London's Best Movie Bloopers: Part 2

By M@ Last edited 20 months ago
London's Best Movie Bloopers: Part 2

A geeky look at some of the best bloopers from films set in the capital.

Captain Kidd (1945)

This swashbuckling pirate flick stars Charles Laughton as the eponymous anti-hero. Though it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score, the film was never going to win an award for historical accuracy. As a case in point, the establishing shot for London (above) is dominated by Tower Bridge. Captain Kidd was executed in 1701, a whole 193 years before Tower Bridge was completed. That's like the Shard appearing in Oliver Twist.

The Long Good Friday (1980)

This superb Bob Hoskins gangster film is notable for suggesting an East London Olympics 32 years before it actually happened, as well as the unforgettable final scene in which a thwarted Hoskins contemplates his fate. It's a pretty flawless outing, save for one super-geeky blooper towards the end. Here we see Hoskins and Helen Mirren sharing a ride to the Savoy. Both their car, and a departing vehicle drive on the left when, as any London nerd knows, the Savoy is one of the few places where drivers must keep to the right-hand side.

Reign of Fire (2002)

This occasionally entertaining B-movie starts and ends in London. The story opens as a young boy walks from Trafalgar Square to a construction site, where his mum is leading the dig for a new DLR extension. The engineers tunnel too deep and uncover a hibernating dragon. Carnage ensues, the boy grows up into Christian Bale, and we can't remember what happens at the end. Something with Big Ben.

It's not entirely clear where the DLR construction site is supposed to be. The roundels on the hoardings suggest several stations, which we can only presume are part of the intended route for the DLR extension. They include Rotherhithe, Oxford Circus, Lambeth North and London Bridge. The other clue is the number 56 bus shown in the foreground (the other bus is too distant to read the number). The closest the 56 gets to the places shown in the roundels is Smithfield. Could the site be Farringdon? The most obvious visual clue, though, is the pair of tall chimneys in the background. A bit of googling reveals them to be the towers of Ringsend Power Station in Dublin. That's one hell of a DLR extension.

Skyfall (2012)

One of the better Bond films, partly because it gives a starring role to London Underground. Here we see Daniel Craig (or stunt double) preparing to leap onto a departing train. The astute tube geek will find a couple of anomalies in the shot above. First, the roundel says Temple, when this is clearly not Temple. The curvature of the tunnel reveals this as a deep-level tube line, much smaller than a sub-surface station like the real-life Temple.

Second, the train is going to Wimbledon, which means it must be on the District line (a detail later confirmed, when Bond consults an in-carriage District line map). Yet the type of carriage shown would never go to Wimbledon. It is one of the smaller trains indigenous to the deep-level lines. The goofs are explained by the filming location, which was the abandoned platforms at Charing Cross (a deep-level station).

The same tunnels are later used to represent Embankment station. Here our hero chases the Trump-haired baddie down an escalator. The pair slide down the central divide, and we're treated to a POV from Bond's groin. In real life, the space between escalators is always killjoyed by a series of sticky-uppy signs, because plenty of people would slide down the middle if they could.

See also Part 1, in which we nitpick children's films One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, One of our Dinosaurs is Missing, A Christmas Carol and Paddington.

With thanks to commenter Juno for the Captain Kidd tip.

Last Updated 05 May 2017