Sherlock Holmes (2009)
The Movie: Sir Conan Doyle’s sleuth gets a post-modern update, with Robert Downey Jr playing a beefed-up version of Holmes.
Only In London: Shot in and around London (as well as Liverpool and Manchester), Ritchie’s London of yesteryear is a romantic place of heaving bosoms and ridiculously cool heroes.
Notting Hill (1999)
The Movie: Yeah, yeah, it’s from the same brain that wheedled out Love Actually , but Notting Hill is a funny, light-hearted fantasy romance that has its tongue pressed enough into its cheek just about enough.
Only In London: Notting Hill is one of London’s most multi-cultural hot spots, which means it’s odd that Curtis’ film doesn’t reflect that. Still, the area looks the best it ever has – though Portobello Road is where you’ll find Grant’s book shop.
From Hell (2001)
The Movie: The Hughes brothers adapt Alan Moore’s graphic novel, which attempts to solve the mystery of who Jack the Ripper really was.
Only In London: Opium dens, sympathetic prostitutes, law figures exposed as corrupt and nefarious – From Hell is an affecting and effective portrait of London in the late 1800s.
V For Vendetta (2005)
The Movie: Based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel, James McTeigue’s film is set in a future dystopian London where the British Government is run by fascists.
Only In London: Filming around Parliament and the Clock Tower, McTeigue and his crew were only allowed to shoot between midnight and 4am. Meanwhile, they could only stop traffic for four minutes at a time.
Bridget Joness Diary (2001)
The Movie: Renée Zellweger stars as the perpetually-single Bridget in this canny update of Pride & Prejudice.
Only In London: Visit Borough Market and you’ll easily spot Bridget’s little flat near the pub, not to mention the restaurant that's the setting for Firth and Grant's hilarious dust-up.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
The Movie: Two 18-year-old girls aspire to become professional footaball players in Gurinder Chadha’s gentle comedy.
Only In London: Chadha captures the city’s cultural diversity beautifully as Parminder Nagra rebels against her orthodox Sikh upbringing – with Hounslow providing the perfect suburban backdrop.
The Movie: Sally Hawkins is Poppy, a perpetually cheerful London schoolteacher whose positive outlook on life aggravates those around her.
Only In London: Perfect for drinking games, HGL ’s gal-about-town misadventures provide a veritable tour of London location, with Finsbury Park, Camden Lock, Regent's Park, Camden Market, Stroud Green, Tufnell Park and Lambeth all featured.
The Movie: Carol Reed’s classic musical in which young orphan Oliver (Mark Lester) falls in with a gang of street urchins who’ve been trained as pickpockets.
Only In London: The city’s a smoggy place filled with danger in this movie adaptation of Dickens’ novel – you definitely believe somebody like Fagin could live here.
An Education (2009)
The Movie: Sixties teen Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) gets involved with a man twice her age in this frisky coming-of-ager.
Only In London: Young Jenny’s world is London at it’s leafy best, with her house found on Carbery Avenue, while the local shops at St John’s Parade were given a period twist for the ‘60s-set tale.
The Movie: Sultry drama from director Mike Nichols in which two couples’ love lives intertwine.
Only In London: What’s London without its dark and glittering strip clubs? Yeah, nothing. More than merely that, Closer is also a look at true-grit Londoners – the ones who shove you out the way on the tube and walk like they’re on a mission to save the world.
28 Days Later (2002)
The Movie: Sci-fi horror from Danny Boyle in which an incurable virus sweeps the UK, transforming people into ravenous zombies.
Only In London: Trust us, it’s never this empty in London – not even at 4am when the clubbers are all tucked up in bed. Which makes the sight of a deserted central London all the creepier…
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
The Movie: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) continues his hunt for answers while dodging the CIA.
Only In London: Waterloo Station is a battlefield at the best of times, but it becomes a hustle-bustle setting for a fantastically tense action scene in Damon’s last Bourne film, as he attempts to protect Paddy Considine’s journalist.
The Movie: Johnny (David Thewlis) leaves Manchester for a new life in London, escaping the family of a girl he raped.
