Nestled a few miles west of London sits Pinewood Studios, still looking as sprightly as ever, but having today reached the grand old age of 75.

And what a 75 years it has been. Though the landscape of cinema has changed beyond recognition in that time (fads have come and gone, new filming techniques have been developed and refined, entire genres have been popularised, then forgotten, then revived), Pinewood remains.

Bought by building tycoon Charles Boot in the early 1930’s, Pinewood was then turned into a studio through a joint venture between Boot and J Arthur Rank, the name being settled on because according to Boot:-

“of the number of trees which grow there and because it seemed to suggest something of the American film centre in its second syllable.”

The studios officially opened their doors on 30th September 1936 and since then has been home to some of the largest scale productions imaginable. The 007 stage was built for The Spy Who Loved Me in the late 1970’s and has accommodated a whole host of Bondian adventures up to and including Quantum of Solace. Check out the video below for the mind-boggling dimensions of this legendary stage.

What else has Pinewood been home to I hear you ask? Try this lot on for size:-

  • Much of Michael Powell’s early output, including Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes and Peeping Tom
  • A Night To Remember, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Ipcress File
  • Superman, Bugsy Malone, Battle of Britain
  • Clash of the Titans (1981), Little Shop of Horrors, Santa Claus: The Movie, Patriot Games, Mission: Impossible
  • Patriot Games, The Fifth Element, Event Horizon, Alien 3, Batman
  • Tomb Raider, United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum, Captain America, The Dark Knight, HP and the Deathly Hallows
  • The Hobbit, Hugo, Kick-Ass, Aliens, Children of Men

I could go on. At some length. What an almighty legacy. The studio continues to thrive, with Tim Burton returning after Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to shoot his next film, Dark Shadows there. The Hobbit and Snow White & The Huntsman are hardly small-fry either.

So if you have them to hand, raise your glasses to Pinewood Studios and its “diamond plus something but not yet platinum” anniversary. What is my favourite of what has been shot there so far? It’s probably not The Da Vinci Code or Tomb Raider. Gosh, this is like trying to pick your favourite child. I guess it would have to be either Aliens or The Bourne Ultimatum. What’s yours?

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Dave Roper
Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.