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The ten best Yorkshire movies

We reckon these are the most Yorkshire films to ever come out of Yorkshire

There’s more to Yorkshire on screen than barren moorland and sloping Victorian terraces – you can also find romance, politics and, occasionally, Armageddon. As scorching new drama ‘Catch Me Daddy’ shines a light into some of the county’s darker corners, we celebrate the very best of Yorkshire in the movies.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)
1/10

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Okay, not a lot of it is actually set in God’s own county (the clue’s in the title) and not a frame of it was shot there, but there’s no escaping the fact that John Landis’s classic comedy horror defines Yorkshire in the eyes of most filmgoers. It’s damp, unfriendly and insular, and you never know what’ll happen if you wander off on the moors…

How Yorkshire is it?
About as authentic as the Euston branch of Harry Ramsden’s, but still a great movie.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘’Ave you ’eard the one about the crashin’ plane?’

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This Sporting Life (1963)
2/10

This Sporting Life (1963)

He may have wrestled with the accent, but Irishman Richard Harris at least looks the part of a Wakefield miner whose aggressive tendencies make him a shoo-in for the local rugby team. Director Lindsay Anderson’s patrician eye turns Yorkshire into a prehistoric wasteland of grimey-faced flat-cap wearers, but back in 1963 we had to take what we could get.

How Yorkshire is it?
The locations are spot on, but it’s all a bit patronising.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘Eh love, show us your personality!’

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Wuthering Heights (2011)
3/10

Wuthering Heights (2011)

Yorkshire’s greatest novel becomes one of the most beautiful films ever shot there, with dour, windswept locations on the moors around Swaledale and Wensleydale. Director Andrea Arnold’s loose, realist treatment of the source material may have divided audiences, but it’s a five-course fish supper for the eyes.

How Yorkshire is it?
As convincingly earthy as an old folk ballad delivered by a strapping Dalesman in a chunky-knit sweater.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘You’ve killed me! Will you be happy when I am in the earth?’

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The Full Monty (1997)
4/10

The Full Monty (1997)

You can leave your flat cap on. No one – including its makers – expected this tale of everyday Sheffield strippers to conquer the world, but for better or worse, it did. We’re no longer just a bunch of chip-eating, whippet-owning tight arses – now we’re naked too!

How Yorkshire is it?
Dole queues, child support and screeching hen parties – sounds like Yorkshire to us.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘Anti-wrinkle cream there may be, but anti-fat-bastard cream there is not.’

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Four Lions (2010)
5/10

Four Lions (2010)

It’s back to Sheffield for Chris Morris’s cruelly hilarious tale of domestic terrorism, a film that shouldn’t be half as funny as it is, given recent events. Still, it makes you feel a bit better about the rise of IS.

How Yorkshire is it?
Four lads head to the Big Smoke intent on causing mayhem, and wind up tussling with the police? Sounds about right.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘Rubber dinghy rapids, bro!’

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The Arbor (2010)
6/10

The Arbor (2010)

It was hard to know whether to include the 1987 adaptation of Andrea Dunbar’s dark sex comedy ‘Rita, Sue and Bob Too’, or this startling semi-documentary take on the playwright’s own brutal life story. In the end, we went for the more groundbreaking film, shot on the Bradford estate where Dunbar lived and died prematurely.

How Yorkshire is it?
If you want to understand the impact of successive government policies on Yorkshire’s poorest, look no further.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘She were messing about wi’ matches, and the mattress caught fire.’

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Threads (1984)
7/10

Threads (1984)

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect meeting of subject matter and location than Barry Hines’s teleplay about the impact of a nuclear strike: Sheffield in 1984 was already half way to being a post-apocalyptic landscape. One of the most devastating films ever made, ‘Threads’ is brutalist British sci-fi without equal.

How Yorkshire is it?
Even in the face of Armageddon, the good folk of Sheffield just keep on keeping on. We’re used to black rain.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘Babby comin! Babby comin!’

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My Summer of Love (2004)
8/10

My Summer of Love (2004)

On the moorland slopes above Todmorden, two young women spend a delirious summer exploring each other’s hearts, minds, families and, ultimately, bodies. After decades of gloom and struggle, finally someone had the good grace to depict Yorkshire as a place of warmth, unfettered emotion and golden late-evening light.

How Yorkshire is it?
You can keep your grim-oop-north clichés. Yorkshire does romance as well as anyone.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘Apparently I’m a bad influence on people.’

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Brassed Off (1996)
9/10

Brassed Off (1996)

This tale of a colliery band dealing with the impact of pit closures could so easily have been a hideous parade of gleaming tubas, greasy chip butties and godawful ee-by-eck-petal dialogue – the fact that it’s set in a town called ‘Grimley’ isn’t exactly promising. But thanks to a heartfelt script and some sparkling performances, the result is an air-punching example of true Yorkshire pride.

How Yorkshire is it?
Curmudgeonly blokes discuss life, love, loss and how much they hate the Tories? Welcome to Yorkshire!

Most Yorkshire quote
‘The only reason I get up in the morning is to see if my luck’s changed. And it never bloody has.’

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Kes (1969)
10/10

Kes (1969)

The kitchen-sink movement of the early ’60s was crammed with scowling bitter drinkers struggling to express their emotions, but most of those movies haven’t aged too well. Ken Loach delivered the first and still the greatest Yorkshire masterpiece with this heartbreaking tale of a boy and his kestrel. Rugby player-turned-actor Brian Glover would go on to personify Yorkshireness in the eyes of the entire world.

How Yorkshire is it?
It’s fit to sit alongside ‘Wuthering Heights’, a Hockney sculpture and the first three Wedding Present albums in the canon of great Yorkshire art.

Most Yorkshire quote
‘Look at your ‘ands, they’re absolutely filthy. We’ll end up with dirty books.’ ‘I don’t read dirty books!’

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