Only In London: The BT tower offers a thematical touchstone (this is a film about derailed communication), while Hackney, Soho and Brick Lane all put in brief appearances.
The Movie: Three sisters living in London combat loneliness as they muddle along in unfulfilling jobs in Michael Winterbottom’s street-level drama.
Only In London : Winterbottom puts Londoners under the microscope and discovers that under all that cynical bravado they’re just desperate for happiness. Ahhhh.
The Bespoke Overcoat (1956)
The Movie: Thirty-three minute fantasy from director Jack Clayton. A lowly warehouse clerk dreams of owning a resplendent overcoat.
Only In London: Fantasy and reality blend beautifully in Clayton’s film, which was shot in London’s East End, a place where fiction often seems to collide with fact.
The Prestige (2006)
The Movie: It’s the end of the 19th Century, and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) falls out with magician friend Alfred (Christian Bale) when his wife dies during one of his shows.
Only In London: Or not, as it has it. Director Chris Nolan proves his skill behind the camera by shooting his London-set tale in California. Kudos.
Somers Town (2008)
The Movie: Shane Meadows’ black-and-white drama set in central London, where two unlikely friends both fancy the same girl.
Only In London: Shot in the real Somers Town (and, briefly, Paris, obviously), Meadows' film has character to boot and a tangible sense of place.
Nil By Mouth (1997)
The Movie: Gary Oldman’s South East London drama, which follows Raymond’s (Ray Winstone) working-class family.
Only In London: As legend has it, the film features over 400 iterations of the word ‘fuck’. Which is just about as London as things get, really.
Dial M For Murder (1954)
The Movie: Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) plots the murder of his wife (Grace Kelly) in this tight wound Hitchcock thriller.
Only In London: Though shot on soundstages in California, Hitchcock expertly gives his film a feeling of London with some well-placed exterior shots and clever set design. You’d never know it wasn’t filmed in our beloved capital.
Dirty, Pretty Things (2002)
The Movie: Crime drama from director Stephen Frears which sees a Nigerian immigrant moving to London, which is nothing like she dreamed it would be.
Only In London: “We are the people you do not see. We are the ones who drive your cabs. We clean your rooms. And suck your cocks...” An uncompromising examination of London’s illegal immigrant culture.
Mary Poppins (1964)
The Movie: Joyous musical romp starring Julie Andrews as the titular nanny, who’s hired to look after two very unhappy children.
Only In London: This is London as envisioned by Walt Disney Pictures, where everybody’s smartly dressed, the town houses are towering and gorgeous, and there’s not so much as a single turd in the parks. Dare to dream, Disney…
The Krays (1990)
The Movie: East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (Gary and Martin Kemp) get famous off their brutal crimes and end up behind bars in 1969.
Only In London: Shot in London (it really couldn't have been done anywhere else, considering this is based on a true story), false fronts were built for houses in Caradoc Street to fit the different eras that the film spans.
Brick Lane (2007)
The Movie: A Bangladeshi woman arrives in London, leaving behind her family and friends.
Only In London: Cultural diversity is all part of London’s charm, and here we get a look at the East End’s Bangladeshi community, where the aftershock of 9/11 is strongly felt.
The Ipcress File (1965)
The Movie: British agent Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) investigates a spate of kidnappings.
Only In London: Sidney J. Furie takes a look at the London male, most notably Michael Cane’s Elephant & Castle dweller, and discovers he’s an evolving creature. A fascinating snapshot of a bygone time.
Death Line (1973)
The Movie: Scotland Yard investigate when people start going missing in the tunnels between Holborn and Russell Square.
Only In London: Before Creep , Death Line shot in Aldwych tube (which stands in for Russell Square), offering a skin-crawling view of the city's (literal) underbelly.
Harry Potter (2001-2011)
The Movies: Eight films adapted from JK Rowling’s bestselling book series, with Daniel Radcliffe as the lightning-scarred boy wizard.
