Shutter Island

Shutter Island (2010)

The eponymous Shutter Island in Martin Scorsese’s 2010 psychological thriller was actually put together from a variety of locations, including some computer-generated scenery.

The shots of the harbour, and of the whole island during the ferry’s approach at the beginning, use Peddocks island in Boston Harbour (although even this has been enhanced in the shot above, with CGI adding higher mountains and cliffs than exist on the real island).

Peddocks Island was used by the US military as a harbour defence fort (‘Fort Andrews’) until after World War Two. There are several abandoned military buildings left over, and some of these are visible in the early shots of the characters’ arrival.

The island has camping and swimming facilities, although if you’ve seen the film, you may not be too keen on taking the family on a waterside holiday.

The Twilight Zone: Judgment Night

The Twilight Zone: Judgment Night (1959)

In Judgment Night, an episode from the first series of The Twilight Zone, the British Ship SS Queen of Glasgow makes an ill-fated voyage through the dangerous waters of the Atlantic Ocean in 1942.

One odd omission from a British vessel is any mention of tea, and this isn’t entirely by chance. The original screenplay did call feature references to the British sailor’s favoured refreshment, but they were cut.

One of the sponsors at the time was General Foods, who were selling an instant coffee called Sanka, and they objected to this reference to a rival beverage. Eventually, one line was changed to a reference only to a ‘tray for the bridge’, and elsewhere, the characters are seen drinking only coffee.

La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita (1960)

There aren’t many scenes in cinema that have reached a level as iconic as Anita Ekberg’s dip in the Trevi Fountain in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Countless tourists flock to the fountain every year, and if they don’t jump in themselves, there are probably two good reasons for this. One is that the local council now puts bleach in the water, and the other is that the scene wasn’t really filmed at the real fountain.

Instead, the Trevi Fountain scene was shot at a recreation of the fountain on a lot at Rome’s Cinecitta studios, a few miles south of the real thing.

If this made the filming more convenient, it didn’t make it any more pleasant for the two stars: the scene was shot in winter, and Marcello Mastroianni needed both a wetsuit under his tuxedo and a bottle of vodka to prepare himself for the icy waters of the fountain, while Ekberg was wearing thigh-length waders under her dress.

Went the Day Well?

Went the Day Well? (1942)

Alberto Cavalcanti’s remarkable 1942 propaganda film Went the Day Well? tells the story of a small English village that finds itself unexpectedly overrun by Nazis (but not by Christopher Lee).

The village chosen for filming was Turville in Buckinghamshire. Today it still has a population of only 311, and is a popular filming location, especially for detective shows: Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and Jonathan Creek have all been filmed here.

Turville also provided exteriors for The Vicar of Dibley, and other big-screen appearances include Ealing’s Dead of Night (also directed by Cavalvanti), and more recently, An Education.

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

When Zhivago returns home from not-quite meeting Lara on a tram in Lean’s epic, as he opens the door of his house, a slightly ghostly reflection appears in the glass window of the vestibule.

The reflection is often thought to be David Lean himself. A blown-up, lightened image (right) suggests that the figure may have a beard, though that could just be a result of the image processing.

It does look a little like David Lean, but it’s by no means definitely him; it could be anybody. The position also looks a little posed, raising the possibility that it’s the reflection of a portrait hanging on the wall as set dressing.