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On this Gay Day | The film ‘Another Country’ was released in 1984

British film Another Country was released on this day in 1984, it was the first feature film roles for Rupert Everett and Colin Firth.

The story is loosely based on the life of British spy Guy Burgess, who is renamed Guy Bennett. It explores the effects of persecution over sexuality, his exposure to Marxism, and the culture of the prestigious school that he attends.

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The film is an adaptation of Julian Mitchell’s play that had premiered in 1981. Everett originated the role of schoolboy Guy Bennett, while the part of classmate Tommy Judd was originally played by Joshua Le Touzel.

In the story Bennett is an outsider because he is gay, while Judd is shunned by his classmates because of his Marxist beliefs.

When the play moved from Greenwich to the West End in 1982 a young Kenneth Branagh took over the part of Judd, and later in the show’s run both Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth played the part of Bennett.

Rupert Everett in Another Country.

When it came time to make a film version Everett returned to the role, and Firth switched to playing Judd.

Colin Firth in Another Country.

The film gave a great start to Everett’s career, but it would go off the rails a few years later when he appeared in some films that failed to perform at the box office. He also credits his coming out in the late 1980s as having a negative effect on his career.

Everett bounced back with roles in Robert Altman’s Pret a Porter, The Madness of King George, and his acclaimed turn in My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Colin Firth would go on to have a huge career, especially after his 1995 portrayal of Mr Darcy in a television adaptation of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.

He would go on to appear in The English Patient, Bridget Jones Diary, Mama Mia, Love Actually, The King’s Speech and A Single Man.

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