Films about England

English Films: 10 Films about England – 2024 Guide

English films and films about England are the fruit of the history of world cinema , which here saw the famous screenings of the Lumiere brothers , then arriving at wonderful international films shot in England. From world-famous films , including stars and successful sagas , ranging from all film genres , films about England cater to those looking for entertainment to arthouse cinema . The frames are its wonderful landscapes , the important cities and historical periods that ill the United Kingdom , but the whole world. So let’s discover the best films set here, getting inspired for our next trip to England!

Top 10 Films England

The history of English cinema is intertwined with the history of England and the world. The film industry about England has always been a winning horse , between innovation and tradition, seeing its birth in 1910 . From the 1920s , however, he began to suffer from the pressures of American cinema and the competition . Only thanks to the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 were measures taken to protect the industry, leading to its peak production in 1936 , with 192 films . With the onset of World War II , its expansion collapsed, returning to equilibrium only thanks to American post-war investments.

The history of British cinema is therefore complex, comprising numerous independent movements within it. Among the most important are the Free Cinema of the 20th century British New Wave , with works depicting working-class life . But the real rebirth of films about England occurred in the 1980s , with the Oscar victory of Chariots of Fire in 1982 , seeing the birth of new talent. Another sector that allowed the rebirth of English cinema was art cinema , such as the production of music videos . The England films set and shot in this country have an incredible history, which has contributed to that of world cinema. Continuing today to be creative and innovative , creating products of excellent quality and cult success!

So let’s go and see the 10 best films of English cinema that we want to recommend to you!

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Read also: History of England in Brief; Guide 2024

1. Four weddings and a funeral

Among the most popular England films shot and set here, Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) by Mike Newell is among the first we recommend. A funny romantic comedy , made on a small budget and time , with a huge success at the box office and becoming the highest grossing famous English film . Among the locations of this England film set and shot here, we find Surrey, Somerset and Essex . The charming bachelor Charles , during a series of friends’ weddings , meets Carrie , an American girl with whom he falls in love. They spend the night together and Carrie then leaves for America. After three months, at another wedding, the two meet again, but this time she is with her new boyfriend .

At the end of the party, the two find themselves spending the night together. After a month, Charles receives an invitation to her wedding from Carrie . They meet before the event, where he, in vain, declares his love for her. During the wedding in Scotland, Charles watches the bride and groom dancing and being there with another girl, Fiona , realizes that he loves the bride . Charles tells her not to reciprocate her love and, during the toast, her friend Gareth dies of a heart attack. At the funeral Charles and Carrie meet again, but for a short time. After 10 months, Charles also gets married to his ex Henrietta but, before the ceremony, Carrie arrives saying she is single again and Charles goes into crisis, upsetting every plan.

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Four weddings and a funeral

2. Pride and Prejudice

Work by Joe Wright , Pride and Prejudice is based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen , one of the best films based on English literature and shot in England. Set during the 18th century in rural England, the Bennet family has a mother anxious to settle her five daughters with advantageous marriages . The arrival in town of Mr. Bingley , charming and rich, will upset the family dynamics when both his eldest daughters, Elizabeth and Jane , fall in love with him. Elizabeth, very proud , also has prejudices against Mr. Darcy , Bingley’s friend. These feelings will be a strong obstacle to creating love between the two.

The only wish of the mother, Mrs. Bennet, is also only to give her daughters a good match and her wishes come true when Bingley falls in love with the sweet Jane . Something also arises between Lizzie and Darcy, if it weren’t for the mutual antipathy between the two, due to her pride and his prejudices. A film set in England and shot here where her feelings, misunderstandings and estrangements will dominate, in addition to her unspoken words and repressed feelings that will come between the two stubborn protagonists. Will Elizabeth be able to put aside her preconceptions about Darcy? Will he be able to leave behind her pride and the ideals imposed by society ? A work of English cinema for those who love the classics , but also love stories and films about England.

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Pride and Prejudice

3. The king’s speech

English cinema, as well as adaptations of novels, also presents true stories . Like The King’s Speech , by Tom Hooper . This film about England is inspired by the story of King George VI ‘s stutter , Elizabeth II’s father, and his relationship with Lionel Logue , a speech therapist. The speech also refers to what the king did to the nation upon entering World War II , declaring war on Germany . This film about England begins in 1925 when the King, then Prince and Duke of York gives a speech at Wembley Stadium for the British Empire Exhibition . We thus notice for the first time that he stutters, creating embarrassment and discomfort, giving up giving public speeches.

Only with his daughters and his wife Elizabeth do his problems ease, becoming more acute instead in front of his father , King George V. It will be Elizabeth herself who takes her husband to the Australian therapist Lionel Logue under a false name . Seeing the results, the prince accepts the therapy. As long as the sessions are free from formal etiquette . Lionel actually calls Prince Bertie . King George V dies and King Edward VIII ascends the throne , whose conduct , however, leads him to abdicate in favor of his brother, George VI . After discussing, the king and the speech therapist regain mutual trust and together, in 1939 , they will prepare the speech to the nation to be broadcast via radio . Logue remained at the king’s side, later being appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order , maintaining a lifelong friendship.

