Gallus Glasgow Z: World War Z

There can’t be a corner of Glasgow which hasn’t featured in home-grown films and TV shows such as the long-running detective series, Taggart. But Hollywood has also come to call on several occasions. For example, there was great excitement in 2011 when the centre of Glasgow “played” Philadelphia in World War Z – especially as the star was none other than Brad Pitt. Here’s the City Chambers in George Square with the green signs and yellow traffic lights of a US city.

Glasgow as Philadelphia

In my own picture of the same building, you can just about make out the normal UK lights at the bottom left.

Glasgow City Chambers

Zombie attacks aren’t my thing, so I haven’t seen World War Z. However, shortly after Brad Pitt’s visit, Halle Berry was here filming the San Francisco sequences of Cloud Atlas. That I did go to – and very strange it was, thanks to CGI, to see streets which were totally recognisable on one side and completely imaginary on the other. Glasgow has also doubled as 1890s New York in House of Mirth (with Gillian Anderson) and, as far as I know, the most recent Hollywood A-lister to film here was Scarlett Johannson (Under The Skin).

We’re famous! Come and see us! I hope my roundup of Gallus Glasgow has tempted some of you.


66 thoughts on “Gallus Glasgow Z: World War Z

  1. dormousetidings April 30, 2015 / 10:07

    Hi Anabel, I have thoroughly enjoyed your A to Z of Glasgow and one day I hope to join one of your walking tours and enjoy the many sights you have show cased. My favourite post, without a doubt, was ‘K for The Kelvin’ and the accompanying video. I am still singing the ditty with the boys! 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 10:14

      Thank you! I hope to give you a Glasgow tour one day. Keep watching the video and practising your Kelvinside accent.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Martha Reynolds April 30, 2015 / 10:38

    Congratulations, Anabel, on completing the challenge! I had a virtual tour this month and enjoyed it very much.


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 12:53

      Thank you – it was great to meet you too. Pats on the back all round!


  3. VioletSky April 30, 2015 / 12:58

    Congratulations on a job well done with this challenge!
    I was back in Glasgow last year for the first time in about a decade, which may be why your posts resonated so much with me.


  4. vannillarock April 30, 2015 / 14:40

    More than a bit gallus – loved it all, Anabel.
    So glad to have predicted Z. In fact remembering that world world z was filmed there made me smile from ear to ear. Because my daughter who lived round corner from George square walks that way to work and sent this what app saying hand had been chased by zombies that morning.
    Needless to say I dell abou.
    It was a good film, and very identifiable as Glasgow.
    Sheer dead brilliant.


      • vannillarock April 30, 2015 / 14:48

        I do. I have just wakened up (6.30am here) and reading this on my iPhone with no lens in and my parliamo Glasgow not engaged!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Heyjude April 30, 2015 / 14:58

    Well done on completing this challenge. I have thoroughly enjoyed my month in ‘Gallus’ Glasgow and yes, you have tempted me to visit. Congratulations Anabel. Now you can relax over the bank holiday weekend 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 15:04

      Thank you Jude! It would be wonderful to see you here one day.


      • Heyjude April 30, 2015 / 16:35

        I am going to nominate you for another challenge if you are up for it! Won’t be until next Friday and it is short and sweet. You just need one photo a day for five days with a story. Doesn’t have to be a long story. Anyway my Day One is on Monday so have a look then and you can decide whether or not to do it. Definitely no pressure whatsoever 🙂


  6. Sherri Lackey April 30, 2015 / 15:13

    I had no idea that movie was filmed there. How interesting! If I ever watch it again I’ll have to pay closer attention. It’s funny when you can spot something like that in a film. The 1990s science fiction TV show Roswell for instance was not filmed in Roswell, New Mexico but in various locations around California. The real Roswell is a town close to my childhood home in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The town of Roswell didn’t let that fact keep them from cashing in on the tourist industry however when fans of the show wanted to see the real Roswell. It went from being just another little western town to something entirely “alien”. Streetlamps with alien heads, an alien museum, etc.


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 15:22

      Goodness, I don’t think Glasgow has done anything like that! No zombie lamp-posts that I know of, thank goodness.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah Ferguson April 30, 2015 / 16:04

    I’ve loved your A to Z Challenge – I think you’ve convinced me a trip to Glasgow should be in my future! Even better, I know where to go look back when I need sites to visit.

    And as for World War Z, I attempted to watch it, and I was asleep within a few minutes. Not even the prospect of Brad Pitt for two hours could keep me awake for it, which is a sad, sad state of affairs.


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 16:14

      Thank you! I really hope I have convinced a few people to come here. As you can probably tell, I love my city and want everyone to know about it!
      Sounds like I didn’t miss much not seeing World War Z then.
      It’s been great meeting you and Choppy. I look forward to seeing what you get up to next!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah Ferguson April 30, 2015 / 17:42

        I imagine you have done just that – I don’t think I ever would have considered Glasgow before, but now I would love to visit!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. lostforwords101 April 30, 2015 / 16:35

    Zombie attacks aren’t mine either!

