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London: A City That Inspires

Ten films that encapsulate the capital

Written by . Published on November 23rd 2011.

London: A City That Inspires

THERE are many great films that have used London as a backdrop. Picking a definitive list is tough and will invariably involve omitting some classic films. Anyway, here’s our favourite top ten London films. Hope you agree over a few – if not, use the rant section below to have your say about your favourite London films.


1.      Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Guy Richie’s London gangster caper is fairly violent in parts but there are plenty of comedy moments.

Memorable scene: Zorba the Greek plays as two rival gangs get ready for a major guns blazing showdown with a Shakespearean ending.

Best line:  Big Chris: “Just one more thing…it’s been emotional.”


2.     Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

The relationship between a kind-hearted Nigerian doctor and a young Turkish girl against a backdrop of harsh realities that is London life.

Memorable scene: Okwe and Senay get tearful at the airport.

Best line: Guo Y: “If I had the courage I would sell a kidney. Just to get out of here.”


3.     Closer (2004)

Patrick Marber’s hit play transfers well to the big screen. Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman get tangled up in relationship games.

Memorable scene: At the strip club, Alice is seriously diverting, while Larry is appropriately sleazy.

Best line: When Dan questions Larry’s knowledge of affairs of the heart, Dan shouts back “Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, wrapped in blood!”


4.     Naked (1993)

Mike Leigh’s bleak and dark London drama is worth watching just for a David Thewlis’ tour de force as the relentless wise-cracking anti-hero Johnny.

Memorable scene: Sandra trying to handle the chaos when she first arrives back at the house. Very funny.

Best line: Johnny:  “I've got an infinite number of places to go, the problem is where to stay.”



5.     About a Boy (2002)

An unlikely relationship between a confirmed good time bachelor and a bullied kid with an unstable mother leads to changes in both their lives.

Memorable scene: Will going solo singing ‘Killing me Softly’. 

Best line: Will: “Some men are islands. I’m an island, I’m bloody Ibiza!”




6.     Nil by Mouth (1997)

Gary Oldman’s debut as a writer/director, based on his own experiences of working class South London life, produced one of the most memorable and best British films of the decade.

Memorable scene: Raymond opens up to Mark about what his father was like.

Best line: Valerie: “Jesus, I mean, after all that, you must really hate me”.



7.     Harry Brown (2009)

Thirty-eight years after the seminal Get Carter, Michael Caine delivers a masterclass as the elderly, widowed ex-serviceman fighting back.

Memorable scene: Harry calmly talking to a drug dealer he has just shot, about his army experiences before finishing of the job.

Best line: When D.I. Frampton tells Harry that it’s not Northern Island, Harry responds: “

No it's not. Those people were fighting for something; for a cause. To them out there, this is just entertainment.”



8.     10 Rillington Place (1971)

Seriously chilling movie about the life and crimes of creepy, manipulative serial killer John Christie.

Memorable scene: Evans is sentenced to death by hanging and Christie bursts out with crocodile tears.

Best line: Christie: “It's the moral question that concerns me, the taking of life – no matter how rudimentary.”




9.     An Education (2009)

Big time breakout movie for Carey Mulligan based on the memoirs of journalist Lynn Barber and screenplay by Nick Hornby.

Memorable scene: Jack is contrite as he confesses his fears to Jenny.

Best line: Jack: “Knowing a famous author is better than becoming one. It shows you're connected.”



10.  Notting Hill (1999)

Fairytale rom com as hapless book shop owner meets famous Hollywood actress.

Memorable scene: Spike thanking god after finding Anna in the bath tub at home. 

Best line: Spike: “I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box, though.”


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AnonymousNovember 24th 2011.

Rock 'n' Rolla needs to be on this

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