Lights, Camera, Action here’s 15 movies you didn’t know we’re filmed in Liverpool
It’s no wonder us scousers love to glam up, our city has been the toast of Hollywood for years.
Liverpool is no stranger to the movie business, we’ve been all over it since the birth of the British Film Industry and with ‘Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool’ (the dramatization of the true story of legendary actress, Gloria Grahame, and her fling with the city) due out this November, we thought we’d find out more about the Hollywood hits that we’re filmed right here in our sensational city.
The Liverpool Film Office are doing wonders for us and you can find out more about them here.
1 – Chariots of Fire (1981)
This iconic sports film used several locations across Merseyside and Liverpool. The Bebington Oval was used as the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir in Paris and Woodside Ferry terminal stood in for Dover. Although many of the beach scenes were shot in St. Andrews in Scotland, additional running scenes were also filmed on the beach in New Brighton.
2 – The Hunt for Red October (1989)
The Hunt for Red October filmmakers chose areas of Liverpool to represent Cold War Moscow. As Moscow was still undergoing a political transition at the time that the film was being shot, it was too difficult to obtain permits to film actual scenes there. Whilst much of the film was shot in Paramount’s own filming lot, Liverpool stood in for a lot of the outdoor scenes. William Brown Street was even covered in artificial snow to help to give it the extra Moscow edge.
3 – In The Name Of The Father (1993)
Based on the true story of the ‘Guilford Four’, this biopic stars three-time Oscar Winner, Daniel Day-Lewis, and follows the court case of those wrongly convicted of the IRA’S 1974 Guilford pub bombings. The seven time Oscar nominated film was partly filmed in the glorious settings of St. George’s Hall.
4 – Backbeat (1994)
It will be no surprise that there have been one or two films made about the rise of the cities largest musical export. This biopic particularly focuses on their time in Hamburg, however it obviously holds Liverpool as the main setting of the story.
5 – 51st State aka Formula 51 (2001)
If you’re from Merseyside, then you’ve probably been sat down to watch this cult classic. Starring Robert Carlyle as rough and ready scouser who, against his will, has to work along side Samuel L. Jackson’s chemistry whizz, this tale of the drug trade not only uses Liverpool in which to film, but it’s the setting of much of the action. Keen eyed locals will spot a car chase that spans across the city as a corner taken on the docklands is then cut to a shot of Victoria Street.
6 – Al’s Lads (2002)
Released in the US as Capone’s Boys, this movie follows three British seamen, all Scousers, working as waiters on a transatlantic liner in 1927. They are given a chance to work for the Al Capone gang after running booze into America during the Prohibitions era. This time Liverpool doubles as another major US city, Chicago.
7 – Alfie (2004)
Liverpool often takes the place of US cities such as New York and Chicago, with Jude Law’s incarnation of Alfie being one in a long line to use our cityscape as the streets of New York. This remake used various UK destinations to act as NYC, with Liverpool and Manchester being the main UK cities.
8 – Millions (2004)
When you think of Danny Boyle you probably think of Trainspotting in Scotland, Slumdog Millionaire in India, 28 Days Later in London or The Beach on…well, that’s the point. However, one of Boyle’s lesser known features is a Speilbergian, family friendly Sci-Fi, Millions, was filmed throughout the city. A must for Boyle fans.
9 – The Dark Knight (2008)
Arguably Christopher Nolan’s most iconic creation, parts of Liverpool were used to represent Gotham City in this super hero sequel. It is reported that the cinematographers were particularly drawn to Liverpool’s picturesque waterfront, with the business district a particular target.
10 – Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Jude Law returns to the city to shoot what is often heralded as one of Guy Ritchie’s best films of recent years. Much of the action was filmed in Liverpool and, eagle-eyed viewers will be able to spot Stanley Dock, and Clarence Dock, dressed up as Victorian era London. Liverpool, once again, posing as the perfect stunt double.
11 – Nowhere Boy (2009)
Another tale from The Beatles’ early years, Nowhere Boy follows Aaron Johnson as John Lennon as he creates his first bands, The Quarrymen, and their evolution into The Beatles. This book is based on the biography written by Lennon’s half-sister, Julia Baird and allows Liverpool to, this time, acting as itself.
12 – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (2010)
The J.K Rowling wizard series has become known for having almost every British actor or actress in it, and that is the same when it comes to sets with Liverpool being one of many locations used to create this enthralling universe centred around the UK.
13 – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Another super-hero blockbuster, another New York stunt double. Stanley Dock was used in the first part of the original Avenger’s origin story, this time masquerading as the Brooklyn docklands.
14 – Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
The Fast & Furious saga has been one of Hollywood’s most successful franchises for the last 16 years. Although one of the biggest set piece car chases in the sixth instalment was set in a tunnel in London, it was actually filmed in our very own Queensway Tunnel.
15 – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
When Kenneth Branagh isn’t starring in Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster, he is directing. One of his most action packed flicks, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, used the Queensways tunnel side entrance to double as New York’s Wall Street underpass. Other locations used include the Docklands and Duke Street.