    Congrats to us for finishing the challenge!


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 17:02

      Thanks, we all did very well! But I’ll be glad to get back to normal.


  9. KaTy Did April 30, 2015 / 16:41

    Sure glad I stopped by during the A-Z. I will be back, and hopefully after a good visit to one of your wonderful places you posted here!


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 17:04

      Thanks Katy. If Glasgow has an influx of visitors now I’ll be claiming commission from the Tourist Board!


  10. Nadine Feldman (@Nadine_Feldman) April 30, 2015 / 17:08

    I’m definitely tempted! It will be on our list the next time we cross the pond.

    Congrats on completing the AtoZ! I look forward to continuing to follow the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Solveig April 30, 2015 / 17:14

    Congratulations for finishing A to Z! (I have started to write that on several blogs today, which means that it is over).
    I lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and when I watched “World War Z” I had not realised that it was Glasgow (were I went twice to visit friends in the past). I am not a huge fan of Zombies, but I can recommend that film, Zombies are not what is most important in it, at least from my point of view.
    Thank you for having been such a great support in the last month!


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 17:18

      Thanks Solveig – that shows Glasgow played its part well! The grid system in the centre makes it a good substitute for American cities.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Fee April 30, 2015 / 17:32

    I still haven’t seen that film, thought I did take a wee trip up to Glasgow when they were filming it to get some photos 🙂

    Congratulations on completing the A-Z, and well done for all your hard work. I’ve really enjoyed your posts and look forward to reading more of them in the future.

    Fee | Wee White Hoose
    Scottish Mythology and Folklore A-Z


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 17:46

      Thanks Fee – glad you’ve enjoyed Gallus Glasgow.


  13. jazzfeathers April 30, 2015 / 17:56

    I know you’re famous! I don’t need you to tll me 😉
    I think the closest I got to ‘Hollywood’ was some of the scene from one of the most recent James Bond’s movies filmed on Lake Garda.
    But I didn’t go and see 😉

    And hey, congratulation on finishing the challange! I enjoyed this special guide through Glasgow a lot 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 17:58

      Thanks – and congrats to you too. It’s been a whirlwind, but in a good way.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. legreene515 April 30, 2015 / 19:01

    How cool! I read World War Z (did not like it), and so I didn’t see the movie. I also read Cloud Atlas (loved the book), and I hated the movie. It’s been so nice to get to know you and hear all about Glasgow through this A to Z Challenge! I’ll hope you’ll continue blogging so I can keep up with you before the next A to Z!


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 19:10

      Thank you! I have lots more potential posts – just need the time to write them up! I thought Cloud atlas the movie was a good stab at rendering what I would have thought an unfilmable book into a film. I don’t think you’d have known what was going on without reading the book though!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. tdharveyauthor April 30, 2015 / 21:09

    I had no idea World War Z used Glasgow. I remember watching it and thinking it odd that I didn’t recognise Philly (I lived there for a year). I imagine it’s much cheaper to film in the UK, much as it’s cheaper to hire British actors.

    Congratulations on completing A to Z and some wonderful posts. And thank you for visiting my blog.

    TD Harvey
    A to Z participant


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 21:22

      Oh, there was great excitement the summer they filmed it! Thanks for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. johnmarkmiller April 30, 2015 / 21:28

    Wow… I didn’t know that this was the location for those films. That’s a neat claim to fame!


  17. Jemima Pett April 30, 2015 / 22:48

    Thanks for yet another fascinating fact about Glasgow. You’ve inspired me to feature Norwich next year 🙂 Looking forward to seeing what ‘normal’ looks like on your blog. So glad to have met you during the A to Z 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 30, 2015 / 23:11

      Thanks Jemima! That’s how I decided to write about Glasgow – two bloggers writing about a specific city convinced me I could do it.


  18. Silvia Writes May 1, 2015 / 00:23

    Anabel, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts this month, although I didn’t get to all of them, but what I saw I loved. Had no idea your city was in WWZ. Well, I guess not many people did. I saw the movie, and can recall it well. How very interesting.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge. Now a little rest, yes? We so deserve it. 🙂 Hugs.


  19. Sue Archer May 1, 2015 / 02:02

    I had a great time learning about Glasgow through you this month, Anabel. You’ve done a fantastic job showing off your fair city. I’m relieved to see that there are no real zombies there, so that I can come by for a visit someday! In the meantime, I’ll settle for continuing to visit your wonderful blog. 🙂


  20. Kern Windwraith May 1, 2015 / 03:20

    The good thing about the challenge coming to an end–or should I say one of the many good things about the challenge coming to an end–is that I can now go back and read all the posts I’ve missed. I’m sure you’ve added Glasgow to a lot of “must visit” lists, it’s firmly ensconced on mine for sure.

