Back in 2012 I was doing a cinematic advent calendar and on the 7th December 2012 I posted about The Eagle has Landed.
There are quite a few films in that advent calendar that have significant memories over and above the film itself. With The Eagle has Landed I went to see it at the Aldeburgh cinema with my grandparents. Looking back I was seven (maybe eight) when I went to see it, which when you consider the current certification of 15 was way too young! What I do remember was that whenever there was a scene with blood, my grandparents would say to me, that’s tomato ketchup! I think because I saw that film at that cinema that it is one of my favourite films and in that list.
The film was set in Norfolk and partially in the Channel Islands. However, the filming of the Channel Islands and coastal scenes was mainly filmed in Cornwall. The majority of the film was in and around the fictional village of Studley Constable, these scenes were filmed in the village of Mapledurham in Oxfordshire.
In March 2014 I was driving from Oxford to Reading, and having watched the film recently and checking out IMDB for the filming locations, I realised that Mapledurham was on the way. So I set the sat nav and drove to the village. It was easy to find and I drove down to the Manor House.
I think what surprised me was how little the village had changed in the last forty years.
It still looked very much as it did in the film.
During the filming mock buildings such as shops and a pub were constructed on site in Mapledurham while interiors were filmed at Twickenham Studios.
They had added a waterwheel to the mill for filming, but apart from that it was very familiar.
I didn’t spend too long looking around, as I didn’t have enough cash for the parking meter, and I had meetings to go to.