Their Finest

Date: 2016
Director: Lone Scherfig
Production Company: BBC Films, Welsh Government, Pinewood Pictures

Stars: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachael Stirling, Richard E. Grant
Location(s): London, Pembrokeshire, Swansea

Region(s): ,


During the war, a woman and a screenwriter develop an attraction while working together with a Ministry of Information unit making morale-boosting films.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

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The year is 1940 . . . Mrs. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) alights from a bus halted by the aftermath of a bombing raid to make her way to the Ministry of Information. Gower Street in London WC1.

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The secretary from a newspaper copy-writing department has been called to an interview for a job as a scriptwriter. Gower Street, looking along the north-eastern side of Bedford Square in Bloomsbury.

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A longer shot of the same street by Peter.

Picking a way along the bomb damaged street, Catrin continues through Bloomsbury. Bedford Square was also seen in 'Half Moon Street', 'Accident' and 'Full Circle'.

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Peter found an intact roadway.

Papers are shown to a Security Guard outside the Ministry. Looking through the gates of Senate House onto Malet Street, London WC1.

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On the outside looking in, by Peter.

Inside the building Catrin is given the job by Roger Swain, head of film at the Ministry of Information. Senate House on Malet Street in Bloomsbury. The building played The Ministry of Truth in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'.

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Peter returns to the location for this comparison.

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Catrin is sent to the coast to speak with Rose and Lily Starling who took their father's small boat to help in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

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With her research complete, Catrin arrives back in London. The disused Aldwych Underground station on Strand WC2.

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Passing people rushing in the opposite direction to take shelter, Catrin makes her way from the station. The same passageway at Aldwych station was seen in 'Prick Up Your Ears'.

With sirens wailing, Catrin reaches the street as the air raid begins. The exit from the former Aldwych station on Surrey Street WC2.

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I could have waited for them to pass but there were plenty more waiting in the wings! (PW)

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The sound of a falling bomb causes the young woman to look up.

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With the raid over, Catrin breaks down after discovering the lifeless body of a woman in an archway.

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Actor Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy) and his agent Sammy Smith (Eddie Marsan) walk through the drizzle together.

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While listening to Ambrose go on about a lack of work, Sammy picks up his dog from the wet roadway.

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Ambrose is recognised by a Fan (Frances Jeater) as she collects money to help build more Spitfires.

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Continuing on their way, Sammy tells his client that Baker Films are working on a script for a film about Dunkirk.

An establishing shot of the street outside screenwriter Tom Buckley's office. Coronet Street at the corner of Boot Street N1. The background was disguised by using the usual modern industry trickery. The location is also seen in 'Blue Ice', 'Legend', 'Nuns on the Run' and 'The Crying Game'.

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In the distance can be made out the inevitable roadworks which accompany the ever present reconstruction that seems to inhabit every street in London. (PW)

Having secured and increase in her salary, Catrin makes her way to the office to begin work on the screenplay that will feature the Starling's story. Coronet Street in Hoxton.

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The same location. (PW)

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With the outline of the script agreed, Catrin Cole runs home to her penniless partner to buy one of his war paintings.

Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) shouts at Catrin as the two disagree about elements of the story. Coronet Street, opposite Hoxton Square in N1.

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Road up . . . . again! (PW)

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Catrin walks onto the platform of a tube station as another air raid begins. Platform 1 at Aldwych station, seen many times before including in 'The Black Windmill', 'Creep', 'Death Line', ‘V for Vendetta’, 'The Battle of Britain', 'Superman IV: The Quest for Peace' and 'Tube Tales'.

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Searching for an American interest for the film, Roger Swain, Gabriel Baker and his writers are shown footage of RAF Flight Lieutenant Carl Lundbeck (Jake Lacy) from Michigan as he receives a medal for shooting down twenty four enemy planes.

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The production's cast and crew arrive in Devon to begin shooting. The harbour at Porthgain in Pembrokeshire.

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The camera discovers more of the small fishing village. Porthgain lies within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park on the St. Davids Peninsula.

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Much to the annoyance of his fellow guests, Ambrose trains his voice in the bathroom of the local hotel. The Cresselly Arms, Cresswell Quay near Cresselly in Pembrokeshire.

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Eating fish and chips on the quayside, Tom and Catrin discuss the script. Porthgain with the waters of St. George's Channel stretching away to the right.

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Catrin makes her way onto the set for the first day of shooting.

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Roger Swain (Richard E. Grant) looks on as Alex (Michael Marcus) directs the action.

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At the end of the first disastrous day of filming, Catrin asks Tom how he got into writing. Porthgain Harbour in Pembrokeshire.

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With her partner's work being shown at the National Gallery, Catrin returns to London as promised.

Dashing down steps leading from the main street, Catrin nears home. Surrey Steps running between Surrey Street and Strand Lane in WC2.

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From a similar point of view. (PW)

Catrin approaches the flat where she finds her partner in bed with another woman. Facing north on Strand Lane with The Old Watch House, and a bit of CGI, in the centre background.

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No CGI in this comparison. (PW)

Following her from the building, Ellis Cole (Jack Huston) watches as Catrin walks out of his life. Looking towards Strand Lane from Surrey Steps WC2. The location also features in 'The Key Man'.

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A long shot, looking through the locked gates of Surrey Steps. (PW)

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Catrin buys a ticket for the first leg of her journey back to Tom Buckley. The booking hall at Aldwych station, which also features in 'Rogue Male' and 'Patriot Games'.