Another Country was inspired by the life of Guy Burgess who was considered a central spy figure in the Cambridge Spy Ring of the 1940’s. Two boys, at an Eton-esque public school, largely being social outcasts in their individual ways they are drawn together in an unlikely friendship. The film examines the effects of public school life in Britain during the 1930s. Guy Bennett (Rupert Everett) is openly gay and Tommy Judd (Colin Firth) is an intellectual leaning towards Marxism who rejects the school’s stiff social order. Disillusioned and unapologetic for being gay, Guy turns to communist Russia for ‘acceptance’.
A teacher discovers two boys in a compromising gay sexual experiment situation that results in one boy committing suicide. In an effort to protect the reputation of the school, school management and senior boys enforce new rules that Bennett finds an abomination. Undeterred he falls in love with James Harcourt (Cary Elwes). He is savagely beaten for his amour when his letter is discovered by the tyrannical prefect leader Fowler (Tristan Oliver).
Influenced by Tommy’s communist philosophies, Bennett chooses later in life to live as an exile in Moscow.
“This is the film that should have made Rupert Everett a bigger star than he is. His electrifying performance, as a homosexual public schoolboy barred from an exclusive prefects’ society, is at once endearing and arrogant.”
— Tom Hutchinson, Radio Times
“Though the film’s homophobia, bullying and brutality are fictional, they resonate with truth. Despite its violent subject matter (one boy commits suicide, Bennett is savagely caned), the film is aesthetically beautiful; dutifully acknowledging that in such a world, appearance is everything.”
— Vanessa McQuarrie, BFI ScreenOnline
Did You Know?
In the original play of the same name, Another Country, on show in the West End in 1982, the character of Judd was played by Kenneth Branagh who won ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ for his role. Rupert Everett appeared in the same role in both the West End play and film. Colin Firth also appeared in the original play but played the character of Bennett. The film version features a young 9th Earl Spencer (Charles Spencer) as an extra in more than a few scenes. Review our Gay Themed Films Here