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Tuesday November 13th 2018

Another Country | 1984

Another Country location: The 'public school': Brasenose College, Oxford
Another Country location: The ‘public school’: Brasenose College, Oxford

Eton College has hosted plenty of productions over the years but, unsurprisingly, the school passed up the opportunity to house this film of Julian Mitchell’s play about a gay public schoolboy (loosely based on the life of spy Guy Burgess) who defects to Moscow.

The ‘public school’ setting was finally supplied by Oxford University, where a fountain was added to the quads of Brasenose College in the centre of Oxford, entrance at Radcliffe Square opposite the Radcliffe Camera.

The quads are open to the public (admission free), usually on week day afternoons, but it’s best to check times in advance. You can see the oval windows, where besotted Guy Bennett (Rupert Everett) passes the note to young Harcourt (Cary Elwes), along the eastern wall of the small central quad.

The church parade, where the students sing while Bennett makes cow eyes at Harcourt, was filmed in the Old Schools Quadrangle of the Bodleian Library, north of Radcliffe Square. The Bodleian Library itself has, of course, since found greater fame in the Harry Potter movies.

Interiors were filmed at the family seat (since 1508) of the Spencer family, Althorp House in Northamptonshire – Earl Spencer himself appears as an extra in the film. The estate, now famous as the burial site of Princess Diana, is six miles northwest of Northampton on the A428.