Villain, 1971


Michael Tuchner


visit the film locations

London: Flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport


For a very different take on the story, see Peter Medak’s The Krays.

Villain location: The Assembly House, Kentish Town, London NW1

Villain location: the London boozer: The Assembly House, Kentish Town, London NW1

A miscast Richard Burton overacts as a mother-fixated gay East End gangster Vic Dakin (not a million miles away from real life thug Ronnie Kray) in this gritty, violent thriller, filmed on location around London, largely in the Nine Elms area to the south.

The local boozer, though, is the Assembly House, 292-294 Kentish Town Road at Leighton Road, Kentish Town, north London (tube: Kentish Town, Northern Line).

A burst of Victorian exuberance overlooking Kentish Town tube station, the Assembly House takes its name from the days when stagecoach travellers would gather together for the scary trip to Hampstead and the north.

The proximity of Camden keeps the place buzzing, but the recent sprucing up hasn’t destroyed its pubby old charm. A great publicity shot of the time shows Liz Taylor, visiting Burton on location, pulling pints behind the bar.

The home of Dakin’s boyfriend, Wolfe (Ian McShane), is York Mansions, Prince of Wales Road, Battersea – which was also temporary home to Chicago cop John Wayne in Brannigan.

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