Sunday, 3 November 2013

Russia House scene locations "bagged"

I've just returned from a short break with my family in London, originally for four nights, but owing to the storms and the subsequent cancelled trains, we were forced to stop another night - such a hardship!

Anyway, the trip presented an opportunity to "bag" some locations from The Russia House movie. With careful planning of routes, tube maps, I managed to persuade the missus that we could make a couple of diversions to our itinerary. 

 First stop, King Charles Street, Whitehall. After being on the London Eye, we walked across Westminster Bridge to Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. From there, we walked up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square.  En route, we passed King Charles Street which is the first side-street you come to (on the left, heading towards Trafalgar Square) and runs parallel to Downing Street. This street, or at least a room in a building purporting to be on this street was where the secret service discuss the importance of the notebooks passed to them by a disaffected soviet scientist, Danté (Yakov Yefremovich Savelyev, played by Klaus Van Brandauer).

The scene is set with the camera panning past the statue of King Charles,which stand at the top of the steps facing St James's Park, and focusing on a window of a building on the corner of the street.

The second location I visited was the location of the street training scene in which Ned (James Fox) teaches Barley (Sean Connery) how to make contact with a "source" when out in the field."the source is the star of the show and the star decides whether to make the meeting or abort". 

It has taken me years to find this location - an earlier blog post describes how I found it. I always felt that the scene was filmed in an area around Victoria in London; in fact, it was filmed on Symons Street, just off Sloane Square in Knightsbridge, so I wasn't too wide of the mark with my Victoria guess.  It was great to finally walk along this street, but I was a bit disappointed because so much has changed since the film was shot here over twenty years ago.  

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