Sunday, May 12, 2024

Agnes of God (1985)

dir. Norman Jewison

Though most of the action of this religious mystery drama takes place in Berthierville, Quebec these convent scenes were actually shot in Rockwood, Ontario. The rest was filmed in and around Montreal featuring a number of the local landmarks.

The convent where the drama unfolds – Rockwood Academy, 477 Main Street S, Rockwood, Ontario, Canada. It was a private school founded by William Wetherald in 1850. The main building was constructed in 1853 to replace the original wooden structure. The school closed in 1883 when the provincial government's collegiate institutes established in the 1870s had lessened demand for such private education. In the ensuing decades, the property gradually fell into disrepair. It was purchased in 1960 by sculptor Josef Drenters who made it his home and studio. He spent many years painstakingly restoring the property. Drenters bequeathed it to the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now the Ontario Heritage Trust) under the condition that his family would still be able to live in it. He passed away in 1983, but the Foundation was still hesitant to accept an indebted property that had two mortgages on it. When Norman Jewison chose to use the Academy as the filming location, the fees helped pay off the mortgages. The filmmakers made some temporary alterations to make it look “more French” since the convent was supposed to be in Quebec. They added fake dormers on the roof and constructed a mock bell tower in the back. It looks like the gate seen in the movie was also added for the filming.

Here's the comparison of the screenshots from the film with archival photos dating from 1985, the same year the movie was made.

Psychiatrist Martha Livingston (Jane Fonda) comes to the court – Ernest Cormier Building, 100 Rue Notre Dame E, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It currently houses the Quebec Court of Appeal. The courthouse was built in 1922- 1926, and designed by architects Louis-Auguste Amos, Charles Jewett Saxe and Ernest Cormier. After Cormier's death in 1980, the building was renamed in his honor.

Martha visiting Father Martineau (Gratien Gélinas) – 566 Boulevard Marie-Victorin, Boucherville, Quebec, Canada.

As she approaches the building, the Sainte-Famille Church at 560 Boulevard Marie-Victorin is briefly seen.

The opposite building from Father Martineau's is the Résidence des Berges at 550 Boulevard Marie-Victorin.

Martha obtains the pictures from the crime scene – 1430 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Pavillon Athanase-David (the Athanase David Pavilion) seen here, used to house the École polytechnique de l'Université de Montréal (Polytechnic School of the University of Montreal) in 1905-1958. Since then it has accommodated many different institutions, and is currently the location of the Conseil d'administration de l'Université (University Administration Council.) The church across the street is the former Saint-Jacques Cathedral.

Martha speaking with a young Monsignor – Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, 1085 Rue de la Cathédrale, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Cathedral is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.

Martha visits the archives – Bibliothèque Saint-Sulpice, 1700 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Mother Miriam (Anne Bancroft) and other nun exit the cathedral – Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, 1085 Rue de la Cathédrale, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The nuns on their way to Martha’s office – Still searching for this location.

Martha’s office – 2085 Avenue Union, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

No comments:

Post a Comment