Pubs on Film

Almost every film set in Britain fea­tures a pub at some point. This is an attempt to cat­a­logue some of the more inter­est­ing exam­ples we’ve come across. We’ll update this page as we find new exam­ples and will add screen­shots or clips when we can.

 

An Amer­i­can Were­wolf in Lon­don (dir. John Lan­dis, 1981)

The Slaugh­tered Lamb, York­shire

When Amer­i­can direc­tor John Lan­dis filmed this sequence he was sure­ly draw­ing on his own expe­ri­ence of Eng­lish pubs, as well as the Hol­ly­wood goth­ic tra­di­tion. Fea­tures Bri­an Glover as a gar­ru­lous local; Rik May­all as a beer-spit­ting idiot; and David Schofield as an irate darts play­er. Set oop north, but with exte­ri­ors filmed in Wales, and inte­ri­ors at the Black Swan in Ock­ham, Sur­rey.

 

The Bat­tle of Britain (dir. Guy Hamil­ton, 1969)

The Jack­daw Inn, Den­ton, nr. RAF Hawkinge (spot­ted by Adri­an Tier­ney-Jones)

Squadron Leader Col­in Har­vey (Christo­pher Plum­mer) meets his wife (Susan­nah York) at the Jack­daw between sor­ties. The pub is dec­o­rat­ed with peri­od pro­pa­gan­da posters such as “Don’t Help the Ene­my! Care­less Talk May Give Away Vital Secrets”.

 

Bran­ni­gan (dir. Dou­glas Hick­ox, 1975)

The Lamb, Lead­en­hall Mar­ket, City of Lon­don (spot­ted by Craig)

Bran­ni­gan (John Wayne) is a Chica­go cop who comes to Lon­don in pur­suit of a mob­ster on the lam. Includes a fight scene filmed at the Lamb. (More infor­ma­tion, includ­ing a shot of the scene in the pub, here.)

 

 

Car­ry on Abroad (dir. Ger­ald Thomas, 1972)

Spot­ted by The Beer Nut.

Major prod­uct place­ment for Watney’s in the open­ing scenes as pub Land­lord Vic Flange (Sid James) plots to go on hol­i­day with his girl­friend (Bar­bara Wind­sor).

 

Der­by Tup (doc­u­men­tary; dir. Ian Rus­sell, 1974)

Var­i­ous pubs in Ridge­way, Der­byshire

Every year, two local lads black­en their faces and, with a third friend dressed as a pan­tomime ram, trail from pub to pub enact­ing a short musi­cal play, in exchange for tips from the pun­ters. Yes, it is pret­ty weird. Catchy tunes, though. Avail­able on Here’s a Health to the Bar­ley Mow (BFI DVD).

 

Fren­zy (dir. Alfred Hitch­cock, 1972)

The Globe and the Nell of Old Drury, Covent Gar­den

Richard Blaney, the pro­tag­o­nist of Fren­zy, spends most of his life in pubs. He works at the Globe alon­side his girl­friend Babs (Anna Massey) and under an odi­ous land­lord played by Bernard Crib­bins; and feeds his nascent alco­holism at the Nell. Lots of love­ly ear­ly 1970s pub liv­ery and decor on dis­play, as well as a chance to see Covent Gar­den when it was still a fruit and veg­etable mar­ket.

 

Get Carter (dir. Mike Hodges, 1971)

The ‘Long Bar’ (North East­ern Bar) and the Vick and Comet, New­cas­tle upon Tyne

Spot­ted by Ten Inch Wheel­er and What Would Jesus Brew?.

Carter (Michael Caine) vis­its the North East­ern bar on arriv­ing in New­cas­tle where he insists on beer in a ‘thin glass’. More detail on this scene and the loca­tions here.

 

Pass­port to Pim­li­co (dir. Hen­ry Cor­nelius, 1949)

In the clip above, the peo­ple of Pim­li­co realise the impli­ca­tions of their new­ly dis­cov­ered inde­pen­dence from Britain: no licens­ing laws! The pub can stay open as long as the land­lord wants it to and the police can go hang.

 

Por­trait of Quee­nie (doc­u­men­tary; dir. Michael Orrom, 1964)

The Iron­bridge Tav­ern, Poplar, East Lon­don

 

Quee­nie Watts was a singer and actress who also ran a pub in the East End of Lon­don with her hus­band, Slim. The doc­u­men­tary includes a long sequence set on a typ­i­cal Sat­ur­day night in the pub, with live music. Quee­nie and Slim were sup­pos­ed­ly the sub­tly con­cealed inspi­ra­tion for Ang­ie and Den, er, Watts in Eas­t­en­ders. Avail­able on Shad­ows of Progress (BFI DVD).

 

Pub (doc­u­men­tary; dir. Peter Davis, 1962)

Approach Tav­ern, Vic­to­ria Park, East Lon­don

Made for Scan­di­na­vian tele­vi­sion, this short film shows scenes from a typ­i­cal evening in the pub, with no nar­ra­tion and impres­sion­is­tic, unsyn­chro­nised sound. Very evoca­tive. Avail­able as a bonus fea­ture on Lon­don in the Raw (BFI DVD).

