Hopes for Northumberland tourism boost when Railway Man movie released

TOURISM bosses are hoping for a boost when a blockbuster movie hits the big screen.

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth on Holy Island causeway
Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth on Holy Island causeway

TOURISM bosses are hoping for a boost when a blockbuster movie hits the big screen.

The movie Railway Man, based on the life of a late Northumberland prisoner of war and partly shot in the county, is just weeks away from release.

The film is based on the life of Berwick World War Two veteran Eric Lomax and features megastars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in the leading roles.

It was partly shot in the town and on Holy Island, and the $26m movie is set to hit cinemas from May 9.

It is based on a book written by Mr Lomax, who was captured in the fall of Singapore and worked on the Thailand-Burma “death railway”.

He confronted his Japanese captors after the war and, in 2007, received a personal apology for his treatment as a prisoner from the 70-year-old son of Japanese Captain Matsuo Komai, who was hanged as a war criminal.

The film is largely shot in Asia, Australia and Scotland but Firth, who plays Mr Lomax, and Kidman, his wife Patti, were on Holy Island last May for additional shooting.

Jude Leitch, tourism development manager at Northumberland Tourism, said: “It gives people the chance to see the county.

That route from Berwick down on the train is one of the best routes in the UK.

“There has been lots and lots of filming up here over the years. The reason we get a lot of filming is because it is so unspoilt.

“We think it is absolutely brilliant for the county, obviously.”

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