Creative connections that transform

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News

November

The Savoy Hotel in Gambit

Date posted: 01.11.2012

Scripted by the Coen Brothers, Gambit finds Harry Dean (Colin Firth) in his bid to steal a painting from one of the world's richest men. With Nicole (Cameron Diaz) to act as his beautiful gambit, the plan inevitably takes a few twists and turns.

Gambit shot extensively in London in early 2011, including at the iconic Savoy Hotel. Filming for five nights at the Hotel was an intense but positive experience. The Front Hall and driveway (Savoy Court) were the main areas used by the production, with additional filming in Embankment gardens at the River Entrance.  

As a five star hotel, and being unable to close off areas to their guests, filming through the night was essential to minimise disruption. Julia Harris from The Savoy speaks of the challenges faced, in particular with the use of public spaces, explaining that "the busiest and most challenging times were between 11pm and 1am when guests who had been dining or attending a function in the hotel were leaving."

The final night of the shoot involved filming on the busiest evening of the week, Friday, and the crew had to adapt to the crowd that had gathered to watch, attracted by the film's A-list cast, especially as Firth had recently be awarded the Best Actor Oscar®.

A demanding schedule, which took place in key areas of the Hotel, Location Manager, Sue Quinn, praises the Hotel, saying "not only was the location five star but the staff were too", reflecting the attitude and flexibility of the location in meeting the needs of the shoot.

A British icon since 1889, The Savoy has undergone a £220m restoration, blending elements of the original and the new, with elegant and glamorous English Edwardian and Art Deco interiors. The 268 bedroom and suites are stylish and luxurious, with stunning views of the Thames and London. The Savoy comprises the 1889 Edwardian building that stands on the Strand and the newer Art Deco styled block with river views, built in 1911. The two buildings are connected by a bridge over Savoy Way. There is a separate River Entrance on a quiet road as well as the main Strand entrance.

The bedrooms and suites are decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style with marble bathrooms, all with the famous Savoy rain showerheads and some with freestanding claw baths. The River Restaurant has an Art Deco-influenced setting with a fine view of the Thames. The Savoy Grill has retained the original table plan, while original 1920s Art Deco lighting, wood panelling, bespoke silk and velvet fabrics and handmade dining chairs have restored the restaurant to its original glory. With its electric blue and gold chairs and constant buzz, the American Bar retains the style of the golden age of cocktails in the 1920s.

The Savoy continues its involvement with the film, holding the film's press junket on 7th November. Gambit is to be released nationwide on Wednesday 21 November.

For filming enquiries at the Savoy, contact Julia Harris, Director of Entertainment Sales, on 020 7836 4343 / savoy@fairmont.com.

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