 

The Rail­way (doc­u­men­tary; dir. Jamie Wright, 2012)

The Rail­way, Nant­garedig, Wales

The Rail­way from Jamie Wright on Vimeo.

I believe in the impor­tance of a vil­lage pub which is essen­tial to a good life. This is the sto­ry of mine.”

 

Sat­ur­day Night and Sun­day Morn­ing (dir. Karel Reisz, 1960)

Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney) takes part in a drink­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the saloon bar of a Not­ting­ham pub (The White Horse on Ilke­ston Road, accord­ing to Alcofrol­ic Chap) and wins. He then falls down the stairs on the way out. Who says binge drink­ing is a mod­ern phe­nom­e­non?

 

Shaun of the Dead (dir. Edgar Wright, 2004)

The Win­ches­ter, Crouch End

In Dawn of the Dead, Amer­i­can zom­bie apoc­a­lypse sur­vivors holed up in a shop­ping mall; but it stands to rea­son that, in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion, British peo­ple would head to the pub. The set­ting for the bulk of the film. Set in North Lon­don, but filmed at the Duke of Albany in New Cross, in South Lon­don.

 

Sher­lock Holmes Faces Death (dir. Roy William Neill, 1943)

The Rat and Raven, Northum­ber­land

A per­fect exam­ple of the Hol­ly­wood goth­ic Eng­lish pub. There’s a talk­ing bird “fond of blood”, a sign that creaks in the wind, and, despite being set in Northum­ber­land, the bar­maid and most of the clien­tele are cock­neys.

 

Straw Dogs (dir. Sam Peck­in­pah, 1971)

Unknown pub, St. Buryan, Corn­wall (spot­ted by Alcofrol­ic Chap)

 

This pub is now a pri­vate house and a fif­teen minute bus ride from where we live. Sur­prise sur­prise, it’s anoth­er of those unfriend­ly rur­al pubs where you get the stink-eye from sin­is­ter locals. The near­by St Buryan Inn (not in the film) is very nice!

 

The Wick­er Man (dir. Robin Hardy, 1973)

The Green Man, Sum­merisle

The Green Man, much like the Slaugh­tered Lamb (An Amer­i­can Were­wolf in Lon­don) is packed with mad, unfriend­ly locals, although, in this case, they are bal­anced by the landlord’s daugh­ter, Wil­low (Britt Ekland). She likes to walk around in the buff and attempts to seduces Edward Woodward’s vir­ginal Chris­t­ian police­man. Exte­ri­ors filmed at Gate­house of Fleet, with inte­ri­ors at the Ellan­gowan Hotel, Cree­town.

 

Up the Junc­tion (dir. Peter Collinson, 1968)

The Pavil­ion, Bat­tersea

The clip above fea­tures anoth­er appear­ance from Quee­nie Watts (see Por­trait of Quee­nie, above).

 

 

With­nail & I (dir. Bruce Robin­son, 1987)

 

The Moth­er Black Cap, Cam­den

Yet anoth­er screen pub which might give the impres­sion Eng­lish booz­ers can be unfriend­ly: “I called him a ponce, and now I’m call­ing you one!”. Filmed at the Tavi­s­tock Arms in West­bourne Green, now demol­ished.

 

If you’ve got oth­er sug­ges­tions, let us know in the com­ments below.

5 thoughts on “Pubs on Film”

  1. How about The Long Bar in Get Carter?

    (Caine liked the pub so much he went in after film­ing for a drink. When he asked for a lager [which I think he does in the scene filmed there], the bar­maid said they didn’t actu­al­ly sell it because “we don’t get any lass­es in here”),

  2. There’s also a great scene in The Like­ly Lads Movie when Ter­ry and Bob are giv­en the dart­board from the Fat Ox moments before it’s demol­ished, the last build­ing left of what were end­less ter­races.

  3. In “Blue Ice” Michael Caine lives above the Globe Tav­ern in Bor­ough Mar­ket. Not sure if any scenes were filmed in the bar, but the at the time 60 year old Caine makes an ath­let­ic escape out the win­dow of the top floor. Could­n’t find any clips but type in “Blue Ice Michael Caine” in youtube for co-star Sean Young weird­ness.

    Pub was in Brid­get Jones as well but Michael Caine was­n’t so might be of lim­it­ed inter­est to most read­ers here!

  4. I’m look­ing for a 1970 doc­u­men­tary – “The Chang­ing Face of British Pubs”.
    One sec­tion was shot at the Coach & Hors­es, in Chiswick High Road, Lon­don W4, which at the time had a mas­sive water­fall and streams all around. It was also a Bernie Inn, with restrau­rants and bars on two floors.
    We were the pub band and the film fea­tured us. Obvi­ous­ly i’d love to see it
    if any­one has any rec­ol­lec­tions.

    1. Do you have any oth­er infor­ma­tion, Pat? Based on what you’ve told us, we haven’t man­aged to find any ref­er­ence to it any­where, includ­ing in the BFI archive cat­a­logue.

      Was it maybe a pro­mo­tion­al film for Bernie Inns?

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