7 Fantastic Film Set Locations

by Jules on August 27, 2010

Syon House is the last surviving ducal residence complete with its country estate in Greater London.

Checking out where your favourite movies were filmed can be a bit like watching the extra features on DVDs – they kind of spoil a bit of the magic and mystery. But film set tours are a popular holiday option, so whether you opt to explore Carrie Bradshaw’s New York on a Sex and The City tour or get off the beaten track in Tunisia at the archaeological dig near Onk Jemal, made famous by Count Almásy (Ralph Fiennes) in The English Patient, check out these movie set locations;

7. Gosford Park 2001, UK – The murder mystery film directed by Robert Altman was filmed at two English country houses; Syon House and Wrotham Park. Syon House is close to Kew Gardens in London and the upstairs and bedroom scenes were filmed here. Syon House is open to the public and is actually inhabited by the Duke of Northumberland. Wrotham Park is just outside London in Barnet and the exterior, staircase, hall, drawing and dining room scenes were all filmed here, although unfortunately Wrotham Park isn’t open to the public.
6. Gladiator, 2000, Malta – Director of the star studded film Gladiator deemed the real Colosseum in Rome too small and so constructed a set on top of ruins at Fort Ricasoli in Malta. In fact the whole of the Roman section of Gladiators was filmed in Malta as Rome didn’t look enough like Rome!
5. Lost In Translation, 2003, Japan – The Park Hyatt Tokyo at 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku in Japan’s capital Tokyo, was the setting for Sofia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation. The pool, bar, lounge and internal shots are all of the Park Hyatt, as are the views from the hotel.
4. Batman, 1989, UK – Much of the Batman film, directed by Tim Burton was filmed within the UK. Wayne Manor’s exterior was Knebworth House and the interior shots were Hatfield House, both of which are open to the public. The interior Axis Chemicals shots are of a disused power station in Acton, London and the exterior shots are another power station in Lower Barford, Bedfordshire. And Gotham City was actually a series of 18 stages built at Pinewood Studios, London.
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 2001, UK – There are many important locations in both the Harry Potter movies and books and film director Chris Columbus decided to use Platform 4 at Kings Cross Station in London as the setting for the magical Platform 9 ¾ where the Hogwarts Express leaves from. The exterior shots are actually St. Pancras Station in London though and the Hogsmead Station which finishes the journey is Goathland which is on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986, USA – The high school that was used for the adventures of Ferris Bueller was the Glenbrook North High School on 2300 Shermer Road in Illinois. Director John Hughes, who actually used to live right by the school, used it in two cult 1980’s movies; Bueller and The Breakfast Club and he is said to have inspired the “Brat Pack” movement of the 1980s. And if you always wondered about the scene where the Ferrari gets trashed, don’t panic – it was just a fiberglass replica!
1. The English Patient, 1996, Italy – Much of the blockbuster film The English Patient was filmed in Italy including the scenes in the villa where Count Laszlo de Almásy recounts his story. The 9 times academy award winning film directed by Anthony Minghella, stuck pretty closely to locations described in the 1992 Booker winning novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje. The villa is actually located in the small rural village of Pienza in Tuscany, although some interior scenes were filmed in studios. And in case you wondered, the church that Kip and Hana visit is the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo which dates back to the 13th century.

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