The Savoy Blog
Location, Location, Location
There’s no doubt that there is added interest in a film if it links with the location it is shown in. This week we have THEIR FINEST, a WW2 film set in London, Devon and Dunkirk. It was filmed mainly in Wales, Pembrokeshire to be precise. The investment in the picture by Ffilm Cymru dictates, very wisely, that a portion of the funding should come back to Wales by virtue of using Welsh locations and labour. That doesn’t unfortunately apply to the on screen talent. The only vestige there of a Welsh connection is Gemma Arterton’s rather all purpose Welsh accent (Ebbw Vale?).
The new film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was also filmed in Wales, mainly around Capel Curig and other parts of Snowdonia but a small section was filmed on the Doward, close to Monmouth.
The big winner in recent years has been Puzzlewood in Coleford because it was used extensively in the last (proper) Star Wars film and can clearly be identified. The Wye Valley and FOD Tourism Assoc has milked that connection for all it’s worth, and the worth turned out to be pretty spectacular. Every “May 4th be with you,” is an opportunity for a timely reminder.
So the moral of the story is that we need the next James Bond film to involve a chase sequence up Monnow Street culminating ina fight to the death on the roof of Shire Hall. Bring it on!
Cinema Royalty in our midst
Monmouth is home to a very famous showbiz family – The Gregsons. Richard Gregson, who lives just outside the town was in his time a very high flying agent. He represented the author Frederick Forsyth and was Robert Redford’s UK agent. But his biggest connection with Hollywood was when he made a business trip there in 1967 and met, fell in love with and subsequently married a young actress called Natalie Wood. She was already a big star thanks to films like West Side Story. That catapulted him into the realm of the Rat Pack and he regularly found himself in the company of Mr Sinatra and his cohorts. They had a daughter called Natalie Gregson Wagner, who is also an actress. Richard was also involved in film production and writing.
His younger brother is called Michael and he began acting in 1949. He changed his professional surname to Craig and the older readers of this blog will be well aware that Michael Craig was one of the most prolific film and TV actors of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. He was in a huge number of British films such as Campbell’s Kingdom, The Silent Enemy, Mysterious Island, Doctor in Love and Modesty Blaise amongst others. His TV work dates back to Emergency Ward 10 which is ironic as one of his last TV appearances was in the BBC soap Doctors about six years ago. One of his most memorable TV roles was in the soap Triangle about the dramas on a cross channel ferry which co-starred Larry Lamb and Kate O’Mara and ran for three years in the early 80’s. These days Michael lives in central Monmouth.