Only In London: Sad to say, Diagon Alley doesn’t actually exist in our beloved capital. That doesn’t stop Columbus, Yates et al from lavishing the city with adoring screentime, whether it’s the Millennium Bridge getting destroyed in Half-Blood Prince or those gorgeous over-city shots in Phoenix . And, of course, there’s King’s Cross station…
The Kings Speech (2010)
The Movie: Oscar-nabbing historical drama starring Colin Firth as King George VI, who struggles with a debilitating stammer.
Only In London: Rush’s Harley Street practice should look familiar – it’s a Georgian townhouse 33 Portland Place, a popular location used in everything from Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ video to some less-well-known gay porn films…
The Movie: Adapted from Bill Naughton’s novel and play, Alfie follows Michael Caine’s city playboy as he cuts a stylish swathe through the city.
Only In London: The number of London locations used in the film is exhausting, from the Tower of London to Battersea and the upper-market likes of Mayfair. Dapper indeed.
The Movie: Photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) believes that he’s taken shots of an actual murder…
Only In London: Charlton’s Maryon Park gets the Antonioni treatment as Vanessa Redgrave’s papped in something of a compromising position. Her reedy retort – “You can't photograph people like that, this is a public place” – speaks of a sadly forgotten, more chivalrous past.
Eastern Promises (2007)
The Movie: Crime drama from David Cronenberg with Naomi Watts as a midwife attempting to find out what happened to a Russian teenager who died during childbirth.
Only In London: Mortensen’s infamous buff-baths skirmish was shot at the Ironmonger Row Baths, one of the city’s oldest bath houses. “It's a good place for business meetings,” a gangster tells Mortensen, “because you can see what tattoos a man has.” Too right.
Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
The Movie: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost find London swarming with zombies, and battle to save their loved ones from a sticky fate.
Only In London: Quiet old Crouch End provided the back-drop for this undead modern classic, with Pegg and Frost’s flat situated on Nelson Road. The Winchester pub is actually miles away in New Cross, though...
Truly Madly Deeply (1990)
The Movie: Nina (Juliet Stevenson) is left distraught when her lover Jamie (Alan Rickman) dies in Anthony Minghella’s whimsical and affecting fantasy drama.
Only In London: Though made on a tiny budget of just $650,000, London affords Minghella’s film a suitably grand scope.
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
The Movie: Gangster George Thomason (Tom Georgeson) plans a jewel heist with his stuttering sidekick, hiring con woman Wanda Gershwitz (Jamie Lee Curtis) and weapons man Otto West (Kevin Kline) to help.
Only In London: Director Charles Crichton took full advantage of filming on location in London, setting his camera up at Bermondsey, Clerkenwell Green and Maida Vale.
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
The Movie: Tired of his job, London bank clerk Henry Holland (Alec Guinness) hatches a plan to steal gold bullion and retire for good.
Only In London: The Bank of England helped screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke to plan the movie bank heist – can’t imagine they’d be quite so helpful today…
The Ladykillers (1955)
The Movie: Black comedy from Ealing Studios in which a group of crooks plan a robbery at King’s Cross station, and need an old woman’s house to complete the job.
Only In London: Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) is a great old-school Londoner – a fanciful gossiper who’s always making work for the police. Location-wise, the robbery scene was shot on Cheney Street, near King’s Cross.
The Italian Job (1969)
The Movie: Michael Caine stars as mobster Charlie, who plans to steal a gold shipment from Turin.
Only In London: Though the original script was entirely set in London, budgetary restrains meant the heist was switched to Turin. Still, the film remains redolent of ‘60s London, with a memorable Mini training session shot at the race track in Sydenham, South London.
The Movie: The police set out to catch a serial killer who’s murdering women using a necktie.
Only In London: Unlike Dial M For Murder , Hitchcock was given full reign in London for Frenzy , where he made extensive, impressive use of Covent Garden Market, the film’s main location.
Children Of Men (2006)
The Movie: In the year 2027, human society is on the brink of collapse thanks to two decades of infertility. Then a civil servant (Clive Owen) discovers a West African refugee who’s pregnant.
Only In London: Taking A Clockwork Orange as inspiration, director Alfonso Cuarón couldn’t imagine filming anywhere else. “It would have been impossible to shoot anywhere but London, because of the very obvious way the locations were incorporated into the film,” he says.
