Challenge, The

Date: 1960
Director: John Gilling
Production Company: Alexandra

Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Anthony Quayle, Carl Möhner
Location(s): Hampshire, London, Middlesex

Region(s): ,


After serving time for robbery, a gang member’s son is held to ransom when he recovers the stolen loot.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by John Tunstill.

Also known as ‘It Takes a Thief’ (US Title)


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Piccadilly, London, the old Coca-Cola advert.

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Peter took this shot of the same location, along with the bottom of a new Coke advert.

Piccadilly Circus again, was that regal profile mine I wonder?

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Another from Peter who advises that this is looking towards Coventry Street with the former London Pavilion cinema now stripped of its advertisements.

The Talk of the Town, London.

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No titles in this shot from Peter.

Corner, whose corner? One of Lyons Corner Houses?

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Peter found the same corner, and advises that it was indeed a Lyon's Corner House at junction of Coventry Street and Rupert Street W1. This is looking west towards Piccadilly Circus. The building now houses a seafood restaurant.

Looking towards Leicester Square, from Piccadilly Circus, or are we looking down Piccadilly?

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No, we are looking up Shaftesbury Ave with Piccadilly Circus behind us. The Globe theatre on the left which is now The Gielgud. (RL)

Nice columns at the back. wonder where they are? Wonder no longer, Clive Turner reveals it to be St Stephen, Walbrook, London immediate right, followed by the Mansion House with the Nat West Bank on Poultry as a background. (RL)

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To support Clive's identification.(RL)

More, but different pillars.

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Walbrook, London EC4 looking south with St. Stephen to the left, almost a reverse POV to image 06. (RL)

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A block of flats.

A church on the right. Lancaster Gate and what was Christ Church, now "Spire House". Also seen in 'Booby Trap' and 'The Knack . . . and How to Get It'. (RL)

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It was a challenge to make out the grainy screen capture but this is what it looks like in daylight. (PW)

A suburban street that could almost be anywhere. The studio which was used for the filming was Teddington so could Teddington be the location? Not quite, this is Hamilton Road in Brentford facing the corner of Westbury Place.

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Best possible shot given the parked cars. (RL)

Flats, appartments.

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Grove End Road at the junction Finchley Road, London NW8 but no "getta way cars" today. (RL)

The gang escape after the "suburban" bank robbery. A305, Richmond Road at the junction with Beaufort Road, Twickenham TW1. (RL)

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The corner shop is now a residence. (RL)

Yes, you got it, and so did I, for once. The Scrubs.

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Not quite the right angle until someone has cause to visit or revisit. (RL)

Interesting long low building at the back. The road is Brook Road South and low building is one of the stands of Brentford FC's ground which is also seen in 'The Rainbow Jacket' and 'The Great Game'.

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Re-developed B.F.C. ground (RL)

Blank wall, pub? on the right and note the fence on the left. The pub is The Royal Oak which still stands on New Road in Brentford, Middlesex and this is the corner of Brook Lane North and New Road.

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Parked cars dictated a slightly closer shot. (RL)

Same pub, and the blank wall has the sign, something Lane North. The location was also seen in 'The Rainbow Jacket' and is at the junction of Brook Lane North, Brook Road South, Hamilton Road and New Road in Brentford. Behind the Royal Oak public house stands Brentford FC's ground.

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One of Brentford F.C's floodlights can be seen far left. (RL)

A school.Neil Rigby identifies this as what is now St. Paul's C of E Primary School, St Paul's Road, Brentford TW80NB. (RL)

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The new school fence rather dictates the comparative angle. (RL)

......of which this is another view.

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There is no free access area in that position now. (RL)

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.......and around the side.

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West London? The building on the right has Police Station carved into the fascia..."This is Paddington Police Station looking towards Bishop's Bridge Road. Compare the wall and buildings in the distance to The Blue Lamp 096" Thank you, Martin Green (SJ)

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Yes, Paddington Green Police Station, on the Harrow Road, looking towards Bishop's Bridge Road, look at 'The Blue Lamp' and also '23 Paces to Baker Street'. The building was demolished in 1965 to make way for the Westway.

A walkway leading down from a bridge? Bob Trimmer believes this to be near the bridge over the Grand Union Canal locks at Brentford which is backed up by Bernard O'Donnell who recognises the same location.

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And backed up with a "now" shot albeit from ground level. (RL)

Same stairway. with water on the right. A dock, a boatyard? Bernard O'Donnell and Bob Trimmer locate this as the Grand Union Canal's Brentford Lock near High Street in Brentford.

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Now a considerably less commercial setting. (RL)

The stairway, from a different angle. Brentford Lock on the Grand Union Canal identified by Bernard O'Donnell and Bob Trimmer.

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The stairway remains the same. (RL)

Looking eastward on High Street, Brentford with The Six Bells public house to the left of centre and the tower of St. Lawrence's Church beyond.

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St. Lawrence's Church is now boarded up and canal side re-development has taken place. (RL)

Once, more elegant structures.

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A speedy ident from Geoff Dodd looking towards the junction of Exhibition Road and Princes Gardens. (RL)

Seemingly opposite 025, but not! Actually, Princes Gate Court, Exhibition Road, London SW7 - See 048n (RL)

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And the remnants of that title remain on the post. (RL)

Princes Gate Court, Exhibition Road, London SW7 - See 048n

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More a gated community now. (RL)

A signal box, probably on the Longmoor Military Railway. Is it still there?

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An up to date photo from Chris Churcher answers the question, NO! (RL)

A corner shop, on the left. Terraced houses behind with enclosed front gardens. Hamilton Road, Brentford in Middlesex.

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I seriously thought that the white van would eventually move...........but they just sat there! (RL)

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Panning right. Still Hamilton Road.

