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50 Greatest London Movies

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.

Performance (1970)

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.

Repulsion (1965)

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.