Another Country: another century

Last summer I mentioned the Pride-themed display & sale at Bay St Video, when, in addition to HBO’s Behind The Candelabra (2013), the Michael Douglas / Matt Damon vehicle about Liberace, I picked up Another Country (1984).

I’d been captured by the familiar baby faces on the cover (NB not the same as the image currently selling the film on Amazon, which only features one of the stars, not the three on the cover at Bay St Video)

  • Rupert Everett
  • Colin Firth
  • Cary Elwes

Now please note, Another Country dates from 1984, when –if the dates in the IMDB bios are correct—Everett was 25, Firth 24 and Cary Elwes just 22, five years before we saw him in The Princess Bride.

Tonght I finally pulled the DVD off my shelf to give it a look.  My purchase decision was entirely superficial, namely the assumption that I’d see some famous actors early in their careers, and indeed Another Country gives us Firth & Everett & Elwes before they’d become the personalities we know. Firth’s voice is already highly recognizable, able to grab you right away. Elwes, the youngest of the three, is more or less who he is in many of his roles.

Everett? In fact this is who Everett has always been, the actor who has been out about his sexuality for a very long time. Another Country is Julian Mitchell’s adaptation of his play that had starred Everett in 1981, bringing him to prominence in his portrayal of Guy Bennett, based on Guy Burgess, a real-life British spy. We’re flashing back from the present day, as we see the childhood of the spy in a private school in England back in the 1930s. This is not to be mistaken for period romance, a portrayal of the worst things you’ve heard about English private schools of the time.  Firth’s character is a marxist with whom Guy (Everett) has a great deal in common: in their alienation from the brutal conformity imposed at the school.

If you have the chance I’d recommend you see it.

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