV series.
In the most recent Downton creation, the ‘new era’ of the late 1920s sees a Hollywood film crew descend on the Crawley family. The silent movie production is hit by crisis as news filters through of the success of a new ‘talkie’ wowing audiences in America. Film stars Guy Dexter (Dominic West) and Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock) are facing ruin until Downton saves the day.
A screening of the film, followed by Q&A with Executive Producer Gareth Neame, Director Simon Curtis, and Phyllis Logan (Mrs Carson).
Image above: Poster for Vanity Fair (2004)
Book tickets: chiswickcinema.co.uk/Downton
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Chiswick Book Festival 2022
See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features
Support The Chiswick Calendar
The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.
We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.
To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.