Maida Vale, London
Maida Vale is a residential district comprising the northern part of Paddington in west London, west of St John's Wood and south of Kilburn. The area is mostly residential, and mainly affluent, with many large late Victorian and Edwardian blocks of mansion flats. It is also home to the BBC Maida Vale Studios.
Maida Vale Tube Station
Filming took place on the night of Saturday February 27th, 1927 and, despite the shortness of the sequence in the final film, took nearly four hours to complete. Prior to filming, Hitchcock had attended a first night at the theatre and arrived on set still dressed in his top hat and tails.
Speaking later to Peter Bogdanovich, Hitchcock recalled:
We couldn't shoot the scene until after midnight, after the last train had gone, so we went to the theatre first and in those days we used to go to a first night in white tie and tails and opera hats. So, after the theatre, I directed this scene in white tie and top hat. The most elegant moment in direction I've ever had.
The Canberra Times reported on the filming:
Late travellers arriving at the station we're puzzled by the huge sunlight arc lamps installed along the escalator and vestibule, until the familiar face of Mr. Ivor Novello, in yellow grease paint, and a camera on trestles, explained the situation. In the street were loudly purring generators on lorries. Scenes were made by Mr. Novello entering the station and booking a ticket, but the real interest lay in a wonderful "shot" on the moving escalator — the first of its kind made in England. The bore of the escalator gave some surprising lighting effects, and Mr. Hitchcock is making the "slow" descent of the character something half symbolic.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
In Dial M for Murder, Tony Wendice gives his home address as 61A Charrington Gardens, Maida Vale.
No such road exists in Maida Vale and the exact location used in London by the second unit team to shoot the exterior footage is currently unknown.
The film also features the fictional Maida Vale Police Station.
Maida Vale Tube Station:
Notes & References
- Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, page 93-94
- The Canberra Times (06/May/1927) - Film Making in a Tube
- Cresent Garden: Dial M for Murder
- Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, page 95