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Cornwall on the silver screen

Combine the county’s vast dramatic landscapes with its cosy quaint villages, winding cobbled streets and sheltered harbours, and it’s a film maker’s dream.

Over the years Cornwall has continued to capture the imagination of the film industry and has been used as a movie backdrop for the last 90 years! Why not visit some of the locations yourself while on holiday here or plan to watch one of the films as holiday viewing and spot some of the local scenery!

Here are some of the stand-out movies that have been filmed in Cornwall over the last century:

Street of Abandoned Children (1929)

Records show that Charlestown Harbour (probably the most popular of Cornish film locations) was first used in 1929 in a silent movie called Street of Abandoned Children.

The Manxman (1929)

Contrary to the title, this silent Alfred Hitchcock drama was mostly shot in North Cornwall and Polperro, with only two scenes filmed on the Isle of Man.

Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

Falmouth Docks featured in this film based on the true story of the famous British explorer’s 1912 expedition and his quest to be the first to reach the South Pole.

Treasure Island (1949)

Disney first used the Duchy as a film location 70 years ago for Treasure Island, shot on the River Fal, Carrick Roads, and Gull Rock.

Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

The Fab Four brought Beatles fever to Cornwall in the late ‘60s, filming at the Atlantic Hotel and Towan Beach in Newquay and also in Bodmin.

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter, Donald Sutherland… big names feature in this well-known war movie which was filmed at Charlestown beach and harbour, Newquay Airport (then RAF St Mawgan), around Newquay and on the sand dunes at Rock.

Dracula (1979)

The classic Bram Stoker vampire story starring Laurence Olivier was filmed at several locations in Cornwall including Crinnis Beach at Carlyon Bay, Camelot Hotel in Tintagel (as Dr Seaward’s asylum), Mevagissey (as the harbour where Dracula boards a ship), St Just, St Austell and St Michael’s Mount (as Carfax Abbey).

Omen III. The Final Conflict (1981)

Horror fans take note! The last of the Omen series was filmed in the Luxulyan Valley and Penrice near St Austell, at Roche Rock (as the deserted church on the moor) and also Prideaux Place, Padstow.

Never Say Never Again (1983)

This 007 film, starring Sean Connery as James Bond, featured a scene where two guided missiles fly over the countryside and out to sea, filmed over West Cornwall and St Michael’s Mount.

The Witches (1990)

A brilliant adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic which starred Angelica Houston, Rowan Atkinson and Jane Horrocks, was filmed at the iconic Headland Hotel in Newquay.

Blue Juice (1995)

A classic surf film, starring Ewan McGregor, Catherine Zeta Jones and Sean Pertwee. Filming took place in many different places in Cornwall including Mousehole, St Erth, Kynance Cove, and also Blue Hills in Trevellas – just down the road from us here at Duchy Holidays in Perranporth!

Die Another Day (2002)

Bond was back in Cornwall in the official guise of Pierce Brosnan when scenes in the opening sequence (supposedly Korea) were shot at Holywell Bay. In addition the biomes of the Eden Project were used for some of the images of the villain’s ice palace.

Ladies in Lavender (2004)

A British drama written and directed by Charles Dance, Ladies in Lavender stars Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, and was filmed in various Cornish locations including Cadgwith, Helston, St Ives and the beautiful Prussia Cove.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Tim Burton used Antony House near Torpoint for the garden party scenes in his adaptation of the much loved Lewis Carroll tale and filmed the harbour scenes in Charlestown.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Elements of the fourth instalment in the popular Pirates of the Caribbean series of films, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, were shot in St Ives. It’s rumoured that Johnny Depp even enjoyed a pint or two in The Sloop Inn during filming!

World War Z (2013)

The adaptation of Max Brooks’ gripping Sci Fi story about a zombie pandemic stars none other than Brad Pitt on an epic quest to save humanity and was partly filmed in Falmouth.

About Time (2013)

Richard Curtis’ romantic tale starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, was filmed in London and Cornwall. The family home of protagonist time traveller Tim was filmed at the beautiful Porthpean House near St Austell, the beach below the house, and the pretty village of Portloe on the Roseland Peninsula.

Fisherman’s Friends (2019)

The main filming location was Port Isaac for this years’ cinema hit Fisherman’s Friends – the home of the famous singers. The harbour is known locally as The Platt and it is here that the Fisherman’s Friends gathered to sing their songs of the sea. 25 years ago the group began singing for fun on Friday nights in their local, The Golden Lion, and the 18th century pub features heavily in the film.

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