Date: 1958
Director: Leslie Norman
Production Company: Ealing Studios

Stars: John Mills, Bernard Lee, Richard Attenborough, Victor Maddern, Bud Flannagan, Chesney Allen, Barry Foster, Lionel Jefferies, Bernard Cribbins, Liz Fraser, Sam Kydd, Mona Washbourne
Location(s): Devon, East Sussex, Essex, Kent, London

Region(s): , ,


The evacuation of the remnants of the British Army from France in 1940.

Additional Information:

Screen captures provided and locations identified by Roy Barnacle

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Downing Street, London. The little house at the end has been rebuilt.

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This much improved effort by Glenn Horridge replaces my "can't even stick a camera through the security gates" from Nov 2013. And this shows the rebuilt little house had grown. (SJ)

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Looks like a portside building with a crane or gantry sticking out of the wall.

Senate House, London University.

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This 'now' picture was taken by Angela Shrieves. Originally added 19/03/2011.

A town in south east England.

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Holden drives down Church Street, Twickenham. The shops at this end have altered over the years, and the white building on the corner has gone, but the sloping roof-line in the middle distance remains. This location is a short walk from the quayside in du006a/b. Robin Brooks.

Holden Motors, wider shot.

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The camera follows Holden's car as it turns into Church Lane and parks. The garage itself has gone, replaced by Flood Lane, but the house next door with the bowed front remains, now painted white. Robin Brooks.

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Holden Motors, SE England.

The corner of Holden's Motors.

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This is roughly where Holden enters his garage. Just visible at the bottom of Church Lane is the Thames. Robin Brooks.

A riverside, with houses. Opposite Eel Pie Island on the Thames near Twickenham claims Robin Brooks. The location was also seen in 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' and 'Fool's Gold: The Story of the Brink's-Mat Robbery'.

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Charles Foreman and his wife leave the pub. Although never seen from the outside in the movie, it was the Queens Head Hotel on the Embankment opposite Eel Pie Island at Twickenham. It is now called The Barmy Arms. The bollards have been moved, but the hedge remains, as does the section of wall directly behind the couple. Robin Brooks.

Same place, panning a bit.

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The camera follows the couple as they walk towards the Thames. The building in the background was called Champions Wharf, but has since been demolished and is now an ornamental garden. Robin Brooks.

The couple stop and talk. Eel Pie Island in the background.

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The railings remain, as does one of the old mooring posts. Robin Brooks.

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Supposed to be the Belgian frontier, but could easily be a side road in Hythe, Bognor or wherever. Robin Brooks suggests archive footage for this and next few frames..

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Supposed to be a French town, however........

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Another French street they would have us believe.

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...........and another French street. And just because the film maker whacked up a PAIX sign, they can't fool us, well, not all the time.

A bridge.This is Teston Bridge over the River Medway says Robin Brooks.

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Teston Bridge, Kent. A new line of trees obscures most of the bridge, but this is the same view now. The arches are just discernible among the foliage. The road runs away up the hill and joins with the A26 Tonbridge Road which runs left to right and is marked in the original by the white fence posts just visible below the trees in the distance. Robin Brooks.

Teston Bridge.

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A closer shot of the bridge looking north, taken from the treeline. River Medway in the foreground. Obtained at risk of life and limb. Robin Brooks.

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London, City perhaps? Roy Barnacle suggests maybe a set.

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A farm. Hmmmmmm, not much to go on.

The bridge again, with probably eight or more arches. This is Teston Bridge over the River Medway says Robin Brooks.

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This is the same road seen in the middle distance and unfortunately hidden by the trees in du011n. This is taken from the north end of the bridge looking up the hill towards the Tonbridge Road. Not obvious when looking at the film still is the railway line, which actually crosses the road halfway up (the barriers of the level crossing can be seen raised in the modern view). Also kept out of shot by the film makers was Barham Court, the large white country house on the right. Robin Brooks.

The Germans race over the bridge under fire.

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The north end of Teston Bridge. The shot is taken through the bars of the fence, which is a replacement and now seems to be angled further back from the road (it is the same fence seen in the foreground in du014n). However, the section on the opposite side looks to be original. Robin Brooks.

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The road to Dunkirk, with a chapel. A prop? These small shrines are rarely found in England.

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The chapel again. Often when a film company have paid for a set to be constructed, they want as much value as possible from it.

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So, three different shots from three different angles.

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Same farm, or a different one. Do they have oast houses in France? It isn't a windmill.

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Probably the same farmhouse. The oast house at the back.

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Hosts of oasts. Some on the left and another two on the right.

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Might be the same place.

