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12 British Film Facts You Need To Know

Brits love a good movie - but how well do you know your stuff? Get up to speed on these little-known British movie facts, brought to you in partnership with American Express®.

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1. Britain made some of the FIRST-EVER movies

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Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) - as seen above - was filmed in Leeds and is certified as the oldest surviving movie. The plot's pretty simple though — people basically walk around a garden.

2. It's said that after seeing Dr. No (1962), author Ian Fleming rewrote James Bond's backstory to make him more Scottish.

Getty Images/iStockphoto nikitos77

3. It's estimated there are only eight UK military ambulances from WWII in the world... and they all appeared in Atonement (2007).

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4. In Withnail & I (1987), the real name of the "I" character played by Paul McGann is Marwood.

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Eagle-eyed viewers will spot the name on an envelope in one scene.

5. Britain's first cinema was the Regent Street Cinema in London, which opened its doors on 21 February 1896.

Though back then 'trailers' were just things you put behind a horse.
Wikipedia / CC / Via en.wikipedia.org

Though back then 'trailers' were just things you put behind a horse.

6. It's never said on screen, but in Shaun of the Dead (2004), Shaun's full name is Shaun Riley.

And he used to DJ under the name of Shaun "Smiley" Riley according to a poster in his living room. Hence the attachment to that first pressing of "Blue Monday."
Shutterstock

And he used to DJ under the name of Shaun "Smiley" Riley according to a poster in his living room. Hence the attachment to that first pressing of "Blue Monday."

7. A whopping 2.8 tons of Plasticine were used in the making of 2005's Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

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That's roughly the same weight as an adult giraffe.

8. Legend has it a few snakes used in filming Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) escaped, and their descendants still live on the grounds of a London film studio.

"Snakes... why'd it have to be snakes?'
Thinkstock

"Snakes... why'd it have to be snakes?'

9. To shoot scenes for 28 Days Later (2002), the crew had police slow traffic on the M1 on a Sunday morning.

With 10 cameras, they got one minute of usable footage in two hours. In two words: worth it.
Getty Images/iStockphoto Todoruk

With 10 cameras, they got one minute of usable footage in two hours. In two words: worth it.

10. Richard Curtis got the idea for Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) after reading old diaries and realising he’d been to 72 weddings in 10 years.

11. Apparently, the working title for The Full Monty (1997) was Eggs, Beans and Chippendales.

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12. During the climactic chase of The Italian Job (1969), the three minis stay in the colour order of red, white and blue - the colours of the union flag.

Maisna/Maisna

Indulge your inner movie fan and see the best new cinema from Britain and around the world at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express from October 8th – 19th.

Please note, the content shared in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of American Express.

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