The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie | 1969
Edinburgh provides most of the locations as Maggie Smith takes over from Vanessa Redgrave (who originally played Brodie on stage to great acclaim) in the film of Muriel Spark’s Thirties-set novel, and Rod McKuen growls possibly the least appropriate title song ever.
As the undoubtedly charismatic but woefully misguided teacher Miss Brodie leads her charges through the city, there’s a backdrop of real Edinburgh locations (minus TV aerials, which had to be physically removed in those distant pre-digital times), including the Vennel, the flight of steps leading down to Grassmarket, with its view across to Edinburgh Castle.
From here, they stroll through Greyfriars Kirkyard – yes, where Bobby the terrier supposedly spent 14 years guarding his master’s grave, and last resting place of 'the Great' William McGonagall, legendary 'worst poet in the English language'.
The graveyard also has a fine view to the studio of Jean's rakish sometime-lover, artist Teddy Lloyd (Robert Stephens) who, on glimpsing her, suddenly decides to take a walk himself.
It's mightily convenient for him to sprint out of the house, across Candlemaker Row and up the churchyard steps where he can bump 'unexpectedly' into Jean.
Teddy Lloyd's home is the grand Mary Tudor house at 1 Candlemaker Row, on the corner of Merchant Street.
A little diversion here for Potterheads and JK Rowling fans: opposite this house is 'Rowling's window', the rear of the cafe where the Harry Potter books were written, which looks out onto the churchyard.
In fact, in Greyfriars Churchyard you can find, with a bit of difficulty, the memorial headstone to 'Thomas Riddell' whose name, at least, went on to give him posthumous fame – if not notoriety.
Miss Brodie lives in the Victorian house at 5 Admiral Terrace, opposite Lothian Regional Council Office (carefully avoided by the camera), to the southwest of the city centre.
Although interiors were built in the studio, the entrance to ‘Marcia Blaine School’ was, then, the Donaldson School for Deaf and Dumb Children, which is now part of Edinburgh Academy, 54 Henderson Row to the north of the city.
‘Cramond’, the estate to which Miss Brodie retreats at weekends, is Barnbougle Castle on the Firth of Forth, just a few miles west of Edinburgh. Part of the Dalmeny Estate, it’s home to the Earl and Countess of Roseberry.
One location outside Scotland is the library of ‘Marcia Blaine’, which was filmed in Grim’s Dyke House – now the Grim’s Dyke Hotel at Old Redding, Harrow Weald. The former home of lyricist WS Gilbert (half of Gilbert & Sullivan), who unfortunately drowned in the lake here, this 1870 Norman Shaw-designed house used to be a screen regular, starring in films such as The Curse of the Crimson Altar, The Blood Beast Terror and the chilling 1965 faux-documentary It Happened Here, which visualises the occupation of the UK if Germany had won WWII.