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South Bank on Film

January 17th, 2017 | by Jennifer Edwards

South Bank on Film

Everyone loves the annual Hollywood celebration of the year’s finest films – also known as the Academy Awards! All that glitz, excitement over who will win what, who will wear what and who will regret that extra glass of champagne and make an awkwardly teary acceptance speech… We’ve decided to pay homage to the Oscars by assembling a list of fine film forays that have featured famous scenes across our fair district - South Bank. We’ve looked to world-famous films with stellar casts, but the real star is South Bank.

  • Love Actually (2003)

    Richard Curtis’ much-loved romantic comedy finds an array of stars embark on their own romantic adventure in the hope to find that special someone in time for Christmas. One of the more heartfelt storylines finds Liam Neeson recently widowed and solely responsible for his son Sam. Fearing the youngster’s mood swings are a result of his own mourning process, Neeson sits Sam down on a South Bank bench and has his fears swiftly allayed when he’s told it is in fact love (actually) that has him down in the dumps. Emotion on screen and Gabriel’s Wharf in the background make for a heart-winning scene.

    Gabriel's Wharf
  • Last Chance Harvey (2008)

    Literature, Hollywood heavyweights and a riverside institution combined for this London-based romance starring Oscar-winning duo Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. In town for his daughter’s wedding, Hoffman’s Harvey bumps into Thompson’s Kate at the airport and as feelings grow, accompanies her to her writing class at no other than the Saison Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre.

    Southbank Centre
  • Waterloo Bridge (1940)

    An entry from the golden age of Hollywood finds Robert Taylor’s soldier reminisce about his doomed relationship with double Oscar-winner Vivien Leigh’s ballerina (in her first role following the landmark Gone with the Wind). The titular bridge acts as the original meeting point for the pair, brought together as they took shelter during an air raid and becomes a key focal point of the film. Making the most of the area, the film also captures the romantic nature of old train stations as Waterloo Station becomes the setting for the couple’s unexpected reunion as returning servicemen are ecstatically greeted by their loved ones.

    Southbank Centre
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

    The film that launched a host of British stars into the upper echelons of the film world, picking up two Oscar nominations in the process, starred a fresh-faced Hugh Grant as the lovable Brit who fell for a stateside beauty in the shape of Andy MacDowell. In true bumbling fashion his declaration of love was a speech for the ages, a giddy train of thought that referenced both David Cassidy and his sexual history and almost managed to outdo the wonderful South Bank setting along Thames path with Waterloo Bridge in the background. Almost but not quite.

    Gabriel's Wharf
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

    Everybody’s favourite wizard took in the scenic delights of London for the fifth instalment of the globe-conquering franchise.  In an energetic chase along the Thames on his way to the Department of Mysteries, Harry swoops past the London Eye with the South Bank whizzing by in the background. We can’t promise you any magical powers but climb aboard the Coca-Cola London Eye for a chance to take in the impressive skyline at a more leisurely pace than Harry and co could afford to enjoy.

    Coca-Cola London Eye
  • Wimbledon (2004)

    It wasn’t so long ago that the likelihood of a Brit winning Wimbledon was as remote as Elvis turning up to perform the Superbowl half-time show but now we’ve got Andy Murray the premise of this sporting romantic comedy doesn’t seem so farfetched after all. Away from the courts of SW19, leads Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst found time to spend in SE1 as the athletic couple shared a stroll and some flirting in front of Jubilee Gardens.

    Coca-Cola London Eye
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

    We’ve all been there, making our way through a train station only to be met by a crowd bigger than your average Wembley attendance. In this super spy action thriller however, the mass of people rather comes in handy for Oscar-winner Matt Damon as he guides Paddy Considine’s journalist through the Waterloo crowds via an earpiece link-up. Avoiding the attention of a group of surly looking hitmen and the ever-present CCTV camera’s is no easy feat, especially when you add suspicious bin men into the mix. The resourceful Jason Bourne’s liberal use of shop back doors and offices is, however, not advised.

    Royal Festival Hall
  • Closer (2004)

    An A-list ensemble starred in The Graduate director Mike Nichols’ adaptation of the acclaimed stage play and the South Bank played a starry supporting role. The tale of tangled love affairs found Oscar-winner Julia Roberts meet Britain’s own Clive Owen for a riverside date and where better for this stellar rendezvous to take place than South Bank’s very own SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Sadly the impressive work of the aquatic locals failed to receive award recognition for their work.

    SEA LIFE London Aquarium
  • 28 Days Later (2002)

    In between introducing us to Glaswegian drug addicts in Trainspotting and sweeping the board at the 2009 Oscars with Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle transformed zombie movies in frenetic style for modern audiences with the thrilling 28 Days Later. Lead character Jim wakes to find a surreally deserted London after a deadly virus has broken out and finds himself wandering the sparse streets – here across Westminster Bridge with Big Ben one side and the South Bank the other. 

    London Marriott Hotel County Hall
  • Man Up (2015)

    Adding a modern spin to the rom-com genre, Man Up pairs Simon Pegg with Lake Bell on an accidental meet cute when he mistakenly takes her for his blind date after meeting under a clock at Waterloo Station. Embarking on a 24-hour tour of the capital’s hotspots the star-crossed couple settle in the South Bank as the venue of choice as they stroll across Hungerford Bridge before opting for drinks at the al fresco bar by Queen Elizabeth Hall. A fine dating venture if ever we heard one.

    Southbank Centre
  • Spectre (2015)

    Daniel Craig re-joined Academy winner Sam Mendes for a blistering new entry into the 007 pantheon in last year’s blockbusting Spectre as James Bond hunted down the enigmatic villain played with subtle menace by Oscar favourite Christoph Waltz. With the MI5 offices perched on the Thames it made perfect sense for the climactic finale to take place across the South Bank resulting in a dizzying display of set pieces and culminating in a helicopter crashing into our very own Westminster Bridge. Thankfully no landmarks were harmed in the filming.

    Royal Festival Hall

Find The Venues

  • 1 - Gabriel's Wharf

    Gabriel’s Wharf,
    56 Upper Ground,
    South Bank,
    London,
    SE1 9PP

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  • 2 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    London
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 3 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    London
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 4 - Gabriel's Wharf

    Gabriel’s Wharf,
    56 Upper Ground,
    South Bank,
    London,
    SE1 9PP

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  • 5 - Coca-Cola London Eye

    County Hall
    Riverside Building
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London SE1 7PB 

     

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  • 6 - Coca-Cola London Eye

    County Hall
    Riverside Building
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London SE1 7PB 

     

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  • 7 - Royal Festival Hall

    Address 1,
    Address 2,
    Address 3
    Postcode

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  • 8 - SEA LIFE London Aquarium

    County Hall
    Riverside Building
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London
    SE1 7PB

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  • 9 - London Marriott Hotel County Hall

    London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, South Bank London SE1 7PB

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  • 10 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    London
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 11 - Royal Festival Hall

    Address 1,
    Address 2,
    Address 3
    Postcode

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