Sir Michael Caine turns up in Camber Sands to play a war veteran


It’s not every day a Hollywood star turns up in Camber Sands, but locals were treated to exactly that as work began on a new film this week. 

With principal photography well underway on the East Sussex beach, Sir Michael Caine was spotted in a wheelchair as he prepared to shoot his scenes.

Michael takes a starring role in forthcoming film The Great Escaper, based on war veteran Bernard Jordan’s 2014 escape from a British care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy, France. 

Surprise: It’s not every day a Hollywood star turns up in Camber Sands, but locals were treated to exactly that as work began on a new film this week

Filming: With principal photography well underway in East Sussex, Sir Michael Caine was spotted in a wheelchair as he prepared to shoot his scenes

Keeping warm: He was seen with a coat slung over his shoulders to keep warm

Filming: With principal photography well underway in East Sussex, Sir Michael Caine was spotted in a wheelchair as he prepared to shoot his scenes

Wheelchair: The veteran actor, 89, was seen filming on a small street decorated with bunting, before heading to a local beach where the cast and crew gathered by the sea

Wheelchair: The veteran actor, 89, was seen filming on a small street decorated with bunting, before heading to a local beach where the cast and crew gathered by the sea

The veteran actor, 89, was seen filming on a small street decorated with flag bunting, before heading to a local beach where the cast and crew gathered by the sea.

In some scenes, Michael was seen filming in a wheelchair, while in other moments he used a walking stick and zimmer frame as he walked around Camber Sands.

He cut a smart figure in navy trousers and a light blue shirt, which he wore underneath a cardigan and grey coat amid the autumnal temperatures.

Style: He cut a smart figure in navy trousers and a light blue shirt, which he wore underneath a cardigan and grey coat amid the autumnal temperatures

Style: He cut a smart figure in navy trousers and a light blue shirt, which he wore underneath a cardigan and grey coat amid the autumnal temperatures

Lead: The veteran actor, 89, takes a starring role in forthcoming film The Great Escaper,

Novel: It is based on war veteran Bernard Jordan’s 2014 escape from a British care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy, France

Lead: The actor, 89, takes a starring role in The Great Escaper, based on Bernard Jordan’s 2014 escape from a care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy

Shops: In another scene, Michael was seen appearing out of what appeared to be a French shop

Shops: In another scene, Michael was seen appearing out of what appeared to be a French shop 

Keeping warm: Michael was seen huddled beneath a black coat as he kept warm in the autumnal temperatures

Takes: Michael was seen being pushed by another person during filming

Keeping warm: Michael was seen huddled beneath a black coat as he kept warm in the autumnal temperatures 

Scenes: A street appeared to have been transformed into a French road with flag bunting and small shops and cafes

Scenes: A street appeared to have been transformed into a French road with flag bunting and small shops and cafes 

Michael was seen sporting an array of military medals attached to his green cardigan as he embodied the real-life war veteran. 

He will be reunited with actress Glenda Jackson, 86, as Jordan’s wife Irene, 47-years after they famously starred in director Joseph Losey’s The Romantic Englishwoman.

A synopsis for the new film reads: ‘It was a story that captured the imagination of the world – Bernie seemed to embody the defiant, ‘can-do’ spirit of a generation that was fast disappearing.

Setting up: Members of the cast and crew were seen busy at work as they gathered around Michael, who used a walking stick on the beach

Setting up: Members of the cast and crew were seen busy at work as they gathered around Michael, who used a walking stick on the beach

In character: In some scenes, Michael was seen filming in a wheelchair, while in other moments he used a walking stick and zimmer frame as he walked around Camber Sands

Scenes: Michael wore army medals as he embodied his war veteran character

In character: In some scenes, Michael was seen filming in a wheelchair, while in other moments he used a walking stick and zimmer frame as he walked around Camber Sands

Character: Michael plays Bernard Jordan, a D-Day veteran who ran away from a care home to attend the D-Day commemorations

Character: Michael plays Bernard Jordan, a D-Day veteran who ran away from a care home to attend the D-Day commemorations

Shooting: The veteran actor was seen walking with a zimmer frame during filming

Outfit: He sported a flat cap as he shot scenes

Shooting: The veteran actor was seen walking with a zimmer frame during filming and sported a flat cap

New series: Michael looked solemn as he was seen walking towards the beach in the poignant scenes for the ITV series

New series: Michael looked solemn as he was seen walking towards the beach in the poignant scenes for the ITV series 

Project: The new film is being directed from an original screenplay written by William Ivory, best known for his work on Made In Dagenham and Common As Muck

Project: The new film is being directed from an original screenplay written by William Ivory, best known for his work on Made In Dagenham and Common As Muck

