11 April 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

Filmmakers are always seeking evocative locations for their movies, so it should come as little surprise that a handful of iconic houses have found their way onto the silver screen as integral plot devices. My favorites to add to any design groupie's Netflix queue?

The Hunting Lodge, decorator John Fower's famous country house near Odiham, Hampshire; for decades now it has been the week-end residence of British interior designer Nicky Haslam.

John Fowler's renowned Hunting Lodge, a Tudor-era folly given a fanciful brickwork façade around 1720, served as Vanessa Redgrave's residence in the 1968 Tony Richardson movie "The Charge of the Light Brigade." Fowler smartly used the location fee to build a garden pavilion on the grounds of the house.

A bedroom at Château de Groussay, longtime country house of Charles de Beistegui.

Château de Groussay, the widely admired country house of silver-mining heir Charles de Beistegui, was used as the primary set for director Marc Allégret's 1970 movie "Le bal du Comte d'Orgel." Yes, the movie is in French, but if you don't understand the dialogue, there is enough of Groussay on display, indoors and out, to make this romantic drama about aristocratic adultery in the 1920s (based on the posthumous 1924 novel by Raymond Radiguet) a cinema-library must-have.

Members of the cast of "Le bal du Comte d'Orgel" (1970) in Groussay's Salon Hollandaise.


laughingsalmon said...

The Hunting Lodge is one of my favy houses...I'd love to reproduce it as a house in miniature...It looks so like a lovely doll's house...

Colette said...

love! recently dozed through CoftheL movie which was broadcast on TCM i think...to catch the glimpses of the Hunting Lodge. Now longing to see the other. x Colette

Nick Heywood said...

Great selection -- if I were to make this list I would have to add A Wedding by Robert Altman, which displays the masterful Armour House by David Adler. Sadly, the estate was broken shortly after filming ended, so it stands as a record of something lost, as well as being a very finely made film.

Very different from your favorites, but similar in that the house is an active character.