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Keith Wicks advises that this is near Teddington Lock and wrote "My wife and I own this site. The house to the right is on Manor Road but was demolished to make way for Admiral House flats. The building on the left is a boathouse which I mostly demolished in 1999 following fire damage. It was later rebuilt. Both buildings can be seen in the distance of Monty Python's Fish Slapping Dance sketch".

Dicky near a bridge. Railings, suspension bridge. Thamesy? This is the western suspension bridge at Teddington Lock says Robin Brooks.

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The western suspension bridge at Teddington Lock. Holden is standing on the slipway in front of Tough's Boatyard. Special mention here for the help provided by Malcolm Miatt from the Boat Shop in identifying this and other locations around Teddington Lock. Malcolm works in the premises formerly owned by Tough's, which was used as a location in the movie. Built in 1862, it is currently being considered for listed status by National Heritage. Robin Brooks.

Bernie and Dicky on the bridge.

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Foreman and Holden have their difference of opinion on the bridge itself. Lock Island in the background. Robin Brooks.

Cast iron Victorian columns?

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Now by Robin Brooks. Originally added 20/03/2011.

The owners meet in a boat house.

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This was shot inside the workshop at Tough's Boatyard. Malcolm kindly allowed us entry to take the now shot from the standpoint of the two large doorways. Sadly, most of the view is now obscured by fencing and modern additions to the slipway. Robin Brooks.

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This modern reverse angle shows the two large workshop doorways as they are now. One has been replaced with a rolling version, while the other has been bricked up and had a window added. Above the window, the outline of the original door is still visible. Thanks again to Malcolm. Robin Brooks.

Foreman outside the boatyard, suspension bridge in the background.

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No more dinghies. Robin Brooks.

The river....Thames? From the bridge, parapet and rivets visible. Wonder if one of them was golden?

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View taken looking downstream from the the western suspension bridge. Tough's Boatyard is off to the left. Lock Island on the right. Robin Brooks.

Boats, water, boat yards and boat houses.

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This is taken from the furthest extremity of Lock Island, looking back upstream. The suspension bridge is out of shot to the left. At the time of filming, the wharf on the far bank was also owned by Tough's and was their old boatyard, but little remains of it now. The only reference point is the building with the round window under the roof line in the middle of the original. This is now the Wharf Restaurant & Bar in the modern view. Robin Brooks.

More of the same. All three pics are Teddington Lock. Robin Brooks

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This is Lock Island, taken from the same slipway used to shoot the original sequence. Note all the boats are heading left to right, taking them back under the suspension bridge. This is upstream, which is not the direction they should be going if they intend heading for the Channel.... Robin Brooks.

And of course these small craft were the real stars of the film. Is that a weir on the right? Teddington? Suggests Roy Barnacle who kindly pulled the stills.

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A pic supplied by Guy Legge and Colin Ashwood. The Thames at Teddington.

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And the Small Ship Society, the rescuers of the BEF, held probably their last meeting in 2011.

St Paul's from Blackfriars Bridge. Four or five barrage balloons appear to be flying suggesting imminent air raid.

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Now. Picture by Angela Shrieves.

The Houses of Parliament. No barrage balloons? No attack expected here?

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Now. Picture by Angela Shrieves.

The flotilla passes Hammersmith Bridge. And once more, up comes this iconic structure, and Digby Mansions, both of which feature so prominently in the Cinema of Darkness.

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Hammersmith Bridge from the Barnes side. Angela Shrieves.

Lambeth Bridge. With perhaps six baloons.

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Now. Picture by Angela Shrieves.

The BEF and civilians flee across a temporary bridge on the outskirts of Dunkirk.

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Actually Rye in East Sussex. The swing bridge was a prop built across the slipway. Robin Brooks.

'Tubby' Bins and his men join the fleeing troops.

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The same angle. This spot is now occupied by a petrol station and car park. Robin Brooks

The outskirts of Dunkirk.

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The refugees have now crossed the slipway and are on Strand Quay, heading east towards the town. Robin Brooks.

Tubby's men reach the Dunkirk rearguard.

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Strand Quay, Rye. The building in the centre is the Information Centre. They remember the filming, the building of the prop bridge, and that the local cinema was used to view the daily rushes. Robin Brooks.

Which way to the evacuation, chaps?

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The same angle now. Robin Brooks.

Left alone.....

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Same angle as du021e. Robin Brooks.

The Germans arrive and battle begins.

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Similar angle to du021d. Robin Brooks.

Let's take as many with us as we can, boys!

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The wall and the lean-to have gone but otherwise unchanged. Robin Brooks.

Tubby Bins & Charles Foreman on Dunkirk beach.

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Camber Sands, East Sussex. View looking eastwards. Robin Brooks.

Wider shot. Foreman heads for the church service.

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The same view today. Robin Brooks.

The Germans start bombing the beach.

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Looking west on Camber Sands. Robin Brooks.