Public Houses in Films

There was a period after the Second World War when inner city areas were ruled by gangs of restless youths.

The Blind Beggar Pub home to the Krays

A lot of these gangs would meet in local pubs and some would use them as their working offices. As films have been made to portray the activities of these mobsters, they were filmed in those actual pubs, and some bars have become as famous as the criminals themselves. During the 1960s, London was ruled by two families: the Kray’s and the Richardson’s. The Richardson’s ruled the areas south of the River Thames, and the Kray’s ruled the region to the north of the river. The film about the Kray’s was released in 1990 and shot many scenes inside the Blind Beggar Pub in Whitechapel. The most infamous incident occurred in 1966, when George Cornell, from the Richardson Gang, taunted Ronnie Kray all evening. Kray simply walked up to him in the saloon bar and shot him in the head, which resulted in Cornell dying in hospital later that evening. The pub is still operating today and attracts many tourists. Another pub that is famed for violent scenes is the Crosslands in Glasgow. The pub was featured in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. While inside the bar, one of the cast throws a beer glass from upstairs into the crowd below, striking a lady in the face. The lady receives a nasty cut, and this results a massive bar brawl. The difference between this pub and the Blind Beggar was that the events in this Glasgow bar were fictional, as opposed to the historical events in the East London pub.

A rather strange venue for a strip bar

A pub that was made famous not by men fighting, but for taking their clothes off, was the “Shiregreen’s working men’s club” in Sheffield. In the film “The Full Monty” that was released in 1997, out-of-work steel workers decided to try and earn money by performing as male strippers. The pub remains today, and it has hardly changed over the years, despite its success on the screen. Working men’s clubs are types of pubs that have been subsidized by major companies. Many of the Sheffield working men’s clubs were subsidized by the steel companies. A pub that was featured in both a book and a film was the “Star and Garter” in Brighton. It first featured in Graham Green’s book “Brighton Rock” which was turned into a film in 1947. The film portrayed the lives of teenage hooligans and the pub is now called Doctor Brighton’s which attracts a far more up-market clientele.  The Black Swan was the pub where the scenes for “An American Ware-wolf in London” were shot. The horror movie told how a group of back-packers tried to enter the pub to get away from the cold, yet the regulars threw them out into the clutches of the ware-wolf. The pub is actually situated in Oakham, which is in the middle of upper class Surrey. It is the last place one would ever to suspect ware-wolves to appear, and the pub does not advertise that it was the location for the film. Many pubs have been home to films because in many towns they are the heart of the community and are usually the place to hear about the best of stories.