Date: 1968
Director: Dick Clement
Production Company: Bruce Cohn Curtis Films Ltd., Open Road Films

Stars: Tom Courtenay, Romy Schneider, Alan Badel, James Villiers, Leonard Rossiter, Freddie Jones, Fiona Lewis, James Bolam, James Cossins, James Maxwell, Edward Hardwicke, Ronald Lacey
Location(s): Buckinghamshire, London, Surrey, Sussex

Region(s): ,


Gerald Arthur Otley is a hapless and light-fingered antiques dealer. One morning, after a drunken night on the town, he awakes at Gatwick Airport and finds that he is wanted by the police for murder. Then he is kidnapped by a group of criminals who suspect him of being involved with double agents. And he has to take his driving test!!

Additional Information:

Screen captures and uncredited ‘now’ images uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

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Gerald Arthur Otley (Tom Courtenay) walks along Portobello Road during the titles. London W11.

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Looking south towards the junction with Chepstow Villas.

Otley between Denbigh Close and Denbigh Terrace on Portobello Road W11.

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The same location.

Further along Portobello Road.

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Less people, less traffic. Well it was a Thursday and Tom Courtenay wasn't around to draw the crowds.

Even further along . . . . . .

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The buildings on the right are a little more colourful these days.

Otley has just passed Henekey's Bar and crossed Westbourne Grove W11. Still heading north on Portobello Road.

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I waited and waited but the woman in image 05 didn't appear.

Otley is evicted from his flat above 67 Portobello Road. The location is at the point where Otley begins his walk at the start of the titles and the reflection of 'Centaur' can be seen in the windows.

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The same building, now The Chelsea Galleries.

Another shot of 1968's Portobello Road.

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And this is a shot of 2012's Portobello Road.

Talking to Jean (Phyllida Law) and trying to get a bed for the night after losing his flat. Portobello Road W11.

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The same frontages now. (PW)

Still searching for accommodation outside Henekey's Bar.

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The pub is now called The Earl of Lonsdale.

Otley talks with Eric Lambert (Edward Hardwicke) outside Henekey's Bar on Portobello Road W11.

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Makes a change to see scaffolding in the screen shot instead of the now shot!

After Lambert is killed, Otley is kidnapped and taken to the closed Quainton Road station in Buckinghamshire.

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More life at the station now. Quainton Road is home to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre who kindly gave me permission to access the site and take pictures.

Curtis (Ronald Lacey), one of the kidnappers, on the footbridge at Quainton Road station.

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The same spot now but one of the warehouses behind Curtis has been demolished. The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is open most Sundays between April and October. Visit www.buckrailcentre.org for more details.

Hendrickson (James Villiers) talks with Imogen (Romy Schneider) on the platform at Quainton Road.

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The platform looks a lot more presentable now.

After Imogen and Otley leave the station a gangster begins pursuit. The car chase entering Stoke Poges Golf Club, Buckinghamshire.

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This is what I found at the entrance. Am I in the wrong place? SJ

Paul (Robert Brownjohn) chases Imogen and Otley towards Stoke Poges House. Also seen in 'Goldfinger', 'The Saint's Return', 'Dead of Night' and 'Layer Cake'.

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Somewhere about here. SJ

After running through the club house, Imogen and Otley steal a car to get away. Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire.

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The parking is now beyond to the right which accounts for the the car-free zone. SJ

Back in London. The building on the right is Bowater House, Knightsbridge, London SW1.

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Bowater House has been replaced but notice the side of the building with the white lower storey left of centre in both images.

Imogen leaves Otley in the car. In the background is Bowater House which was demolished in 2006. London SW1.

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No way through to South Carriage Drive in Hyde Park these days.

Otley hasn't yet passed his driving test and has trouble moving off. The location was also seen in 'Victim'.

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Knightsbridge SW1.

The car is dumped, which pleases a Traffic Warden (Stella Tanner). Peter locates this as looking south from Sloane Square along Sloane Gardens at the junction with Holbein Place in SW1.

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And Peter also provides the proof.

  • 'Now' required

Otley denies knowledge of the car. As Martin Underwood points out, this is the reverse direction of Caption 20 towards Sedding Street. (RL)

Waiting to be picked up by Rollo outside The Cross Keys public house. Lawrence Street, London SW3.

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And I was so looking forward to a pint!

Otley heads for Lin and Albert's houseboat.

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Cheyne Walk, London SW3. Also appearing in 'The Horses Mouth'.

Otley in an almost identical shot seen in 'The Horses Mouth'.

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More foliage now on Cheyne Walk SW3 which was seen in 'The Naked Truth'.

Heading towards the houseboat alongside Cheyne Walk in Chelsea.

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A similar viewpoint taken from the moorings.

Lin and Albert's houseboat on the Thames in Chelsea SW3.

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A similar location with the Kings Arms in the background in both images.

Otley runs from a gang employed by espionage organisation ICS.

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Taken from Cheyne Walk, Chelsea SW3.

Climbing onto the roadway with Battersea Bridge in the background. Cheyne Walk, London SW3.

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A changed skyline from a similar viewpoint now.

Otley crosses Cheyne Walk towards the Kings Arms public house after talking with Constable (Paul Angelis). London SW3.

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Last orders were called some years ago.

The gang are still in pursuit and Otley runs from the riverside. Blantyre Street, London SW3.

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The building at the end of the road on the left is still intact.

The gang catch up and drive Otley away to meet Proudfoot, leader of ICS. Blantyre Street SW3.

