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Another Country [DVD]
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Another Country tells the story of Guy Bennett (Rupert Everett) and Tommy Judd (Colin Firth), teenage friends at an elite English public school during the summer of 1931.
Clever, hedonistic and gay, Bennett is in his penultimate year of school and the future looks bright. He is convinced he will rise to the heights of his chosen career in the diplomatic service by eventually being appointed Ambassador in Paris. His best friend Judd, committed to Lenin's 'brave new world', despises such bourgeois aspirations.
Homosexuality, honesty and hypocrisy are the main themes in this coming-of-age film, based on the award winning play by Julian Mitchell.
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Top Customer Reviews
For people who have not caught the film previously, a brief synopsis: 'Another Country' opens in the USSR, 1983, with an elderly Englishman, Guy Bennett, giving an interview to a journalist on why he became a Russian spy. The bulk of the film then flashes back to his schooldays at Eton in the early 1930s, where the young Bennett (handsome Rupert Everett) has a crush on another pupil (the equally-handsome Cary Elwes). Meanwhile, Bennett's best friend, Tommy Judd (Colin Firth), consistently preaches revolution and Stalinism. The two main characters, the queer and the communist, are the outsiders in this look at the schooling of the future ruling class; each facing their own conflicts and the challenge of introspection.
Part coming-of-age, part social commentary, 'Another Country' could therefore be viewed as "Tom Brown's Schooldays" meets "Maurice" meets "Dead Poets' Society", with all the now-familiar boarding school fare (authoritarian prefects, a furtive fumbling scene between pupils, corporal punishment, youthful idealism). It is curiously bland in some respects (the sexual aspects are muted and tend to favour a spiritual/Uranian love over sensuality) and to some extent may appear dated.
Nevertheless, the film's relevance remains in its insight into anti-establishmentarianism. Indeed, the writer (Julian Mitchell) envisaged the work as being only incidentally concerned with boarding schools and homosexuality; the focus was intended rather to be on the 'psychology of the traitor', expounding his belief that the makings of the 'betrayal' are not simply ideological, but are sowed at an earlier stage.Read more ›
This is an interesting film for British audiences because it exposes an unspoken element to the class struggle by looking inside the upper class and seeing division as opposed to monolith and uniformity.Read more ›
However, overall, this is a terrific film, perhaps even better than the original play. You couldn't ask for a better cast, who are on top form.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not seeing it on release, I expected a treat and it was. What struck me most were (inevitably?) 'The Go-Between' and Brideshead-like atmosphere emphasized by the outstandingly... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. G. Morgan
Started off well but I felt it dwelt far too long on his school period I would have liked just a touch more or his latter yearsPublished 6 months ago by mayanguy
Colin Firth before his tooth job so not quite as leading man as Rupert Everett seemed back then. Well-delineated characters and although it's all about the alienating effect of the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mario
It's a timeless classic of British cinema. The cast excels and this film really never ages. I saw it when it was first released and I enjoy it as much now a the first time, i... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Surfer Nomad