Films set on Guernsey
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society may be the best-known film to have been set on Guernsey, but it was far from the only one. From horror to comedy and adventure, the island has more than held its own on the big screen.
Here’s a run down of some of the best films set on Guernsey and some of the stars that appeared in them. Also, check out our run-down of TV programmes featuring Guernsey.
Films set on Guernsey
Although only a small island, Guernsey has proved itself to have more than enough to keep cinema audiences entertained.
The most famous film set on Guernsey was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which opened in cinemas in 2018. Despite being set on the island (and, in parts, in London), none of the film was actually shot on Guernsey. Locations in Cornwall stood in, with Bideford acting as St Peter Port.
The Sea Devils, starring Rock Hudson, opened in cinemas in 1953. It was loosely based on the plot of Victor Hugo’s Guernsey novel, The Toilers of the Sea.
Set on Guernsey and in Barbados, The Story of Adele H focuses on Victor Hugo’s daughter, Adele, and her pursuit of a man who doesn’t love her. It was filmed in Guernsey and Senegal, in 1975, with several Guernsey locals playing parts.
New Zealand film The Devil’s Rock, which opened in cinemas in 2011, tells the story of commandos raiding the German range-finding tower at Pleinmont where they uncover a plot to summon up the devil to help Germany win the Second World War.
Oliver Reed lived on Guernsey for many years, initially at the Duke of Normandie Hotel in St Peter Port. He was arrested there after breaking a window while wearing only his underwear, and kept in police cells overnight.
Silent cinema star Charlie Chaplin has the people of Guernsey to thank for his success. They were fairly unreceptive of his spoken comedy act when he appeared in St Peter Port, which helped convince him that silent comedy was the way forward. Thus, even when films started including sound, he persevered with his signature silent slapstick.
Film and television actor Dennis Price was rushed to hospital in Guernsey from his home on Sark in 1966 when suffering from what his manager described as ‘Sark Tummy’. He was later back in hospital with a broken hip, from which he never recovered. Dennis Price died on Guernsey and was buried back on Sark.