The 2023 Hallmark’s mystery movie ‘The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango’ takes us through the Mediterranean archipelago of Malta with its filming locations.
Directed by English director Jonathan Wright from the screenplay of Julie Kim and Karine Marwood, the rom-com movie follows a small-town cook, who impersonates his big city chef twin to compete in a culinary contest, in order to get the beautiful woman in-charge of the event.
The film is from Hallmark Channel, Leif Films, and Tetrad Productions. Colin Azzopardi, Agnes Bristow, and Borga Dorter are producers. Leif Bristow, Rick Garman, and Daniel Webber are executive producers, with Rudolf Blahacek as director of photography.
Where was The Dancing Detective filmed?
The 2023 Hallmark mystery movie ‘The Dancing Detective’ was primarily gilmed in Valletta, the capital of Malta county inside Southern Europe. Principal shooting began in late February 2023 and wrapped after three weeks on 16th of March 2023, as per local reports.
Will Kemp, the lead actor of the film shared a few bts photos on his Instagram, including a clapperboard, where we can see the name of this film. The actor wrote, ”Throwback to filming in Malta! 🎬🇲🇹🕺🏻🕵🏻♀️” in the caption.
The Dancing Detective Filming Locations
Valetta served as the main shooting for this romance movie. Its baroque buildings, quaint alleys, and grand harbors served as a picturesque background to depict the movie’s 1940s setting. Several pivotal sequences were filmed across the lesser-known corners of this European city.
Production team set up camp at The Phoenicia Malta Hotel on The Mall in the town of Floriana, right outside Valletta’s city gates. This 5-star luxury hotel dating from the 1930s, appears prominently in many scenes.
Upper Barrakka Gardens, a landmark public garden in Valletta provides splendid views of the Grand Harbour. This was also used for the filming purposes.
Moreover, the crew also drove around the ancient streets of Valletta in a vintage vehicle to truly imbibe the spirit of the pre-war days and present it through their lenses.
Its exotic locales have served as filming destinations for numerous productions over the years, including Jurassic World Dominion (2022), Gladiator 2 (2024) Napoleon (2023), 1923 series (2022), Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023), Mix Up in the Mediterranean (2021), Borderline (2024), etc.
Historic and Natural Landmarks
Malta has a rich history and culture spanning over 7,000 years. The city is known for its iconic landscape dotted with historic cities. Besides Valletta, scenes were also captured at some of Malta’s most iconic natural and archaeological sites.
The team visited the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum in Paola, an underground burial complex carved out 5000 years ago during the Neolithic age.
Dating back to 4000 BC, this UNESCO world heritage site helped portray the grand mystery plot of the story. The production unit also filmed parts of ‘The Dancing Detective’ at the Sanctuary of Our Lady in Mosta.
This 19th century Rotunda church is renowned for its impressive neoclassical architecture and sheer size. The team shot sequences against the exterior backdrop of this pillar-less domed basilica.
Some scenes were also lensed at Malta’s key natural tourist spot – the Blue Grotto in Zurrieq village. These series of sea caverns reflect brilliant shades of blue hues. This unique marine vista upped the visual splendor of certain sequences in the Hallmark mystery movie.
Bringing in Essence of the 1940s Epoch
Through the lens of ‘The Dancing Detective’, the production team beautifully captured Malta’s legacy as one of the most unique filming destinations.
The production designer specifically chose heritage sites in Valletta that date back to medieval and British colonial eras to retain the vintage 1940s setting. The film is an ode to Malta’s enduring magnetism that continues to draw filmmakers from far and wide.
By choosing historic structures instead of erecting sets and props, the movie portray the epoch realistically at a relatively lower cost. The grand production value has hence been achieved by smartly filming across well-preserved landmarks that date back centuries.
The Dancing Detective Cast Hallmark
The cast of The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango includes:
- Will Kemp as Sebastian Moore
- Lacey Chabert as Constance Bailey
- Bettina Paris as Barbra Stone
- Natasa Babic as Mary Aston
- Diego Wallraff as Kevin Hamilton
- Peter Galea as Tom Stevens
- Michela Farrugia as Jennifer Tate
- Clare Agius as Ana Spiteri
- Marysia S. Peres as Judy Maxwell
- Mikhail Basmadjian as Captain Kelly
- Angie Balzan as Receptionist
- Steve Abela as Mark Aston
- Josette Ciappara as Maid
- Kirsty Bartolo as Gala Guest
- Mariolys Morales as Passer-by
- Mike Parish as Senior Dance Student
Where to watch The Dancing Detective?
The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango is currently streaming on Hallmark Movies Now inside the United States, and on Stack TV inside Canada. You can also purchase the film on-demand from Apple TV, VUDU, Amazon, and Redbox.
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