In Places

South Devon has been the backdrop for many a fantastic film over the years including some huge blockbuster hits and the region has also been known to make an appearance in some wonderful television shows. The vast and dramatic landscape of Dartmoor National Park, some of the staggeringly beautiful beaches and a few historic stately homes have all featured on the screen in some way which of course just shows off what a charming and alluring region South Devon is. Read on below to find out more about some of the many films and TV shows that were filmed in South Devon.

Film

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976)

Based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Japanese writer, Yukio Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is a drama film about a young boys jealous streak and a plan he devises when his mother begins a new romantic relationship with a second officer aboard a visiting ship. The movie is filmed in Dartmouth with many prominent locations being used including Bayards Cove Fort and The Daymark.

The Remains of the Day (1993)

The Remains of the Day is a British-American film that was adapted from a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro which shares the same name. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and other famous faces, the movie depicts the story of a butler and housekeeper who worked together in the grand Darlington Hall for the Nazi sympathiser, Lord Darlington. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and was filmed in various English estates including Powderham Castle in Kenton near Exeter.

Sense & Sensibility (1995)

Adapted from the tremendous 1811 Jane Austen novel with the same title, Sense and Sensibility was a blockbuster hit scooping three awards and eleven nominations at the 1995 British Film Academy Awards as well as seven Academy Awards. An American period drama, the movie portrays the life and loves of two sisters who find themselves in financial difficulty after the death of their father. The film stars Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, who also wrote the screen play. Many South Devon locations were used in filming including Saltram House near Plymouth, Flete House & Flete Estate in the South Hams district, Berry Pomeroy church and Compton Castle with other scenes taking place in stately homes and National Trust properties around the UK.

Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004)

An irreverent comedy, Churchill: The Hollywood Years is a British film released in 2004 and was directed by Peter Richardson. The piece takes the Mickey out of the Hollywood industry’s portrayal of history, in it for example, we see Adolf Hitler move into Buckingham Palace with intent to marry into the Windsors! Starring Christian Slater, Neve Campbell and many other notable names, the film was mainly shot at Royal William Yard in Plymouth with scenes also being filmed at Oldway Mansion in Paignton, Powderham Castle in Exeter, Brixham and Cockington in Torquay.  

War Horse (2011)

War Horse is a captivating and moving war drama based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed and co-produced the film with Kathleen Kennedy which was nominated for six Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and five BAFTAs. Released in 2011, the movie tells the story of a young boy and his relationship with his horse who sadly has to be sold to the army. This beautiful movie was shot in various locations across the UK with many parts taking place on our beloved Dartmoor.

My Cousin Rachel (2017)

Starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, My Cousin Rachel is a 2017 romantic drama based upon the novel of the same title by Daphne du Maurier. It delves into the story of a young man named Philip who meets the wife of his late cousin. Philip suspects the wife, Rachel, to be responsible for his cousins death, however as they spend time together, this thought drifts away. A compelling story, elegantly told, the movie was shot on locations in both the UK and Italy, with Flete Estate being used for some scenes.  

The Mercy (2018)

Partially set and filmed in the seaside resort of Teignmouth, The Mercy was released in February 2018 and stars Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. The film portrays the enthralling true story of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur sailor who attempted to sail around the world single-handedly and his deception about it. Filming for the movie took place in Malta, Dorset and of course the stunning coastal town, Teignmouth. Many locals were even used as extras in the filming!

Television

The Coroner (2015-2016)

Filmed in various locations throughout South Devon, The Coroner ran for two seasons in 2015 and 2016. Starring Claire Goose and Matt Bardock, the daytime drama is about a coroner and Detective Sergeant investigating unexplained deaths. Many prominent South Devon towns and landmarks were used in the filming including; Dartington, Dartmouth, Hope Cove, Broadsands Beach in Paignton, Torquay, Totnes and Oldway Mansion in Paignton

The Hotel (2011-2015)

The Hotel is a docuseries that had four seasons in total, with seasons 2 & 3 filmed at the Grosvenor Hotel in the English Riviera resort of Torquay. Hotelier Mark Jenkins dominated the entertaining show and quickly became widely known up and down the UK. After selling the Grosvenor Hotel, Mark Jenkins appeared as the Entertainment Manager of its rival hotel, The Cavendish, in season 4.   

Fish Town (2011)

Set in the harbourside town of Brixham on the English Riviera, also known as Torbay, Fish Town is a 10 part documentary about this fascinating fishing port and the people who reside there. Offering a unique perspective on this pretty little town, the series showcases the beautiful and quaint resort along with its inhabitants and their day to day lives

Film & TV with links to South Devon

The following were not actually filmed in Devon, but we couldn’t leave them off the list as it is well known that they have definite links to the region!

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

The 2011 hit starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, We Bought a Zoo is a comedy-drama about a widowed father who buys a dilapidated zoo and his journey to reopen it. Although the film is set in California, the story is based on Benjamin Mee, who actually bought Dartmoor Zoo.

Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)

Fawlty Towers is a classic British sitcom that was broadcast on BBC 2 during the seventies. The comedy TV show however only had two series but its impact is still around today. Starring John Cleese, Prunella Scales and other household names, even though the show is set in a fictional hotel in Torquay, no filming actually took place here in South Devon.   

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