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Turning around from image 30 it appears that the area has been somewhat redeveloped.

Additional screen capture provided by Martin Underwood showing Otley arriving at the ICS offices to meet with Proudfoot. Cork Street, London W1 looking towards Burlington Arcade. (RL)

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The view from ground level and parking is now even more difficult. (RL)

An additional capture provided by Martin Underwood as, Paul, Otley and the chauffeur approach the ICS offices door. No 8 Clifford Street, London W1 looking towards Burlington Arcade down Cork Street before the change of frontage. (RL)

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From the doorstep of No 8. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

An additional capture from Martin Underwood. The coach park where Otley is dumped from where Johnston takes him to the farm. Martin questions whether this might be Battersea coach park, Queenstown Road, Battersea. (RL)

The assassin Johnston (Leonard Rossiter) holds Otley on his farm. Unknown location.

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Original movie poster, 65cm x 1.00cm, about 26" x 40", normal wear, small stains splits, pin holes, good used condition. £ 35.00 + p&p. Cult film.

Johnston and Otley go to meet Hendrickson at Notting Hill Gate underground station. London W11.

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Taken from inside the gate line as I didn't want to pay again.

Double agent Hendrickson waits on a Central Line platform at Notting Hill Gate station. Actually this is Bank station on the Waterloo & City Line as can be identified by the train just leaving. The station also makes an appearance in 'On the Beat', 'Silver Dream Racer', 'Tube Tales', 'Fragment of Fear' and 'The Mackintosh Man'.

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At the time of filming the line was run by British Rail but since 1994 it has been owned by London Underground and uses the same type of trains that run on the Central Line.

Otley and Jeffcock (James Cossins) the examiner walk to the car at the beginning of his driving test.

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Bromyard Avenue, East Acton, London W3.

On the driving test in Acton.

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The car has just turned out of Sirdar Road onto Treadgold Street in London W11.

The kidnappers, Bruce and Curtis, appear and pursue Otley.

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The junction of Grenfell Road and Treadgold Street W11.

Curtis reverses into a van whilst chasing Otley. St. Johns Gardens in Notting Hill W11 which also features in 'The Blue Lamp', 'Omen III: The Final Conflict', 'The Hostage', 'Hennessy' and 'The Passenger'.

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St. Johns Gardens, London W11.

Chasing around London.

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The junction of Penzance Place and Princedale Road. Holland Park, London W11. The same area where scenes from 'The Knack . . .' were filmed.

Attempting to get away and unnerving Jeffcock, Otley drives up Pottery Lane from Penzance Place.

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The same location on a sunny July day in 2012.

Jeffcock fails Otley during the pursuit.

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Sirdar Road W11.

The chase continues and Jeffcock gets more agitated.

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Sirdar Road, London W11. The junction in the foreground is Stoneleigh Place.

The kidnappers race after Otley.

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The car has just left Stoneleigh Place at the junction with Sirdar Road W11.

  • 'Now' required

The chase enters Unigate's White City dairy on Wood Lane, London W12. In the left background stands White City Stadium which is also seen in 'Jumping for Joy', 'The Blue Lamp' and 'Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter'. The stadium was demolished in 1985 and the BBC's Media Village now occupies the site.

Trainee Police Motorcyclists on manoeuvres along St. Anns Road, London W11. The pub sign seen just left of centre appears to be for the now demolished Duke of Sussex. The pub is also seen in 'The Strange Affair'.

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The area has been redeveloped but after much discussion with locals it looks as though the motorcyclists have just passed Rifle Place on the right of image 45 and are heading in the opposite direction to their turn into Rifle Place in screen shot 46. Note the mature trees on the left.

Otley demolishes the police cavalcade. Rifle Place off St. Anns Road in W11. The location also features in 'Robbery'.

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This image is taken from roughly where the bollard is in the screen shot. In the left background is Carton House and in the centre is Dorrit House.

The chase continues and Jeffcock decides to pass Otley as long as he stops the car. Bramley House on Bramley Road can be seen beyond the bridge.

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Bramley Road, London W10 near Latimer Road underground station.

Nick Cooper, prompted by his identification of Latimer Road Underground Station Bridge in 'Children of The Damned', has occasioned this additional screen grab of the chase sequence between Geoffcock and Otley filmed on the left hand side of the site prior to redevelopment. Bramley House, centre, remains.

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A Google © image taken from Waynflete Square, London W10, part of the Silchester West Estate development. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

The kidnappers, revealed to be working for the government, take Otley to see Alex Hadrian. Bill Rice places this as Carlton House Terrace, London SW1 with the Athenaeum in the background. That side of the Terrace was also seen in 'Count Five and Die'. (RL)

Otley arrives at the Playboy Club after agreeing to help British Intelligence catch the criminal gang known as ICS.

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The corner of Curzon Street and Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1.

Albert (James Bolam) and Lin (Fiona Lewis) bump into Otley outside the Playboy Club. Curzon Street, Mayfair, London W1.

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Taken from a slightly different angle to show the building right of centre.

  • 'Now' required

Imogen and Rollo talk with Alex Hadrian (Alan Badel). In Simon James' book, London Movie Guide, the location is identified as Carlton House Terrace overlooking The Mall in London SW1.

  • 'Now' required

Otley, now under cover, visits a health farm. Yes, a real health farm, Jules Ballantyne identifies this as Grayshott Health Spa near Hindhead, Surrey. (RL)

After ICS is thwarted Otley watches outside Buckingham Palace as Alex Hadrian is knighted. London SW1.

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Taken well to the side of the palace. SJ