Tuesday 24 March 2009

Reel ale (what else?)

You know that you are changing into a beer geek when during a scene in the Watchmen you wonder what beer the former Nite Hawk is drinking; you also worry about your sanity when you think that an excellent quiz question would be: name two occasions when James Bond drinks beer. Answer, he has Red Stripe in the book of Dr No and an unidentified Peruvian brand in a bar in Quantum of Solace (though I am sure someone else can trump me on that). 
So given that I have written a fair share of film reviews in my time I start thinking of pubs (or bars) in films. So here they are in no particular order of course.
1 The Prancing Pony in Lord of the Rings, when Frodo makes himself invisible.
2 The Fool & Bladder in Sir Henry of Rawlinson End — you wouldn’t want to go there. A man gets up and sings and another man gets up and chins him. Seth One-tooth is the guv’nor.
3 I think an evening at the Crow purrs Richard E Grant in Withnail & I — ‘I thought you had the look of a military man,’ slurs the landlord when the lads come in. Of course, there’s also the London pub where perfumed ponces are ten a penny.
4 An unnamed pub in The Battle of Britain — as the Home Guard lot do their drills outside, carrying on in that loveable British shambolic way that hides the fact that they are really trained killers, inside RAF pilot Christopher Plummer has a tete-a-tete with fellow RAF-ee Susannah York.
5 Then there’s the bierkeller in Where Eagles Dare — buxom Ingrid Pitt serves Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton with foaming steins of lager. Apparently it’s set in 1944, but brewing is supposed to have stopped in the Third Reich in 1943. Must have been a secret stash.
6 Villain Harold Shand and entourage are driving towards an East End pub with Mafia guests and the place explodes before them in The Long Good Friday.
7 Virginal policeman Edward Woodward walks into a keg-friendly hotel bar in the Wicker Man; later on in the evening Britt Ekland’s body double will do an hilarious naked dance.
8 Arthur Seaton falls down the stairs of his local after a skinful in Saturday Night, Sunday Morning; he’s not hungover enough to bed Rachel Roberts though.
9 Fun amongst the snob screens with Tony Hancock in The Punch and Judy Man
10 In Get Carter Michael Caine orders a beer in a busy bar when he gets to Newcastle; have a look at the second local staring at him; he’s got five fingers and a thumb.


  1. I served Susannah York in Microbar. She drank white wine but she didn't mention Battle of Britain.

  2. That’s because her beau got terribly burnt in his Spitfire and she also lost some of her ‘girls’ (she was a WRAF officer) in an air-raid. You’d want to forget wouldn’t you?

  3. What about the Mos Eisley cantina?

  4. Any of the pubs in the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films are great. Out of tune piano; caged raven; one-eyed pipe smoking locals drinking from pewter tankards; and barmaids who might be either cockneys or Australians. Perfect.

    The Slaughtered Lamb in An American Werewolf in London is good, too. Rik Mayall is one of the creepy Yorkshire boozers.