Five times Oxford hit the silver screen

February 20, 2017 - 4 minutes read

With the awards season in full swing, all attention is on the shiny world of Hollywood. We enjoy a good movie night here at OISS (popcorn compulsory of course!) so we’ve picked out a few films starring our favourite character: the beautiful city of Oxford!

Tomorrow Never Dies

We’re not quite sure how James Bond has the spare time to do extra homework on top of his day job, but in his 1997 outing Tomorrow Never Dies we see Bond brushing up on his linguistic skills at New College, Oxford, before being rudely interrupted by his boss when a warship goes missing. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

The History Boys

Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, adapted into a film in 2006, tells the story of a class of students applying to study Oxford and Cambridge, taught by teachers of varying degrees of professionalism. Most of the film is set in the northern city of Sheffield, but we do get a sneaky peek at both Oxford and Cambridge towards the end of the film when some of the boys get invited to interview. If you have a love of history too, why not check out our history course, all taught by Oxford and Cambridge educated academics?

Harry Potter

Hogwarts isn’t *actually* in Oxford (there are way too many Muggles) but a number of scenes from the film franchise were filmed on campus. The Bodleian Library was used in The Philosopher’s Stone when Harry was pottering around in the library under his invisibility cloak (the Duke Humphrey’s is, in fact, the restricted section!), while the dining hall at Christ Church was used as the inspiration for The Great Hall in Hogwarts. No floating candles in real life though, sorry.

Creative Commons: Ysris on Flickr

Brideshead Revisited

Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited has been adapted both to the small screen and the silver screen, and the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ features in both as the meeting place of Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder. Exploring themes of class and aristocracy, it’s a story which gripped imaginations for decades. If you’re a bookworm yourself, why not check out our English course for 2017?

The Golden Compass

The first film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series hit the big screen in 2007, with Oxford taking centre stage. We’ve never seen a giant armoured polar bear wandering around town ourselves though, which is probably for the best. Interestingly, Philip Pullman studied at the University of Oxford in his youth, among other literary greats including C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.

We’re not surprised that Oxford has been the setting and inspiration for so many films – it’s a magical city unlike anywhere else. If you’re tempted to visit yourself and spend two weeks of your summer exploring this incredible city, take a look at our prospectus for the Oxbridge International Summer School 2017 and complete our short application form to join us.

Creative Commons: Tejvan Pettinger on Flickr


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,