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Prominent Movie Locations in Oxford

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The city of Oxford is well-known for its long tradition of academic excellence. Its picturesque streets, ancient colleges, and magnificent architecture make it an ideal setting for filmmakers. The diverse combination of Neoclassical, Gothic and contemporary architecture creates a background that may be evoked several times and in different places. Due to its distinctive appeal and persona, Oxford has become a prime location for film productions seeking to depict the substance of British heritage and narratives. This article explores the most prominent filming locations in Oxford and some of the movies filmed in these locations.

The High Street

Oxford's High Street is among the city's most recognisable and historically significant thoroughfares. The roadway curves gently and is dotted with many old structures, including churches and institutions of the University of Oxford.

Oxford Blues, a comedy-drama, was filmed on the high street in 1984. This movie is about Nick Di Angelo, an employee at a Las Vegas casino who joins the university's rowing squad to win over the heart of a rich Oxford student. A notable scene in the movie is where Nick De Angelo and a friend win up in a poker game.

While the movie was based on Oxford, the scene was notably shot in Las Vegas to depict an actual poker venue. Since the production of the movie in 1984, more poker venues have been established. Furthermore, there are also online sites that offer poker in multiple variants and which display poker hands ranked from best to worst to aid new players in understanding the game. This allows players to explore before playing for real money.

The Sheldonian Theatre

The University of Oxford commissioned the Sheldonian Theatre in 1663 to be their ceremony place. The architect Christopher Wren conceptualised the structure, drawing inspiration from the Roman theatre located in Marcellus. The Sheldonian Theatre, a spectacular specimen of Baroque architecture, has become a favourite movie location in Oxford.

It appeared in the 2011 superhero movie "X-Men: First Class". The 1960s-set film examines the beginnings of the X-Men and the bond between Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier, who would become Magneto. The magnificent interior and exterior of the Sheldonian Theatre served as a splendid backdrop for sequences that depicted the mutant characters engaged in combat with the evil Hellfire Club.

Magdalen College

Magdalen College was established in 1458 by William of Waynflete, the Lord Chancellor of England and Bishop of Winchester. It was the successor to Magdalen Hall, an earlier university residence founded by Waynflete in 1448. The college was prominently featured in the 1993 film "Shadowlands," which recounts the touching true tale of the relationship between American poet Joy Gresham and the esteemed British author C.S. Lewis.

Lewis's Oxford life was encapsulated in the movie by using the college's remarkable features, such as the Dining Hall and Magdalen College Chapel, to recreate several sequences. The film looks at issues of religion, love and grief and the calm, intellectual backdrop of Magdalen College is ideal for perfectly depicting this story.

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