Come Back To Cambridge

TOMMY SHANE brings you the films to get you in the mood for the term ahead.


Either you’re returning to Cambridge after the quickest summer of all time, or you’re arriving after a year’s anticipation.

The thought of coming to the bridge may inspire glows of pride, but I imagine for most of us the adrenaline will be bees rather than butterflies: why the fuck did I not do all that holiday work? What’s my dissertation on again? Is dropping out really that bad?

But sometimes a nudge or a push is all takes to wake us up squinty-eyed and see the light. So here are five films to remind you why you applied, why you should return, and to help you to osmotically waft into the Cambridge bubble.

The History Boys

Ok, so it’s mainly at Oxford, but if you got pooled to St. John’s maybe you can enjoy their application vicariously. In any other case, here is an inspiring testimony to the spirit of the Oxbridge application, the euphoria of success, and the hope that a decent proportion of people here weren’t at Eton, but maybe came from a good old grammar school.

Inspector Morse

I feel bad about the whole Oxford thing, so here’s a programme to remind you that, at Oxford, everyone gets murdered.

Chariots of Fire

The Olympic torch travelled round Trinity Great Court because of this film, and because Great Court is fucking awesome. Did it travel round Oxford? No. UCL? Well sort of, because the Olympics were in London. But we’re the ones with Great Court. And, let’s be honest, when we got into Cambridge, this was the music we heard playing in our heads.

The Inbetweeners

If no one has told you yet, allow me to: Cambridge nightlife is just like Zante, except without the beaches, sun and amazing clubs. What you do get is the empty-dancefloor-awkwardness, the vomit, and the sticky shoes. But if these mugs can have a good time, so can we. This film may be a surprisingly accurate depiction of your freshers’ week.

The Social Network

The truth is that at Cambridge you’re probably not going to be reciting The Waste Land out of your bedroom window, but obsessively typing away on a laptop in pin-drop silence, seeing people only in digital photos or in the reflection on your screen. But nevertheless, these little machines can and probably will be our routes to success, be it in our degrees or our careers. If you’re not a compsci, meet one. You could make a billion Zuckerberg style.


This is perhaps a bit of a rouge choice; don’t take it the wrong way. The point is that, yes, Cambridge might be really depressing. But, then again, you could write some poetry about it and become really, really famous.

If all else fails, you could watch just about any other film, and it will have a Cambridge grad in it. Or maybe watch some old episodes ofCountdown. After all, Carol only got a third and look at the lofty heights she’s attained.

Either way, come to Cambridge. It’ll be alright.