Filming at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace and its stunning gardens and parkland have been used as a location for many exciting feature films and television documentaries. The Palace’s impressive architecture and incredible scenery provides a stunning setting for filming, from classic period dramas, to factual documentaries and modern feature films. Some films place the Palace centre stage but others come to film small aspects you might not recognise at first glance such as part of a staircase or a glimpse of the maze.
If you would like to contact Blenheim Palace to discuss filming opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The most recent large production filmed at the Palace was Gulliver’s Travels starring Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Catherine Tate and Billy Connolly, Jason Segel. Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Liliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens. Blenheim Palace starred as the Palace of Lilliput in the film, with stunning special effects, scenes showed Jack Black as Gulliver towering over the Palace. Gulliver's Travels is a 2010 fantasy comedy film directed by Rob Letterman and very loosely based on Part One of the 18th-century novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift, though the film takes place in modern day. The film stars Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Billy Connolly, Catherine Tate, Chris O'Dowd, James Corden as Jinks and Amanda Peet as Darcy Silverman and is distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Lemuel Gulliver has been working in the mailroom of a New York daily newspaper for the past ten years. Afraid to put himself out there, he considers himself a loser, as do all his peers. One day, after having finally had enough, he decides to declare his flame to the beautiful Darcy Silverman, the newspaper's travel editor and one of Gulliver's only friends...only to chicken out at the last minute and instead tell her that he'd like to try his hand at writing a column. Darcy accepts and sends him on an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle. There, Gulliver becomes shipwrecked and ends up on the island of Liliput, where he is twelve taller than the tallest man. For the first time, Gulliver has people looking up to him...
The Young Victoria
The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend, is a dramatisation of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. The film chronicles Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne, focusing on the early turbulent years of her reign and her legendary romance and marriage to Prince Albert. At the heart of the film is the love story of Victoria and Albert, who she married in 1840.
The romance of Victoria's marriage to Albert caught the imagination of Director, Jean-Marc Vallée. "Victoria was lucky enough to find her soul-mate in Albert. There was a mystical quality to their relationship. They were born three months apart and the same mid-wife delivered them both. They wrote the same things in their diaries and although their marriage was arranged, they really fell in love.”
This happy and fulfilled chapter also appealed to the film’s producer Graham King. "It is a pure love story to me. It is a human story, a story that people can relate to rather than just being a standard period film or film about royalty."
"Prince Albert was purposefully chosen for Victoria over his less attractive older brother, by his uncle King Leopold of Belgium,” explains scriptwriter Julian Fellowes. “Leopold was using Albert to jostle for power and influence over the British throne and considered him ideal for a woman who was determined to marry for love. What is interesting is that Albert fell for her completely. He came from a very dour German court and suddenly he was with this girl who was out for a good time. She loved dancing, music, riding. Everyone had overlooked the possibility that they would fall in love with each other."
Filming took place from August 2007 at 17 locations throughout England including Blenheim Palace that was used, among others, for a scene made to look like Buckingham Palace.
Graham King explains, "It adds so much to the film to shoot at these beautiful locations. You look at these places and think how can you not shoot here? Not only does the film look ravishing, but it's important for everyone especially the cast and director to feel that authenticity and see that translate onto the screen."
A huge old Cedar of Lebanon tree in the Park at Blenheim Palace has a distinctive ‘O’ shaped hole in its trunk that captured the imagination for use in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Michael Goldenberg and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts as the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe the return of the evil Lord Voldemort.
The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and is followed by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Live-action filming took place in England and Scotland for exterior locations and Leavesden Film Studios in Watford for interior locations from February to November 2006, with a one-month break in June. Post-production on the film continued for several months afterwards to add in visual effects.
Bollywood -Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
One of the most iconic Bollywood films of all time Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (‘Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad’) was filmed at Blenheim Palace in 2001 featuring a scene of massed dancing in the Great Court. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is a lavish movie that deals with the issues of class distinction and the roles of women and men in marriage. It opens with a grown Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) finishing his boarding school education and returning to visit his grandmothers before he goes home for Diwali. His grandmothers, haunted by the memory of Rohan's estranged brother, Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan), sit Rohan down, and in their grief, tell him the story of his family. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... was the highest grossing Indian film in the overseas market until 2006, when its record was broken by Johar's third film, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.
Indian filmmaker Karan Johar, director of the smash hit Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, loves shooting his movies on location in Britain. The magnificent stately home Blenheim Palace, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, London’s British Museum and the vibrant shopping district of Covent Garden all feature and are all waiting to be discovered.
Films shot at Blenheim Palace:
Gulliver’s Travels (Jack Black, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Catherine Tate, Billy Connolly) Fox UK Productions, 2010
The Young Victoria (Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Miranda Richardson) Jean-Marc Vallee Director, Producer – Graham King and Martin Scorsese, 2008
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Warner Brothers, 2007
The Libertine (Jonny Depp) Weinstein Company, 2004
The Lost Prince BBC Film Talkback Productions, 2003
The Four Feathers (Heath Ledger) Paramount Pictures, 2002
Kabi Khushi Kabhie Gham Yash Raj films, 2001
Just Visiting French time travel movie, 2001
Entrapment 20th Century Fox, 1999
The Avengers Warner Brothers, 1998
Hamlet (Kenneth Brannagh) Castle Rock, 1996
Black Beauty, 1994
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Harrison Ford), 1989
History of the World, Part 1 (Mel Brooks), 1981
Young Winston Directed by Richard Attenborough, 1972
The Scarlet Pimpernal (Leslie Howard), 1934
Themed Tour - 'Lights, Camera, Action: Blenheim Palace the Star of TV and Film'
A new Themed Tour is available for visitors to hear all about filming that has taken place at Blenheim Palace. The talk will explain what actually happens at the Palace when Hollywood descends and will also look at how TV documentaries and films are made here sometimes involving the colourful characters who work at Blenheim Palace. With large-scale productions the Palace has to cope with an invasion of an enormous amount of equipment, people and at times animals. The Palace has on film at least, been set on fire; been the scene of grand parades, angry protest, feasting, intrigue and murder. The tour will be available for individuals on 14th March in 2013 or on request for groups of 15 or more. Please contact Groups Sales for further information about Group tours, or to book on an individual basis call 01993 811091 or email email@example.com
Alternatively a daily guided tour of the special exhibition 'Lights, Camera, Action - Blenheim Palace, the Star of TV and Film' is available at 12pm/3pm, except Sundays and Bank Holiday Monday. This tour is included in with a Palace, Park and Gardens Ticket and starts at the front door to the Palace.