Travels: Michael was seen embodying the real-life war veteran

Support: He stepped out of a shop with a zimmer frame

Travels: Michael was seen embodying the real-life war veteran as he stepped out of a shop with a zimmer frame 

Big project: BAFTA nominated director Oliver Parker, whose film credits include An Ideal Husband, St Trinian's and cult horror classic Hellraiser, has been drafted in to helm the project

Big project: BAFTA nominated director Oliver Parker, whose film credits include An Ideal Husband, St Trinian’s and cult horror classic Hellraiser, has been drafted in to helm the project 

‘But of course, it wasn’t the whole story. It was the story we all tell ourselves to make war and old age bearable. The bitter-sweet script explores the reality with wit and a very big heart.

‘Bernie’s adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Rene (Jackson) – the story celebrates their love without sentimentality and with an eye to the lessons we might all learn from the Greatest Generation.’ 

BAFTA nominated director Oliver Parker, whose film credits include An Ideal Husband, St Trinian’s and cult horror classic Hellraiser, has been drafted in to helm the project. 

Busy: Michael was seen being taken through crowds on a residential street, which appeared to have been transformed into a French street

Busy: Michael was seen being taken through crowds on a residential street, which appeared to have been transformed into a French street 

Accolades: Michael was seen sporting an array of military medals attached to his green cardigan as he embodied his war veteran character

Looking out to sea: He was seen looking out to sea in one poignant film

Accolades: Michael was seen sporting an array of military medals attached to his green cardigan as he embodied his war veteran character

Chatting: Michael was seen speaking to members of the crew in-between takes as they filmed seaside scenes

Chatting: Michael was seen speaking to members of the crew in-between takes as they filmed seaside scenes 

Series: A synopsis says: 'Bernie's adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Rene (Jackson) - the story celebrates their love without sentimentality'

Leading role: Michael is taking on the leading role of the real-life war veteran

Series: A synopsis says: ‘Bernie’s adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Rene (Jackson) – the story celebrates their love without sentimentality’

Back together: He will be reunited with actress Glenda Jackson, 86, as Jordan's wife Irene, 47-years after they famously starred in director Joseph Losey's The Romantic Englishwoman

Back together: He will be reunited with actress Glenda Jackson, 86, as Jordan’s wife Irene, 47-years after they famously starred in director Joseph Losey’s The Romantic Englishwoman

The new film is being directed from an original screenplay written by William Ivory, best known for his work on Made In Dagenham and Common As Muck. 

‘No one can resist a script that makes people both laugh and cry – I loved Billy’s writing and the story itself, so inspirational and so moving, seemed to speak to our times and our need for heroes on a human scale, whether people like Bernard Jordan or our doctors and nurses,’ said Parker. 

‘And now to have Michael and Glenda – two iconic actors – agree to honour this story with their brilliance, it’s the cherry on the cake!’ 

Character: World War II veteran Jordan disappeared from The Pines care home in Hove, East Sussex, embarking on a cross-channel trip for the 70th anniversary of D-Day wearing his war medals underneath his grey mac

Character: World War II veteran Jordan disappeared from The Pines care home in Hove, East Sussex, embarking on a cross-channel trip for the 70th anniversary of D-Day wearing his war medals underneath his grey mac

Army: War veterans and military personnel were seen gathered on the street during scenes

Military: Other veterans were seen gathering for the scenes

Army: War veterans and military personnel were seen gathered on the street during scenes 

World War II veteran Jordan disappeared from The Pines care home in Hove, East Sussex, embarking on a cross-channel trip for the 70th anniversary of D-Day wearing his war medals underneath his grey mac.

Jordan’s disappearance on June 5 2014 sparked a police search and his whereabouts was only uncovered when a younger veteran from Brighton phoned later that night to say he had met the veteran on a coach on the way to France, and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham.

Following Jordan’s return, Mayor of Brighton and Hove Brian Fitch said the war veteran should be honoured with the freedom of his home city – which has previously been given to a select few including First World War hero Henry Allingham, Olympic champion Steve Ovett and Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Getting involved: Veterans pose on Camber Sands beach during Monday's location shoot

Getting involved: Veterans pose on Camber Sands beach during Monday’s location shoot 

Great Escape: Bernard Jordan in Ouistream, Normandy, at the Grand Bunker museum

The great escape: World War II veteran Jordan disappeared from The Pines care home in Hove, East Sussex, embarking on a cross-channel trip for the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014 

True life: The new film is based on war veteran Bernard Jordan’s 2014 escape from a British care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy

True life: The new film is based on war veteran Bernard Jordan’s 2014 escape from a British care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy

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