An American Werewolf in London, 1981

Director

Cast

visit the film locations

London: Flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport

Surrey: Drink at: The Black Swan, Old Lane, Martyr's Green (tel: 01932 862364) (rail: Effingham Junction from London Waterloo or London Blackfriars)


Trivia

The dull and belated sequel, An American Werewolf in Paris, was filmed largely in Luxembourg.

An American Werewolf in London location: David Kessler goes through changes in the flat of nurse Alex Price: 64 Coleherne Road, Earl's Court, London SW10

An American Werewolf in London location: David Kessler goes through changes in the flat of nurse Alex Price: 64 Coleherne Road, Earl's Court, London SW10

Unsurprisingly, the locations for John Landis’ horror-comedy can be found mainly around London, with a brief detour into Wales, standing in for ‘Yorkshire’.

An American Werewolf in London location: Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales

An American Werewolf in London location: arriving in the village: Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales

Photograph: Kevin Thomas

A pub full of character actors rhubarbing away on the 'Yorkshire Moors' can only mean bad news for two American backpackers.

The moors were filmed around the Black Mountains in Wales, and 'East Proctor' is in reality the tiny village of Crickadarn, about six miles southeast of Builth Wells off the A479. The ‘Angel of Death’ statue was a prop added for the film, but the red phone box is real enough – though Welsh the road signs were covered by a fake tree.

An American Werewolf in London location: Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales

An American Werewolf in London location: the exterior of the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’: Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales

Photograph: Kevin Thomas

If you want to join the locals here for a pint at 'The Slaughtered Lamb', you’ll have quite a journey. Although the exterior was an empty (now restored – so please do not disturb the residents) cottage dressed up for the movie.

An American Werewolf in London location: Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales

An American Werewolf in London location: the phonebox and village church at ‘East Proctor’: Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales

Photograph: Kevin Thomas

The interior of ‘The Slaughtered Lamb’, where Lila Kaye tends bar and a frighteningly young Rik Mayall plays chess, is in Surrey. It’s The Black Swan, Old Lane at the junction with Ockham Lane, Martyr’s Green, about a mile northwest of Effingham Junction between Guildford and Leatherhead. This photogenic pub has also been featured in TV’s Inspector Morse.

An American Werewolf in London location: David Kessler goes through changes in the flat of nurse Alex Price: 64 Coleherne Road, Earl's Court, London SW10

An American Werewolf in London location: The 'Slaughtered Lamb' interior: The Black Swan, Martyr's Green, Surrey

The hospital in which David Kessler (David Naughton) recovers from a nasty wolf bite was the Princess Beatrice Maternity Hospital on Finborough Road at Lillie Road in Earl’s Court, London SW5. The building is still there, and is now a hostel for the homeless.

A block east, around the corner at 64 Coleherne Road, SW10, you can see the flat of nurse Alex Price (Jenny Agutter), where David does some shape-shifting to Bad Moon Rising (tube: Earl’s Court).

Unusually, the tube station, where the city gent gets chomped, was filmed, during the wee small hours, at Tottenham Court Road Station (London Transport’s all-purpose location, the closed Aldwych Station in the Strand, is almost invariably used for filming).

An American Werewolf in London location: Piccadilly Circus, London W1

An American Werewolf in London location: mayhem in central London: Piccadilly Circus

The undead victims pop up in a studio recreation of the old Eros News Cinema (now a branch of GAP clothes store, more recently featured in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1) on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue in Piccadilly Circus. You can see the cinema in its heyday in 1949 when the kids go to see the Siege of Burgundy in classic Ealing comedy Passport To Pimlico.

And once again John Landis demonstrates his talent for staging major set-pieces in impossible locations by setting the climactic mayhem smack in the middle of Piccadilly Circus itself – although, if you look carefully, you can see a wobbly street sign.

An American Werewolf in London location: Winchester Walk, Borough, London SE1

An American Werewolf in London location: the climax in the ‘West End’ alleyway: Winchester Walk, Borough, SE1

In fact, some of this sequence was filmed on a mock-up of the Circus at Twickenham Studios.

The dark alley, where the wolf is finally cornered, which seems to be in the West End, is Winchester Walk, south of the Thames, off the familiar location of Park Street (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Bridget Jones’s Diary among others) in Borough (tube: London Bridge).


• Many thanks to Kevin Thomas for help with this section.




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