The Movie: Michael Radford’s adaptation of George Orwell’s novel, with Winston Smith (John Hurt) living in the totalitarian state of Oceania.
Only In London: London provides the perfect setting for the dystopian tale of censorship and surveillance, which was light-years ahead of its time.
The Long Good Friday (1980)
The Movie: Violent, abrasive, unforgiving, John Mackenzie’s peerless crime drama stars Bob Hoskins as gangster Harold. He's a cockney.
Only In London: With its fantastic location shoots, The Long Good Friday is the perfect ‘80s London film – not least because, as movie myth has it, real gangsters attended the shoot.
The Omen (1976)
The Movie: Cult horror classic from director Richard Donner. A wealthy London family discover their son is the spawn of the antichrist.
Only In London: This is Silver Jubilee-era London, stripped of its Hollywoodised veneer and presented as it truly was. Richard Donner location hops from Fulham to Windsor Safari Park to the US embassy, sparing London no blushes.
Withnail And I (1987)
The Movie: In 1969 London, resting actors Withnail and Marwood drink their problems away in a squalid Camden flat.
Only In London: Director Bruce Robinson shoots all over London, with various locations doubling for Camden – notice Notting Hill’s Westway flyover outside The Old Mother Black Cap. Also, boozing’s part of being a Londoner, right?
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)
The Movie: Director Tomas Alfredson makes his impressive English-language debut, adapting John le Carre’s mind-boggler of a novel.
Only In London: South and West Kensington double for a ‘70s London - Alfredson based the film’s look on his impressions of the city back in the ‘70s, which explains the muted palette and dirty streets.
The Movie: Gangster Chas (James Fox) looks for a place to hide after carrying out a dangerous hit and discovers a guest house run by ex-rockstar Turner (Mick Jagger).
Only In London: Now this is what Notting Hill is really like – overflowing with nefarious characters and mysterious motives, while the ghoulish number 7 bus whisks through Cambridge Gardens. Spooky.
Billy Liar (1963)
The Movie: Billy (Tom Courtenay) lives in his own dream world, fantasising about becoming a hip London scriptwriter.
Only In London: “Breakfast at Lyons, Hyde Park in the afternoon, Piccadilly tomorrow evening,” coos Julie Christie, only just scratching the surface of what our great capital has to offer on a day away from the office.
An American Werewolf In London (1981)
The Movie: Defining tongue-in-cheek horror movie from director John Landis. An American tourist is mauled by a beast, and goes through some... changes.
Only In London: The film’s climactic werewolf rampage took place in and around Piccadilly Circus, with Tottenham Court Road tube lending itself to the pivotal attack that everybody always remembers.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Movie: Kubrick's mental masterpiece – a harsh and terrifying peek into a future world.
Only In London: Shockingly, many of the locations Kubrick shot in the ‘70s remain almost untouched today, with Thamesmead as rundown as it ever was. Most recognisable, of course, is the Flat Block Marina.
The Movie: Left alone in the city of London, Carol (Catherine Deneuve) is haunted by the demons of her past.
Only In London: “You can't eat stuff like this,” John Fraser tells Deneuve, shocked when she shows an interest in pizza joint Dinos. “Come on, I'll take you to Wheeler’s.” Scoff.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
The Movie: A white thug (Daniel Day-Lewis) and a Pakistani attempt to open their own Laundromat – and fall in love in the process.
Only In London: Stephen Frears takes an uncompromising look at Thatcherite ‘80s London, where political views are shifting and social issues – racism, homosexuality – are in a state of flux.
Passport To Pimlico (1949)
The Movie: A bona fide Ealing classic that beautifully captures London life - not least the cheeky, oddball characters the city breeds. The detonation of a WW2 bomb in Pimlico uncovers an old treaty revealing that Pimlico is actually part of Burgundy…
Only In London: Shot all over London, Pimlico offers a tantalising glimpse at London back in the day, with locations including Piccadilly, Lambeth, Holborn and Vauxhall – plus, naturally, Ealing Studios.