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The King’s Speech

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

A film shot in England, the first chapter of the most famous boy wizard in the world. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), by Chris Columbus . This film from English cinema introduces us to the magical world and its protagonists, filming both in the Leavesden studios in Watford and in many places between England, Scotland and Ireland. The film begins with Albus Dumbledore , Minerva McGonagall and Rubeus Hagrid leaving Harry, an infant and an orphan, in Little Whinging , 4 Privet Drive with his maternal aunt and uncle: the Dursleys . This house, moreover, is located just outside London , in Berkshire . After a childhood bullied by cousin Dudley , during a trip to the zoo he discovers his powers.

Shortly before his eleventh birthday he receives a letter , but his uncles don’t allow him to read it. On the night of his birthday at midnight, Hagrid comes to Harry, telling him the truth and handing over his acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry . He will thus discover that he is the child who survived Lord Voldemort and the magical world will open up to him. Hagrid accompanies Harry to King’s Cross station , where the Hogwarts Express leaves at the magical platform 9 ¾ . Here he meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger , but also Draco Malfoy ; immediately finding an enemy . Between Quidditch matches and wand fights, hidden places and professors with terrible secrets, the three friends will learn from the Philosopher’s Stone! Timeless film about England and set here.

harry potter and the philosopher's stone - films set in england - films shot in england
Harry Potter

5. Elizabeth – The Golden Age

To discover English history, one of the best ways is also through its cinema, as with Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), by Shekhar Kapur and sequel to Elizabeth . Among the films set in England in 1585 , when the most powerful king is Philip II of Spain , who plots to conquer England, destroying Queen Elizabeth, who has been on the throne for 30 years now. Elizabeth declared herself an enemy of Catholic Spain, establishing Protestantism . Philip wants to put his daughter Isabella on the throne , thus controlling the seas and eradicating English pirates. Meanwhile, the queen’s advisor Francis Walsingham pushes for Elizabeth’s marriage, considering her age and having no heirs. With her death, in fact, the heir would be the son of the Queen of Scots, Mary Stuart .

Returning from the New World , where he founded Virginia for Elizabeth, Walter Raleigh returns to court and the queen is fascinated by him. She orders her servant Bess to watch over him, but she too falls in love with him . Against the backdrop of tensions between England and Spain, attacks on the queen due to Mary Stuart’s accession to the throne and other historical events, Elizabeth condemns her cousin to death on Walsingham’s advice, thus only favoring the Jesuit plan . Bess becomes pregnant by Raleigh, angering the queen and marrying him in secret. Once the war is over, emerging victorious, Elizabeth blesses the union and baptizes the child as the Virgin Queen and mother of the People.

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6. Billy Elliot

Cult English cinema by Stephen Daldry , inspired by the story of the dancer Philip Mosley , Billy Elliot is an unmissable film about England. This English film takes place during the British miners’ strike that occurred between 1984 and 1985 due to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher . Billy is 11 years old and lives with his father Jackie , his brother Tony , both miners, and his grandmother in Easington . Billy’s dream, unlike that of his peers, is to become a dancer , but his father forces him to box . In fact, Jackie thinks that ballet leads to homosexuality . One day, the girls from the dance class arrive in the gym . Billy observes the lesson and the teacher, Sandra Wilkinson , invites him to take part, thus starting to attend it by lying to his family.

With the start of the Durham miners ‘ strike , the family’s economic situation worsens. After months of not seeing him in class, the boxing coach informs his father of Billy’s absence and the man is disconcerted , starting to follow his son secretly. Jackie forbids her son from leaving the house, but Sandra had a plan for him: to prepare him for the Royal Ballet School in London . The auditions , in fact, will be in Newcastle after a few weeks . Billy secretly starts training but, on the day of the audition, he has to go with his father to pick up Tony, arrested during the demonstrations, seeing his dream shattered. Fate , however, will give him a second chance .

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Billy Elliot

7. Shakespeare in Love

Romantic film about England and among the most loved in English cinema. Shakespeare in Love (1998), by John Madden , narrates the love story between Shakespeare and Lady Viola . In 1593 in London , Henslowe is pursued by the creditor Fennyman and, to save himself, promises him a role in Shakespeare’s new play : Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter . But this play doesn’t exist and the writer has no ideas. Viola De Lesseps , daughter of bourgeois, loves Shakespeare’s sonnets and dreams of being part of a company, but it is forbidden to women. The famous playwright Christopher Marlowe gives Shakespeare an idea and, during an audition, the young and unknown Thomas Kent impresses the writer, taking the part of Romeo .

