London Filming Locations: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Movie locations being faked has been a bit of a fascination for me these last few years. Many different places have been used to replicate the likes of AfghanistanMyanmar andVietnam but who would’ve thought that this Stanley Kubrick film did the same trick. Whilst its no surprise that some of those aforementioned far-flung places have been faked it’s quite rare to see New York city filmed elsewhere but that is what happened in ‘Eyes Wide Shut‘ as Kubrick’s fear of flying meant it was predominantly shot in London.

Don’t be fooled by the edit. Sure, there are lots of New York street scenes featuring the ubiquitous yellow cabs but these shots were picked up by a Second Unit team and are all interspersed with what was filmed on sets at Pinewood. The Greenwich Village street scenes were dressed to look like those from New York.

This erotic thriller actually takes place at Christmas and opens with a big festive party filmed at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa in Bedfordshire which has been used in ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral‘ (1994) and as the interior of an Azerbaijan palace in ‘The World Is Not Enough‘ (1999). In the wake of that and the news that his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) had a sexual fantasy about another man, a rather disturbed Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) goes on a sexual odyssey so that he can feel equal in some way.

He meets a prostitute called Domino but back at her place he does nothing and so leaves and heads on to ‘Club Sonata’ which in reality is Madame JoJo’s (below) on Brewer Street in Soho. It’s here that Bill catches the end of his old pal Nick’s piano performance on 55 minutes at the New York jazz club and manages to get the password to the orgy out of him.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 10.21.05  Christmas trip 2011-2012 350

Bill returns to Domino’s apartment (by yellow cab of course as it is in the United States right?!) with a gift and her roommate Sally informs him that Domino has just tested positive for HIV. Bill leaves soon after that (120 minutes) and notices someone is following him. That sinister man is on Worship Street with Nicon House (below) at number 21 very clearly visible in the background. Shoreditch High Street station in East London is the nearest station.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 23.46.42 DSCN0274

As for Bill, he is actually a couple of miles away on Hatton Garden where New York-style payphones were installed between numbers 32 and 38 and shops were adorned with the 555 phone numbers which are the fictitious NYC dialling code used in American films. He continues on past Diamond House (below) which is at 36-38 Hatton Garden and very close to a couple of locations used in Guy Richie’s ‘Snatch‘ (2000). It is reported that Berner Street and Eastcastle Street also stood-in for other Greenwich Village scenes.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 23.48.06  Christmas trip 2011-2012 301

On 124 minutes Bill walks through the revolving doors of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital (below) as he goes in search of Mandy; the beauty queen who he saw in the newspaper had died of a drug overdose.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 00.16.18  Dec2010-Jan2011 186

The Royal Suite of the Lanesborough Hotel at 1 Lanesborough Place is where Bill meets the Christmas party host (from the start of the film) Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack) who fills him in on many details regarding the ritual orgy and Mandy’s unfortunate fate. This huge complex, located on Hyde Park Corner, was built in the 1830’s though sadly it’s been under reconstruction since the end of 2013 (hence the rather dull photo below) and is all set to re-open this year.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 09.46.57  IMG_6497

This slightly weird but highly watchable movie concludes on the ground floor of the famous toyshop Hamley’s (below) in London’s Regent Street on 141 minutes as Bill and Alice take their daughter Christmas shopping and have some kind of reconciliation.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 10.11.46  Dec2010-Jan2011 044

For other London filming locations click on the links below:

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace    Trainspotting    Mission: Impossible    Lara Croft Tomb Raider    The Bourne Ultimatum   Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone   James Bond    About A Boy    Quadrophenia    Bridget Jones’s Diary    Goodnight Sweetheart    Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels    Basic Instinct 2    Batman Begins/The Dark Knight    The Italian Job    Snatch    Rom-Com Special    Skyfall    Notting Hill    The World Is Not Enough    Paddington    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Re-Visited)    Entrapment    Sliding Doors

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s