Friday, 23 March 2007

Location, location, location.

I’m always pleased when I see in a TV program or film a place I know, but I am even more amused when it’s transposed to a different location.

Last night on ITV1, in The Bill a police car is seen speeding along Wormwood Street, in the City of London, with the “Gherkin” Swiss Re Tower in the background, to turn a corner allegedly into a square, only to draw up at Victoria Embankment Gardens over a mile away. That wasn’t the only occasion the good folk of Sun Hill had a problem with geography. The suspect was reported to be at Charing Cross Station only we, see Smithy searching for him in Liverpool Street Station - what the heck they’re both stations!

In the 1962 film “Only Two Can Play” Peter Sellers is seen boarding a bus outside the main library in Swansea to go on the short journey to Town Hill. People in West Wales were puzzled why the bus is seen doing a detour, for there it was 15 miles from its supposed route, going around the roundabout in front of Llanelli Town Hall.

But I consider the classic geographical manipulation occurred in John Wayne’s 1975 “Brannigan”. Jim Brannigan is an Irish Chicago cop who goes to London in search of an American racketeer who fled the United States to avoid appearing in front of a grand jury. In one scene John Wayne is seen driving a big red Cadillac convertible, which looks more like an aircraft career than a car. The car drives south over Tower Bridge - south is the preferred direction for film makers as it allows them to show the Tower in the background. Leaving the bridge the car immediately enters Trafalgar Square - YesBut now that really is slick driving, even for John Wayne.