Filmmakers have found themselves drawn to Liverpool since the early days of cinema. Even a certain Lumière cameraman by the name of Alexandre Promio chose to film in the city in 1896. In 1901, the very first crime construction in The Arrest of Goudie was produced by Mitchell and Kenyon. It was screened just days after Thomas Goudie was take in custody for embezzling money from the Bank of Liverpool. Crime films that have been filmed in Liverpool since include The 51st State, with an explosive climax filmed at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club.
Of course, both the Grand National and football have made numerous appearances in scenes filmed in the Mersey, as is also the case with pop music. Although, aside from the opening scenes of Yellow Submarine, The Beatles didn’t film here. That wasn’t true of Cilla Black, however, who appeared in Ferry Cross the Mersey with Gerry and the Pacemakers. While it could never be said that movie stars die in Liverpool, there have certainly been many who were born there. And landmarks in Liverpool have been shot in movies as varied as Creed, The Dark Knight, Fast and Furious, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Florence Foster Jenkins. For this list, however, we’ll be sticking to films about Liverpudlians themselves.
The accents may never have won any awards, but this Carol Reed feature offers an intriguing portrayal of the city’s mood while Britain was still recovering from the Depression. The story focuses on a party hosted by a tugboat skipper played by Edmund Green after his football knowledge sees him winning the pools. That’s before he’s given some news regarding his coupon while his daughter leads the communal singing. While there may be some rickety black projection, the portrayal of working-class Liverpool can come off a bit patronising. However, this dreamed seems to capture dockland camaraderie perfectly.
This feature from Basil Dearden is a downbeat depiction of delinquency. As a man of the cloth offered to help out the leader of the gang in These Dangerous Years, a priest (played by Peter Cushing) works with a juvenile liaison officer to try work out the motives of pyromaniac Davis McCallum by attempting to understand his background. Gerard Gardens’s residents weren’t at all happy that their tenements were called slums and opposed the idea that crime is a product of poverty. While it may be a flawed thesis, scenes such as the classroom-based gunpoint siege certainly delver some tense moments.
This BBC Wednesday Play was directed by none other than Ken Loach. Written by Gordon Honeycombe and Neville Smith, it combines everyday incidents involving Everton fans with a look into the private and professional life of one particular player by the name of Alex Young. As was revealed in Paul Greengrass’ The Fix, Everton was involved in a betting-related scandal in the very same decade. The loyalty of Everyone fans, however, remained solid as they piled into a truck to make their way to watch their team play at Highbury.