Filming the Film

Over the years many famous films have been shot in Oxford. It’s well known that the Harry Potter films were shot in the Divinity School of the Bodleian library and Christ Church college. But did you know that in the 70s, the epic Hollywood film ‘Heavens Gate’ filmed its opening sequence of a graduation ball in the Sheldonian Theatre. Or more recently a Bollywood film was shot around the streets of Oxford ending with a big set piece dance routine filmed in front of the Radcliffe Camera.

Filming Quills outside Hertford College

Quills actors

If you are interested in finding out more then Wikipedia has a list of films shot in Oxford with a link to further information at the IMDB Movie Database.

We’ve some video taken in 1999 during the filming of Quills on the streets of Oxford. The film is set in revolutionary France and these crowd scenes, full of extras dressed as French peasants and soldiers were shot in front of Hertford College on a sunny Saturday morning as bemused tourists walked by. Although it took all weekend to film the crowd scenes, they only ended up using three or four seconds in the film!

The last photograph is from a drama set in Oxford, the civil war epic To Kill A King. This was filmed a year or two later than Quills around the Bodleian library quads and the Sheldonian Theatre and is based on the relationship between Oliver Cromwell and General Carfax in the fall out from the English Civil War. Although there is a great film to be made about Oxford in the Civil War, the film itself came out as being a little bit too obtuse for most.

Actors outside the Sheldonian

We’d love to know if you have any film footage of the filming of the Hollywood ( or Bollywood ) films shot in Oxford over the years.

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