Thomas runs away and Shakespeare chases him, thus discovering that it is actually Viola dressed as a man . It is love between the two, but she is betrothed to Lord Wessex . The feeling inspires the writer and the play itself. Discovered , however, Viola is kicked out and the theater is closed . Viola gets married, then runs away to attend the premiere on the same day. Shakespeare brings the play, which became Romeo and Juliet, to the stage. Romeo ‘s actor is not present and Viola thus takes his role , but she is unmasked and then saved by the queen , present in other guises. Elizabeth I invites Shakespeare to stage a comedy at court. This is how you write Twelfth Night . Viola, however, is married to Wessex and leaves, but she will forever be Shakespeare’s muse .

shakespeare in love
Shakespeare in Love

8. Miss Potter

Films shot in England and set here often also talk about their authors. As in the case of the English film Miss Potter (2006), by Chris Noonan , which narrates the life of children’s author Beatrix Potter . Furthermore, in this work of English cinema, the filmed sequences are superimposed on his illustrations of her, like those of Peter Rabbit . Set in London in 1092 , Beatrix is ​​a woman from a bourgeois family, still unmarried . She is nonconformist and independent , with the dream of becoming a children’s author. She visits the publishing house of Frederick Warne & Co. for this , convincing the owners to publish Peter Coniglio . Despite thinking it will be a failure, the Warne brothers accept and Beatrix meets the young first-time publisher Norman , who loves her book.

Despite having pressure from her mother to get married, Beatrix just wants to make her dream come true and forms a strong bond with Norman and his family, especially her sister , who is also unmarried. Norman, during a party in her house, asks Beatrix for her hand in marriage. After some time, due to an interruption, she says yes to him . Her mother does not accept the marriage, as Norman comes from a family of merchants . But Beatrix can support herself even on royalties alone . After a secret engagement in the Lakelands and a tragic turn of events, Beatrix buys Hill Top Farm , where she resumes painting and bringing her wonderful stories to life, preserving the nature that surrounds her.

miss potter
Miss Potter

9. What Remains of the Day

Among the famous English films and unmissable cinema classics, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro , we recommend The Remains of the Day (1993) by James Ivory, with a magnificent Anthony Hopkins . The butler Stevens , during the 1930s , was for many years in the service of Lord Darlington , an influential gentleman and on the side of the Nazis before the war. Upon Darlington’s death , his estate is purchased by the pragmatic American Lewis . To find the previous housekeeper, Sara Kenton , he sets out on a journey. Sara, twenty years earlier, left the estate due to an unhappy marriage . Stevens has such a strong sense of duty that to take care of the house he does not go to assist his dying father, ignoring his life to serve dinner.

Even his master’s mistakes are invisible to him, as he must necessarily be right . His sense of honor and duty wavers only when the housekeeper declares her love for her, but immediately returns to her formality. A film that embodies the elegance of the time and the sense of duty, among wonderful snapshots of a detached and snobbish society . Also able to believe the German minister , who speaks of Hitler as a man of peace . Filmed in England, this film takes place between the present of 1958 , and England before it entered World War II, reliving it through flashbacks of the butler of Darlington Hall , Devon.

what remains of the day
The remains of the day

10. Notting Hill

In English cinema we find one of the most famous romantic films : Notting Hill , by Roger Michell . Set in London in the neighborhood of the same name . William , a bookshop owner , lives with the eccentric Spike . The American actress Anna Scott enters his shop . He meeting her then bumps into her and spills juice on her. He invites her home to clean up and, here, her first kiss takes place. The actress, however, requests confidentiality . Shortly afterwards the two see each other at the Ritz Hotel , but the actress is holding a press conference for her latest film. The bookseller enters, saying he works for the Cavalli e Segugi magazine .

William convinces Anna to attend a dinner at his sister, Honey’s , with other friends. She is immediately at ease with her, showing herself for who she is. However, William discovers that she is engaged to him, ending the relationship. One day Anna returns to Notting Hill, knocking on her door. She is now single and the press has released private photos of her . Because of Spike, the photographers arrive and Anna runs away , leaving William still. Months later, the bookseller has never stopped thinking about her , but her pride is stronger. Anna wins an Oscar and returns to London. The two meet on a set and Will overhears an unpleasant conversation . Still disappointed, he leaves. Anna comes to him, saying that she loves him , but Will, hurt, rejects her. In the end, true love will triumph in this romantic film set and shot in England.

notting hill
Notting HIll

Traveling to the sets of English cinema

If you have reached this point you can’t wait to leave for a trip to England , it’s time to get organized and discover the best itineraries to retrace the locations of the films about England, set and filmed here, to thus relive your scenes favorite!

To discover some sets of the most evocative films about England, we recommend our Cornwall and Wales Tour. A journey to discover the wonderful Welsh landscapes and the beauty of Cornwall.

Tour Cornwall and Wales

In brief: 7-day Cornwall and Wales group tour from London.
Itinerary: London, Stonehenge, St. Michael’s Mount, Wells, Bath.
Duration: 8 days – 7 nights
Confirmed Departures
Code: ENARCH0801

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