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Thursday April 18th 2024

Cul-De-Sac | 1966

Cul-de-Sac film location: Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland
Cul-de-Sac film location: The remote 'Rob Roy' castle: Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland | Photograph: Shutterstock / Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB

Roman Polanski used the commercial success of Repulsion to fund this absurdist dark comedy, with Jack MacGowran and Lionel Stander as Albie and Dickie, two unlikely gangsters terrorising effete George (Donald Pleasence, sporting an even more unlikely frock) and his young wife Teresa (Françoise Dorléac, late sister of Catherine Deneuve) in their remote island castle.

Although the castle is referred to throughout as 'Rob Roy', the island location is called Lindisfarne.

And, indeed, the film was shot in bleak monochrome, at Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, off the coast of Northumberland. Built in1570, the Tudor fort was bought in 1901 by Edward Hudson, wealthy owner of Country Life magazine, who had it refurbished as an Edwardian holiday home in the Arts and Crafts style, by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The island, now managed by the National Trust and accessible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway, was revisited by Polanski for his bloody 1971 adaptation of Macbeth.