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My four best Bristol films

My four best Bristol films

Whilst watching the BBC’s brilliant drama 13, we got to discuss films and TV shows with Bristol as the backdrop.  Casualty came up first of course, as did 1970’s Dr Who, Skins, and Teachers all got honourable mentions but when it came to films we were struggling, after a decent bottle or two of red, and a trawl through the IMDB we came up with these four films all of which use Bristol and all of which are well worth seeing.

  1. A Day in the death of Joe Egg (1972) - This is chosen partly because it was filmed in my street and partly because when Points West did a feature on it for their show, they filmed a cute 8 year old boy who turned out to be Bristol’s favourite letting agent.  To be honest it is not an easy film to like.  It is a black comedy about a couple bringing up a severely disabled child to be honest much more black than comedy
  1. Radio On (1979) – This was the perfect film for a pretentious 18 year old trying to get off with cool girls.  Your honour here is the evidence
  • It was filmed in black and white
  • It contained Sting – who was in those days the pop star of choice for girls who were too cool for pop music
  • They use the Grosvenor Hotel, which had that seedy Chelsea Hotel vibe
  • I went to primary school with one of the actors forgotten his name, but it went down well at the time

It is a road movie about a late night radio DJ whose brother goes missing in Bristol, and it follows his journey.  I watched it again recently and it hasn’t stood the test of time.   If I tell you the highlight is Sting playing 3 Steps to heaven at a petrol station on the A4 just outside of Chippenham I’m sure you’ll know what I mean

  1. Truly Madly Deeply (1991) – Who doesn’t love this?  Alan Rickman and Juliet Stephenson star in this Bristolian blubfest.  Juliet and Alan love each other, Alan dies Juliet grieves – That’s about it.  But as any fule kno, it is so much more than this.  Filmed at Goldeney Hall where I had my wedding reception, so I might be biased.  I absolutely adore this film and am not sure I could trust someone who didn’t like it – You have been warned.


  1. Starter for 10 (2006) – Warning Clifton Village alert.  The film version of David Nicholls best-selling book tells of Brian who attends Bristol University, and his wish to be on University Challenge.  Brian also manages to have a flat on Royal York Crescent, which is pretty cool and also totally unrealistic, still RYC does look good on film.  Stars James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch (Who as Sherlock was best man at Dr Watson’s wedding which was held at Goldeney Hall which was where my wedding reception was held.  This is one of those films you’d watch if there was nothing else on TV and would enjoy, but wouldn’t pay to see.

All of these films are part of my Bristol life, due to the where they were filmed, or who was in them, or a part they played in my life.  None of them are classics, but they are of their time and they are part of my Bristol- Which films are your Bristol?