    I don’t mind a good zombie film, but World War Z was pretty silly even for a genre where that bar is pretty low. The scenery was probably the best thing about it. 🙂

    I’ll be back to visit in May!


  21. Donna May 1, 2015 / 04:03

    I had no idea that Glasgow has filled in for so many other cities. I didn’t see World War Z either but then I haven’t seen many movies lately. I have trouble sitting for that long.. I had heard that they were doing a lot of shooting in Malta so I was kind of interested in seeing that because it was shortly after we were there (for about 7 hours on a cruise stop). I’m not any of the zombie, vampire, witch, etc. I couldn’t even make it through the Harry Potter books. The House of Mirth is one of my favorite books of all time. Someone gave me the video years ago and I’ve never watched it. I’m afraid that I would be disappointed. Maybe I should dig it out and watch it.

    I really loved reading all about Glasgow and seeing you pictures! Great job with the A to Z.


    • Anabel Marsh May 1, 2015 / 07:48

      The city centre is all on a grid system so it makes it quite similar to American cities – and I guess it must be cheaper to film here. Thanks for being such a faithful reader of both my challenges.


  22. Birgit May 1, 2015 / 04:11

    I am not into zombies either-sick of them actually. I am surprised the film crew go all the way to film in your city instead of their home turf. It must cost them less money to do that


    • Anabel Marsh May 1, 2015 / 07:53

      I guess so, though we often lose out to Ireland which I believe gives better grants to film makers. Good to have completed another challenge alongside you – thanks for visiting and commenting so regularly.


    • Anabel Marsh May 1, 2015 / 16:40

      Thanks. But yours are much longer and more erudite than mine! I wouldn’t have the patience for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • scottabercrombie87 May 1, 2015 / 16:47

        I need to work on being more concise if I want to get through the list anytime soon! It’s shaping up to be quite a long process, although there’s plenty of valuable learning that’s coming out of the research that is proving useful in practice as well as in the posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Alex Hurst May 2, 2015 / 05:54

    WOOHOO! Congratulations on reaching the end of A-Z. I’ve loved learning so much about the history of your hometown, and the photography has been wonderful. 🙂 I can’t wait to see where else you take me with this blog!


  24. clicksclan May 2, 2015 / 10:33

    I had a funny feeling that you were going to write about World War Z for your ‘Z’ post. 🙂 One of my friends went to Glasgow while they were filming and I’ve seen photos of it. It’s weird seeing Glasgow with American yellow cabs, hehe.

    I’ve not seen the film though. I keep on meaning to look it out, just so I can play ‘Spot Glasgow’. 😉


    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2015 / 16:34

      I’m not sure even that could persuade me to watch a zombie film!


  25. Lori L MacLaughlin May 13, 2015 / 03:09

    That’s so weird to think all those movies in “American” cities were actually filmed in Glasgow. I’m not a zombie fan, so I haven’t seen the movie.
    Thank you for a lovely tour of Glasgow. If I ever get back to Britain, I’ll be sure to include a stop there. 🙂


  26. edgar62 March 8, 2017 / 21:26

    My wife – Annabell – worked in the Glasgow City Chambers before we were married. I worked in Port Dundas. We lived in Cardonald and one of the things that I find is that when people write about The Dear Green Place, they always ignore Crookston and Crookston Castle. It’s only rival in size and design, as far as I know, was Hermitage Castle. It has an interesting history and is worth at least a mention.. Writing about Glasgow is great and I loved this. Over the years Glasgow has had a bad press and we should do what we can, when we can to correct this.


    • Anabel Marsh March 8, 2017 / 21:57

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! I admit to only once having visited Crookston Castle, long before my blogging days. We’ll have to go back so that I can write about it.


  27. edgar62 March 8, 2017 / 22:08

    There was something Annabell watched on TV a few years ago and she was convinced that the shots were of the interior of the City Chamber – which she knew fairly well.


    • Anabel Marsh March 9, 2017 / 06:29

      Quite possible – that rings a bell and I might eventually remember what it was. We get a lot of film crews these days – Outlander etc – and many of them park on the playing fields near our house, which is a nuisance because the trucks churn it all up and the mud runs off and blocks the drains. However I’m sure the council makes a lot of money from it.

      I expect Annabell gets a lot of misspellings. I do! Autocorrect has already given me Annabel and Annabelle.


      • edgar62 March 9, 2017 / 10:11

        Actually, it’s Annabella after Annabella Drummond, Queen and wife of King Robert III. Don’t quite know how or why her mum came up with that. :o)


        • Anabel Marsh March 9, 2017 / 15:30

          Ah, mine is a family name which decreased with every generation. My aunt is and my great-aunt was Annabella, known as Annabel and Annie / Anna respectively. Mine is the bargain basement version!


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