Monday, 17 January 2011


On its way to be a smash hit.
I have not yet been to see it but clearly The King's Speech is on its way to be a smash hit.  Readers of this blog will want to know that Drapers' Hall substitutes for Buckingham Palace, as it has done in a number of other films.  There is an agreable symmetry in this as George VI was an honorary freeman of the Company. 

The filming was quite recent and only took a weekend with a follow-up day to tidy up loose ends.

Some publicity material for Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Another recent film was Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.  Try Wikipedia if you want a resume of the plot but in summary it is about a 15 year old who joins the CIA and has adventures.   In Cody Banks 2 the Livery Hall is the locale for a great dinner - the finale of the film. A huge number of extras were dressed as ambassadors, generals, clergymen.  The sight of actors in their full costume taking a surreptitious fag in Throgmorton Avenue was an arresting sight.

Probably one of the most interesting developments in recent times has been the search by Bollywood for locations outside India.  Those who have sat for hours on buses in India with a worn out video screeching away will recall that twenty years ago Kashmir or Kerala were deemed highly exotic locations.  Today Bollywood reflects a much more widely travelled Indian public and also the realities of worldwide distribution. 

Locations in Britain are now popular.  Loch Lomond is apparently at the top of the list but the Hall has also featured.  Quite how the plots are structured remains a mystery.  Most are largely episodic with the hero and heroine singing a duet to be joined by a mass of singers and dancers that is followed by yet another unexplained scene change with more singing and dancing.  Great escapist stuff. 

One of the recent Bollywood films that used the Hall was Veer, the Epic Story of a Warrior which was memorably described by Frank Lovece in Film Journal International on the lines that 'Bollywood fans more accustomed to modern-day musical romances or stylish crime thrillers will be pleasantly surprised to find a period piece that's more Xena: Warrior Princess than A Passage to India.' Go enjoy!

Back to The King's Speech, I hope it will do well at the Oscars shortly.


  1. Fascinating! I had no idea that the Hall had been used for such a variety of film scenes! It's intriguing to think that it can out-sumpt an Indian palace when needed!

  2. I like the word out-sumpt very much. A neoligism that I am sure can be widely used.

    Also the Hall was used in a recent James Bond film to be a Russian Palace. Perhaps we should re-brand as 'Palaces R Us'?

    Also good to see The King's Speech doing so well at the Oscars and and almost certain winner for Colin Firth. I hope by suggesting such a thing I have not scuppered his chances!

    Rosemary and I must be one of the last people in Britain who has not seen thev film. We tried to rectify this by going to the Angel Cinema in Devizes last night. Remarkably, for a cinema where a few people normally comprise the entire audience, it was full house. Even though we arrived a good time before the start we could not get in. We shall try again next week.