Wine & Food

    Colin Firth in Kingsman (Shutterstock)

    The London pubs made famous by film

    9 October 2020

    When it comes to cinema, London rightly counts itself as one of the most recognisable cities in the world. But it isn’t just red buses and Big Ben that have been immortalised on screen. The good old British boozer has had its turn too.

    Here’s our guide to the London pubs you might have seen elsewhere:

    John Wayne

    Six years on from True Grit, John Wayne headed here to star in detective thriller Brannigan. The obligatory bar brawl – in which old Duke manages to trash the place – takes place in the Lamb Tavern by Leadenhall Market.

    Alfred Hitchcock

    Three decades after moving to Hollywood, Leytonstone boy Alfred Hitchcock returned to London in the early 70s for his penultimate film – a serial killer flick called Frenzy.

    The film’s hero, played by Jon Finch, fights to clear his name after being falsely accused of the killings having been sacked from his job at The Globe in Covent Garden. It’s now the Bow Street Tavern, opposite the Royal Opera House.

    Robert Downey Jr.

    Robert Downey Junior in ‘Chaplin’ (Shutterstock)

    The gigantic Salisbury Hotel – a Grade II-listed pub in Haringey – makes an appearance alongside Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren in The Long Good Friday – although it’s billed as being in Belfast.

    The same pub crops up 12 years later in the 1992 film Chaplin – where Robert Downey Jr’s stars as the titular entertainer struggling to win over the locals.

    Rene Zellweger

    In her debut film outing back in 2001, Helen Fielding’s famous singleton Bridget Jones lives in a flat above the Globe Tavern – just a stone’s throw from Borough Market.

    Bridget Jones’s digs above The Globe Tavern, Borough

    Judi Dench

    In a slightly darker offering, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett share a drink at Clerkenwell’s The Crown in the film adaptation of Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal.

    Carey Mulligan

    Maida Vale’s charming Crocker’s Folly – now a Lebanese restaurant – features in the screen version of Lynn Barber’s memoir An Education, which helped launch Carey Mulligan to stardom.

    A favourite for Oscar Wilde films  – Crocker’s Folly in Maida Vale

    The pub has previously appeared in Oliver Beatty’s Oscar-winning Reds and two of Oliver Walker’s acclaimed Oscar Wilde adaptations (The Importance Of Being Earnest and Dorian Gray).

    Guy Ritchie

    If there’s a genre of film that appreciates a good pub, it’s the classic gangland thriller – and London boasts plenty of those.

    The Royal Oak in Bethnal Green – just off Columbia Road – doubles as the deathwish cocktail bar Samoan Joe’s in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

    Colin Firth

    Colin Firth throws punches in Kennington’s The Black Prince in violent spy comedy, Kingsman, whereas hardman Vinnie Jones stares down assassins in Lambeth’s Jolly Gardeners during his turn in crime caper Snatch.

    Tom Hardy

    Tom Hardy enjoys a drink in Legend (Photo: Shutterstock)

    Tom Hardy’s dual outing as both Kray twins in Legend sees him spilling blood in Wapping’s Turner’s Old Star – though it’s not one of the several pubs associated with the brothers in real life.

    Men in Black

    The art nouveau Blackfriar – by the bridge of the same name – serves as a secret entrance to the London-headquarters of Men in Black in the franchise’s latest instalment.

    Blackfriar played host to Will Smith in Men in Black

    Mission Impossible

    Tom Cruise finds time for a quiet pint at the Anchor Bankside – just east of Southwark Bridge – in his first Mission Impossible encounter. And in last year’s Fast & Furious outing, Jason Statham’s character keeps his sports cars underneath the Carpenters Arms in Bethnal Green.

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Meanwhile Bohemian Rhapsody – a serious box-office smash for Britain back in 2018 – has a scene filmed outside Hammersmith’s much-loved Rutland Arms, where Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury tries to charm the pop impresario John Reid.

    Harry Potter

    Meanwhile, the door to Harry Potter’s Leaky Cauldron can be found at 42 Bull’s Head Passage in the City. Sadly, it isn’t a pub in real life – but there is a Wetherspoons opposite (The Crosse Keys).