The Long Good Friday, 1980
- Bob Hoskins
- Helen Mirren
- Derek Thompson
- Paul Freeman
- PH Moriarty
- Eddie Constantine
- Paul Barber
- Alan Ford
- Kevin McNally
visit the film locations
Paddington Station, Praed Street, W2 (tube: District; Circle; Hammersmith & City; and Bakerloo Lines)
Stay at the Savoy Hotel, 1 Savoy Hill, on the Strand (tel: 020.7836.4343)
Eat Italian at Ask, 56-60 Wigmore Street (tel: 020.7935 2336) alongside Easley’s Mews or at Villa Elephant on the River, 135 Grosvenor Road (tel: 020 7834.1621)
The Long Good Friday filming location: Harold Shand meets the American mobsters: The Savoy, the Strand, London
The ultimate ‘London film’? Perhaps. The Long Good Friday is certainly one of the few British thrillers that can stand up against the best from the US, as gangland boss Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) is unwittingly caught up in shady deals with the IRA.
The Long Good Friday filming location: ‘Fagan’s’, the ‘Irish ’ pub: The Salisbury, Harringay, north London
The film opens in ‘Northern Ireland’, with Shand’s right-hand man Colin (Paul Freeman) getting involved in some very shady financial dealing. In fact, the movie was shot entirely in London (with a little ‘Irish’ scenery shot in Scotland) and ‘Fagan’s’, the bar in which Colin hits on the doomed Irish lad, is Grade II listed boozer The Salisbury, Green Lanes, at the corner of St Ann’s Road, in Harringay, north London.
Its slightly faded ambience can also be seen in Richard Attenborough’s biopic Chaplin, and more recently, the pub appears under its own name as the big, bustling pub where Miranda Richardson looks for Gabriel Byrne in David Cronenberg’s Spider.
The Long Good Friday filming location: Mrs Benson collects her husband’s body from the railway station: Paddington Station, Praed Street, Paddington, London
Mrs Benson collects the body of her murdered husband from Paddington Station. The station, serving Worcester and the West of England, is one of the truly great railway buildings, consisting of three vast arched spaces as awe-inspiring as any cathedral.
Take a moment to admire the swirling ironwork of the arches and the almost Moorish balconies. The station was built in 1853 from designs by the ubiquitous Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It’s now the terminus for the Heathrow Express, which will whisk you off to London’s main air terminal at top speed every 15 minutes.
The station can be seen in 1947 suspenser The October Man, with John Mills. In John Schlesinger’s 1965 satire Darling, Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde lie to their respective partners from a phone box in the station, before sneaking off to a hotel; and in Layer Cake, Daniel Craig meets hitman Mr Lucky.
No trains run to the south coast from Paddington Station, but it’s so damn photogenic that Jimmy (Phil Daniels) catches a Brighton train here after crashing his beloved scooter in Quadrophenia. Paddington Station is briefly glimpsed in Performance, but the buffet where Chas (James Fox) – on the lam after a spot of freelance violence – overhears the address of Turner Purple (Mick Jagger), was that at Olympia Station in West Kensington.
The Aegean Pools, 2 Hale Lane, Mill Hill, NW7, was the dive pool where Colin performs high dives, before he’s offed by a young Pierce Brosnan, in his first screen appearance – though the murder was filmed in Ladywell Leisure Centre, Lewisham High Street (tel: 020 8690.2123; rail: Ladywell). The Aegean is no longer open.
The Long Good Friday filming location: Harold Shand's mum nearly gets blown up: St Patrick’s Church, Green Bank, Wapping, London
St Patrick’s Church, Green Bank, off Dundee Street, running south to Wapping High Street, is the site of the Good Friday service, where Harold Shand’s mum narrowly escapes being blown up, triggering the rest of the chain of events (the church interior was used).
The street runs down to the Thames near Wapping New Stairs at a stretch known as the Pool of London which, not surprisingly, was the backdrop to Basil Dearden’s 1951 semi-documentary drama Pool of London, shot around the then bomb-damaged and now largely rebuilt area. It was on the riverfront here that the ‘Lion and Unicorn’ pub was built – and blown up.
The Long Good Friday filming location: Erroll the Grass gets cut up: Villa Road, Brixton, London
Much of the action, of course, centres around London’s St Katherine’s Dock, just downstream from Tower Bridge, where Shand’s yacht is moored.
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