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Thursday November 15th 2018

Quills | 2000

Quills location: the Painted Hall of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London
Quills location: the ‘Palace of Versailles’: the Painted Hall of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London

Philip Kaufman’s movie about the Marquis De Sade (Geoffrey Rush) is high on contemporary relevance, though low on historical accuracy.

Most of the movie was shot in the studio at Pinewood, where the ‘Charenton Asylum’ – in which De Sade was incarcerated – was built.

Quills location: the asylum exterior: Luton Hoo, Luton, Hertfordshire
Quills location: the asylum exterior: Luton Hoo, Luton, Hertfordshire

The exterior of the asylum, tricked out with a little Frenchified set dressing, is Luton Hoo, now Luton Hoo, Hotel, Golf and Spa, a couple of miles south of Luton, and about 30 miles north of London, off the M1 in Bedfordshire. A veteran of the screen, this one-time stately home has appeared in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Eyes Wide Shut, Wilde, the first Pink Panther sequel A Shot in the Dark, and renegade Bond movie Never Say Never Again among many others.

Street exteriors were filmed in Oxford, and the ‘Palace of Versailles’ is the Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London SE10. A familiar location, it’s been seen in The Madness of King George, The Avengers, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Michael Winner’s 1983 remake of The Wicked Lady and The Golden Compass.