.....and right again. Same street seen in 010? Yes, Hamilton Road in Brentford.

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Don't even try and find a parking place. (RL)

Now we have moved to the right, across the road.

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Barely room to move anywhere now. (RL)

Now I told you to pay attention. The same house and fencing at the corner of Hamilton Road and Brook Lane North as seen in image 014.

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This is now a conservation area. (RL)

The house previously seen with the criss-cross fencing on top of a brick wall is the house behind the two central figures and whilst you're squinting at them don't forget Cottle's store on the right. Again we're at the crossroads of Brook Lane North, Brook Road South, Hamilton Road and New Road in Brentford.

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The demise of another corner shop. (RL)

Very similar view of the junction of Brook Lane North, Brook Road South, Hamilton Road and New Road.

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A similar view 57 years on. (RL)

Reverse POV. The house with the fence is on the left and another corner shop appears just after, perhaps it was a branch of Arkwright's Open All Hours. The white wall has been seen before in capture 014 and Cottle's store should be under the white advertising sign on the right. Facing eastward on Hamilton Road in Brentford.

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The reverse POV now. (RL)

A pub and adjoining buildings.

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Whether or not the telephone box was real it is not there now. (RL)

Another view.

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And another view from me as well. (RL)

Another view.

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It was too early in the day for me to gather a crowd. (RL)

.......and the last one, I promise, and of course it is the Deers Hut in Liphook, Hampshire, close to the Longmoor Military Railway.

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Lastly, to prove that it is indeed The Deers Hut, Liphook. (RL)

A substantial house but under windowed.

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Location found by James Churcher....... from memory! On Longmoor Military Railway land GPS 51°5'3" N 0°52'28" W. It would certainly seem that the lack of windows was an element of the film. (RL)

Portico on the right, flats at the back and Jayne Mansfield in the middle. Princes Gate Court, Exhibition Road, London SW7 - See 048n

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I was lucky enough to be passing by as the automatic gates were opening to let in a car so I nipped in, took a shot and made my escape before I was trapped. SJ

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Seriously poor quality housing, now probably all gone.

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A council block with fire escape on right.

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JM has just, apparently, left 044 and stops at a "T" with more up-market accommodation.

Meanwhile, back to ..... Gate Court.

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Princes Gate Court on Exhibition Road SW7. Geoff Dodd. (RL)

There are the gateposts we saw in 026 at Princes Gate Court, Exhibition Road, London SW7 - See 048n

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It would take rather longer to exit now. (RL)

Now that's a good shot for you to identify.

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Neil Rigby has found Princes Gate Court on Exhibition Road, London SW7. (RL)

A fine street, six lanes, in London?

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Until those tourist coaches stop parking just there this Google Image is better than anything I could achieve. Cromwell Road, London SW7. (RL)

The pub on the right may well be the Hoop and Toy, Thurloe Place, in South Kensington.

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JT knew it was the Hoop and Toy all along. (RL)

A wooded, London?, square with some towers on the left. The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road as the car turns into Cromwell Place.

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No such excitement today. (RL)

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The cab road at Paddington Station in W2 with Eastbourne Terrace running to the right. The location was also seen in 'Brandy for the Parson' and 'Miranda'.

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Another view of this covered way. London's Paddington Station.

A railway terminal. The previous frames suggest that this is Paddington station but Andrew Emmerson points out that it is Marylebone station on Melcombe Place in NW1.

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Almost right, but then the station has been extensively altered since filming. (PW)

Ticket office. Marylebone station again, recognised by Andrew Emmerson.

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The best angle possible these days. (PW)

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And outside. With Eastbourne Terrace to the right this is the cab road at Paddington again.

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And now for a race around in an MGA, I used to have one of these "with a pair of yellow gloves I borrowed from me dad", as Lonnie Donnigan used to sing.

Could that be Twickenham station, St. Margaret's, of Alfie fame, centre frame?

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St. Margaret's station actually but it is only a 15 minute walk from Twickenham. (RL)

Could that be FORTIS behind the lamp-post? And Lawrence on the right sells HOVIS. St Margaret's Road panning left from 058.

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Indeed it is! (RL)

Bet these are still there, bijoux and gentrified. Yes they are, at the junction of Church Street with Mill Plat in Isleworth, Middlesex. The road also appears in 'Dublin Nightmare' and 'Salt & Pepper'.

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Ian Hedgcock captured the location.

There appears to be water on the right. This is Church Street in Isleworth looking east from The London Apprentice pub advises Ian. The view looking the other way was seen in 'Her Private Hell'.

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Taken by Ian who adds "It's difficult to get the same height as in the screen capture without being a lot taller!"

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Longmoor Military Railway again? with adjacent roadway and a level crossing.

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A few houses, but above "my" MGA a 1960's roadsign, Obligatory or mandatory triangle within a circle which usually had a square panel beneath "Halt Major Road Ahead".

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Longmoor Military Railway again? With a building slightly left of centre.

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A pavillion?

The cops are in the middle of Circus Road, London NW8 preparing to turn into...........

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As near as I would venture into the middle of the road. (RL)

.......the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, Circus Road entrance opposite Cavendish Avenue.

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Now a Medical Practice with a barrier. (RL)

A hospital chapel. The Church of St John of Jerusalem, Circus Road, London NW8

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Doors closed today and building infill, at least it is in sympathy. (RL)

The chapel is now on the right. And there are two nurses so it must be a hospital mustn't it?

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A Medical Centre now with more parking facilities. (RL)

Chapel and two nurses as the titles roll with the former convent on the left (now Brampton House).

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Development has somewhat changed the view. (RL)

And now outside the gates with an attractive porter's lodge.

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Porter's lodge exchanged for a hut. (RL)