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50 Greatest London Movies

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.

Naked (1993)

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.

Wonderland (1999)

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…