We’re Not in Westchester Anymore, Toto: X-Men Movie Confuses Westchester with England

X-Men: First Class takes place in Westchester County, New York. But you wouldn’t know it, based on the architecture

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Instead of the stately Colonials and sprawling horse farms, we’re confronted with this enormous manse with spires and pyramid-shaped topiary that you’re more likely to see in England. (Actually, Architectural Digest reveals that the stand-in for the X-Mansion is actually the Englefield House, an Elizabethan manor in Berkshire, England.) Sure, we have some big houses here. But I’ve checked the Houlihan Lawrence listings for North Salem: While one abode described itself as English-style, there are no Elizabethan manors for sale. Add that to the fact that James McAvoy — otherwise a wonderful Professor X — speaks with a charming British accent and attends Oxford University, the movie gives the overall impression that Westchester is in England. Thumbs down!

Oh well. There go my dreams of Professor X drawing new mutants to his school by taking them sailing on the Long Island Sound and promising them trips to Playland.

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY

Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.



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