Brannigan wasn't the first movie John Wayne shot in London. As a matter of fact, he worked in the famous Pinewood Studios, west of London, 10 years prior. The Circus World sequences involving background projection were made on the same stages that 007 shot.
Brannigan started principal photography on June 17, 1974. Filming in sixty London locales went on until August 1974.
Ironically, the movie has the mobster boss (John Vernon) stay in one of London’s most famous celebrity hotels, the Dorchester on Park Lane, east of Hyde Park. To this day, the five-star hotel is associated with famous filmstars.
Brannigan arrives at terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport and is driven through the Heathrow road tunnel.
The gangster boss is abducted from the extravagant Royal Automobile Club at 89 Pall Mall.
Brannigan is introduced to the rules of a British gentleman at the Garrick Club.
The club on Garrick Street is one of the oldest members’ clubs in the world.
The office scenes in New Scotland Yard were filmed at the St. Thomas Hospital on Westminster Bridge Road, with a view of the former County Hall.
Brannigan lives at 61-80 York Mansions on Prince of Wales Drive, until the hitman booby-traps the place. His room was the one with the oriel.
After Brannigan moved out of York Mansions, his new accommodation is at 6 Maida Avenue, in Little Venice...
...and as it happens this was next door to where Jamie Lee Curtis lives in A Fish Called Wanda.
Brannigan is wined and dined in a restaurant at 50 Dean Street in Soho. It was then the famed eaterie Mario and Franco’s Terraza and has changed hands since several times.
In a satire of Wayne’s usual saloon brawl, Brannigan takes one of London’s finest pubs to pieces, the Lamb Tavern at Leadenhall Market, located on Gracechurch Street. This beautiful covered market dates from the 14th century.
The door that leads to the inside of the famous pub. However, the interior was built at the famous Shepperton studio, an hour outside of London.
For years, location hunters tried to decide which dock they used for the scene in which Brannigan shoves a motorcycle courier into the choppy waters...
...but according to Tony Robinson who played the person in question, they shot his backward fall at King George V Dock.
John Wayne held up traffic in one of the busiest parts of the capital, Piccadilly Circus. This was one of the last times local authorities would allow filmmakers to shut the famous location down.
For the drop of the ransom money, a red mailbox was put in the middle of a pedestrian island.
The biggest coup was setting up the film’s signature stunt at Tower Bridge. The chase that leads up to that action highlight starts at...
...Warriner Gardens, close to Battersea Park again. Brannigan chases a suspect down the road, then confiscates a Capri on...
...Beechmore Road, shouting, “Follow that car!”,
Brannigan faces the hitman in his 1966 Jaguar at the decommissioned Beckton Gasworks on the banks of the Thames. Today, virtually no trace of the large industrial park exists. The Beckton Retail Park now occupies parts of the former site.
Brannigan says his good-bye at The Tower Hotel on St Katherine’s Way. The large hotel on the north bank was then brand new. The camera pans from Brannigan’s departing taxi to the sundial and Tower Bridge.
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All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted