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23/11/2014

Movie History

"From Bond to Bridget Jones, Stoke Park is amongst Hollywood’s hottest – and its right on our doorstep" - Wedding Ideas

Stoke Park has always had a close relationship to Pinewood Studios (four miles away) and the British film industry. Two James Bond movies, Goldfinger (1964) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) were filmed at Stoke Park. The epic duel between James Bond (Sean Connery) and Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) is still considered to be the most famous game of golf in cinematic history.

The famous ‘mini break’ and rowing scenes from Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) were filmed in the Great Hall, Lakes and The Pennsylvania Suite with Hugh Grant, Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth.

In 2004, three movies were released all featuring Stoke Park: Wimbledon, Bride & Prejudice and Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake. In Wimbledon, Paul Bettany is featured on the grass tennis courts. Layer Cake featured Stoke Park in many scenes including the dramatic ending with Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller, filmed on The Mansion’s front steps. Bride & Prejudice, a Bollywood reworking of Jane Austen's classic novel, featured shots throughout the grounds.

Guy Ritchie’s 2008 movie RockNRolla also featured the grass tennis courts and the 21st green. The Stoke Park estate once again featured in W.E., Madonna's 2011 film about the romance between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and its effect of a modern day New Yorker..

Dead of Night - 1945
Two golfers, having fallen for the same woman battle it out in style on the golf course. They decide to play 18 holes who ever loses would leave the area for good. The location, none other than Stoke Park.

James Bond - 007
The third and eighteenth movies in the James Bond series of feature films, Goldfinger (1964) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), were filmed in and around the mansion and on our championship golf course.

Goldfinger - 1964
It would be only a matter of time before James Bond's creator Ian Fleming would inject his passion for golf into a 007 adventure, and in his seventh Bond novel, published in 1959, he had his hero face-off against a villain with the Midas touch.

In the novel Goldfinger, Bond finds himself very much in the rough when playing against Auric Goldfinger, international jeweller, gold smuggler and golf cheat.

Set at the fictional Royal St Mark's at Sandwich in Kent (although a rather transparent use of Fleming's own club, Royal St George's), 007 narrowly escapes defeat by bringing a little gamesmanship of his own into play.
The golf match for the film version Goldfinger (1964) was shot at Stoke Park, and remains cinema's most famous golfing scene. Sean Connery's agent 007 is pitted against Auric Goldfinger, in the monumental form of the late Gert Frobe - complete with Plus Fours!

After catching Goldfinger cheating, Bond switches balls on his opponent during the match. Realising that Bond is attempting to interfere in his affairs, Goldfinger motions to Oddjob, his deadly Korean manservant and caddie, to sever the head of a nearby statue with his steel-rimmed bowler. Bond is suitably impressed, but wonders what the club secretary will have to say. Goldfinger explains smugly, "Oh nothing Mister Bond - I own the club!"

Tomorrow Never Dies - 1997
Stoke Park was proud to welcome back Bond in 1997 when scenes filmed at Stoke Park. The film crew and technicians converted our Ballroom into Bond's hotel room in Hamburg.

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) learns billionaire media mogul Elliot Carver is manipulating world events via an exclusive flow of information through his satellite system reaching all corners of the planet. With a stealth battleship sinking a British naval vessel, Carver sees that the Chinese are blamed.

Crashing Carver's party in Hamburg, Bond meets "journalist" Wai Lin, later revealed as a Chinese agent.
In a brief tryst, filmed at the club, Bond renews his past relationship with Carver's wife Paris (Teri Hatcher). Carver dispatches Stamper (Gotz Otto) cancel Bond, a struggle between them was filmed in the Ballroom.

Bridget Jones's Diary - 2001
In the summer of 2001, Stoke Park’s Grade I listed building and breath-taking 300 acre grounds took to the scenes with a starring role in Bridget Jones's Diary. Daniel Cleaver (the dastardly Hugh Grant) takes the windswept Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) away for a luxury romantic mini break. As we can all recall, after a hilarious afternoon's rowing, filmed on the Club’s glistening lake, the couple retire to the Club's grand Pennsylvania Suite with its gloriously comfortable oak timbered four poster bed, exquisite marble bathroom, under floor heating and magnificent views overlooking the estate.

Layer Cake - 2004
Stoke Park was used extensively throughout this cult iconic English movie, starting right at the beginning when Gene (Colm Meaney) says "I'll see you at Stoke Park at 3.00" and Mr. X (Daniel Craig) and Morty (George Harris) speed up the drive in the opening credits and Morty says "This is sheer class" as they enter the Mansion. The famous lunch scenes with Mr X and the rest of his associates take place in the Wyatt Room and appear quite frequently throughout the movie. The Club's name and logo is used in the movie and even Mr X is given an Honorary Life Membership as a gesture instead of the £3,500,000 he was owed by Mr. Eddie Temple (Sir Michael Gambon), but the most famous scene was the ending when Mr X is shot on the Club's front steps by Sidney (Ben Whishaw) and Tammy (Sienna Miller) is left screaming as Mr X is lies dying at the front of the mansion.

RocknRolla - 2008
Guy Ritchie's 'return to form' gangster movie filmed two scenes at Stoke Park. The first scene takes place on the Club's grass tennis courts when old-school gangster, Lenny Cole, (Tom Wilkinson) continues his influence on the Councillor (Jimi Mistry) and gives him an engraved lighter. The second scene is on the Club's golf course, on the 21st green (with the Clubhouse in the background) when Russian billionaire, Uri Obomavich (Karel Roden) and his side-kick Victor (Dragan Micanovich) show their level of displeasure with Lenny using a golf club!