Another Country (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Another Country (1984)

Another Country





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A pair of British lads, one gay and one socialist, chafe at the restrictions of boarding school life in this period piece, which was adapted from Julian Mitchell's novel and play of the same name and loosely based on the Burgess-Maclean spy scandal of the 1950s. In the 1930s, upper-class scions Tommy Judd (Colin Firth) and Guy Bennett (Rupert Everett) are both nearing the end of their careers at an unnamed public school that bears a striking resemblance to Eton. Tommy, a Marxist intellectual, refuses to participate actively in the school's rigid social hierarchy. But Guy, when not mooning after pretty boys, angles for a position next term as one of the "gods," or master prefects, of his house. When a faculty member stumbles onto the homosexual fumblings of a pair of students, one boy commits suicide and a scandal erupts. The administration and senior students do their best to ensure nothing of this sort ever sullies their reputation again. Considering that homosexual experimentation is rampant and that Guy has slept with most of the prefects in his house, the strict new rules leave a bad taste in his mouth. They also put a damper on his Wildean lifestyle, especially after he falls hopelessly in love with James Harcourt (Cary Elwes), a dreamy boy from one of the other houses. Things come to a head when autocratic prefect Fowler (Tristan Oliver) intercepts a letter from Guy to James and sentences Guy to a savage beating. By film's end, Guy's complicity in the power games of the British class system has been challenged, and his friend Tommy's communist dogma has made a lasting impression; a framing device portrays Guy as an elderly former spy living in exile in Soviet Moscow. Another Country was shot at Cambridge, Oxford, and Althorp Hall (Princess Diana's childhood home) after the producers were denied permission to shoot at Eton. Everett and Firth both appeared in the original London theater production alongside Kenneth Branagh and Daniel Day-Lewis; on-stage, it was actually Firth who played Guy. For a more factual account of the Burgess-Maclean affair, see the TV movie An Englishman Abroad. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovimore
Rating: PG
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 2004
Orion Classics


Rupert Everett
as Guy Bennett
Colin Firth
as Tommy Judd
Michael Jenn
as Barclay
Robert Addie
as Delahay
Philip Dupuy
as Martineau
Cary Elwes
as Harcourt
Anna Massey
as Imogen Bennett
Betsy Brantley
as Julie Schofield
Nicolas Rowe
as Spungin
Tristam Wymark
as Henderson
John C. Line
as Best Man
Guy Henry
as Head Boy
Llewellyn Rees
as Senior Chaplain
Ivor Roberts
as Chief Judge
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Another Country

Critic Reviews for Another Country

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 4, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 4, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Impressive film adaptation of Julian Mitchell's award-winning play.

Full Review… | March 20, 2013
Film Threat

Elegantly shot, this fictionalized version of the British gay spy Guy Burgess, is intelligent but not entirely satisfying; even so, the young Rupert Everett and Colin Firth give splendid performances.

Full Review… | January 6, 2009

Audience Reviews for Another Country

In his first film, Kanievska brings out solid performances from both Rupert Everett and Colin Firth but succeeds only fairly in creating a compelling story whose themes could have been more efficiently explored and led to a much more thought-provoking drama.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

Good story with good costumes and nice location. Cinematography, makeup and lighting were not up to snuff, unfortunately. Bold story for its time.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

Another Country is always trying to be far more complex than it actually is. Fusing together themes of homosexuality, Communism, and the system of prefects in British boarding schools in the 1930's, it becomes a haphazard maze of inconsistencies and irritating subtext. Rupert Everett, the only shining light of the entire film, is only sparingly announced as gay amongst his peers, most of whom are so desperate for companionship that they have secret trysts with members of their classes. (Other notable roles go to very young Colin Firth and Cary Elwes.) With his usual suave flair and youthful grandeur, Everett is just sly enough not to outright confess throughout the plot that his sexuality is based on himself and not his situation. The prefect system on the other hand is both an annoying subplot, and supposedly overbearing presence in the lives of the schoolmates. Besides being terribly boring and longwinded, the absence of fear was evident on the screen. It didn't help that the score was yet another unpleasant 80's concoction, or that the wardrobe was peculiar for the time period.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Another Country Quotes

Guy Bennett: Who stole my heart away? Who makes me dream all day? Dreams I know can never come true. Seems as though I'll ever be blue.
– Submitted by Joseph M (3 years ago)

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