Six of the best: Yorkshire films

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We look back at some of the big blockbuster movies which used Yorkshire as a backdrop and some classics which capture the essence of God’s Own County and the people who live here.

FOUR LIONS SHEFFIELD (2010)

Chris Morris’ satire on British jihadist suicide bombers focuses on four members of the Muslim community in Sheffield and stars voice of phonejacker Kayvan Novak.

It tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging farce. The film showed that-while terrorism is about ideology - it can also be about idiots. A controversial and darkly funny film, it’s a also a realistic depiction of misguided jihadists, from the creators of Brass Eye.

THE WOMAN IN BACK, YORKSHIRE DALES (2012)

Although set in a fictional Edwardian-era English village, Crythin Gifford, the Yorkshire moors are almost take on the role of a character in this brooding and bleak reboot to the Hammer Horror franchise.

The bleak and desolate landscape sets the film up for a chillingly scary series of events. Daniel Radcliffe plays a young lawyer tasked with visiting the supposedly haunted Eel Marsh House but gets more than he planned for when faced with the eponymous Woman in Black. A true horror film with dull Yorkshire overtones.

THE DAMNED UNITED, LEEDS 2009

During the early ‘70s, Leeds United was one of England’s top football teams and Brian Clough a top football manager, famously taking Nottingham Forest from a second division team to winners of the European cup. When Clough took the helm of a struggling Leeds United, however, things didn’t go exactly according to plan.

Clough’s abrasive approach and his clear dislike of the players’ dirty style of play make it certain there is going to be friction. Glimpses of his earlier career help explain both his hostility to previous manager Don Revie.

KES, BARNSLEY (1969)

Looking back at Kes, the Yorkshire portrayed in the film looks like a lost world today - the fog is thick and the accents are even thicker.

Bullied at school and ignored and abused at home by his indifferent mother and older brother, Billy Casper (David Bradley), a 15-year-old working-class Yorkshire boy, tames and trains his pet kestrel falcon whom he names Kes. Helped and encouraged by his English teacher Mr Farthing and his fellow students, Billy finally finds a positive purpose to his unhappy existence, until tragedy strikes.

BRASSED OFF, GRIMETHORPE (1996)

The film is about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band, following the closure of their pit. The soundtrack for the film was provided by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and the plot is based on Grimethorpe’s own struggles against pit closures.

Brassed Off, directed by Mark Herman and starring a young Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald and Pete Postlethwaite.

Set in the fictional mining town of Grimley, it is a loose disguise for the town of Grimethorpe, and revolves around the struggles of a colliery brass band.

CALENDAR GIRLS, RYLSTONE (2003)

This feel good biopic is directed by Nigel Cole and written by Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi.

Starring an ensemble cast headed by Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, with Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, and Geraldine James playing key supporting roles, the film garnered generally positive reactions by film critics, and at a budget of $10 million it became a major success, eventually grossing $96m worldwide following its theatrical release in the United States. Julie Walters and Helen Mirren. It portrays the efforts of a Woman’s Institute in Yorkshire.

Faye Burdett before (left) and after she contracted meningitis. Picture: Meningitis Now/PA Wire

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