007 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Who doesn’t love a Bond movie? They all have the perfect ingredients – car chase, gunfight, sexy girls – and eye candy for the ladies too! But, best of all, the goodies always win and despite a bit of carnage on the way, there is always a happy ending. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the really romantic Bond movie made back in 1969. Bond (played by George Lazenby) falls in love with Tracy Draco (Diana Rigg) and subsequently marries her. The marriage scenes are filmed in Estoril’s magnificent gardens. Estoril is part of the exclusive Portuguese riviera and is home to the Casino Estoril. Approximately 25km west of Lisbon and well worth a visit to one of the many exclusive restaurants. You certainly wouldn’t be out of place ordering a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred!
The Boys From Brazil (1978)
The British/American thriller is a classic full of big names such as Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck, James Mason and Denholm Elliott. Fascinating storyline based around Nazi hunters, surrogate mothers and eugenics. Whilst the film is interesting and intriguing, it is also totally abhorrent. Filmed in Lisbon, as South America was out of the question, the film put Lisbon firmly on the map as an alternative location for South America. The film was nominated for three academy awards. An oldie but an absolute classic.
The Ninth Gate (1999)
A Roman Polanski movie starring Johnny Depp, this movie was made in various locations across europe. The scenes shot in Portugal were filmed at Sintrra at the Chalet Biester which was used as the home of a collector of rare books. The film is rather spooky and atmospheric which is accentuated by the fabulous locations. No spoilers but if you like history and the supernatural, you will love this film.
Night Train to Lisbon (2013)
A hugely complicated novel in many ways which became a literary and film sensation all across Europe when it was released in 2013. The film starred Jeremy Irons as a classics professor, leading a dull existence until a chance encounter on a train gave him the opportunity to re-think his life and the path he wished to take. Not surprisingly, much of the filming took place in the seedier parts of Lisbon, including Santa Apolonia train station which is Lisbon’s oldest railway station, built in 1865. If you know Lisbon at all you will recognise Rua da Bica and the Church of Carmo. There is also a guided tour available for those movie buffs who want to explore the locations themselves. The cobbled alleyways, the medieval castles and night time filming all contribute to showing Lisbon in many guises both friendly and sinister for the purposes of this movie. Personally, I’m really keen to take the tour having read the book and watched the movie several times.
Based on historical events, three young shepherds in Fatima, Portugal, report having seen apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. Their revelations inspire believers but anger officials of both the Catholic Church and the secular government. Both organisations attempt to force the children to recant their stories. The revelations made to the children by the apparition have become incredibly controversial over the years and much speculation concerning the truth surrounding the revelations remains. A fascinating story filmed in a beautiful location.Since the revelations first came to light, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have visited the town of Fatima. Fatima is located in Sesimbra, Coimbra and the movie was actually filmed in Fatima itself. Definitely worth a visit to see the area for yourself and the film will set you thinking!