A British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. Meanwhile, British civilians are being dragged into the war with Operation Dynamo, the scheme to get the French and British forces back from the Dunkirk beaches. Some come forward to help, others were less willing.
It may be a phoney war to you, but it's not to all the blokes at sea. Never has been.
Dunkirk is directed by Leslie Norman and adapted to screenplay by David Divine and W.P. Lipscomb. It stars John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee, Robert Urquhart, Ray Jackson and Robert Hines. Music is by Malcolm Arnold and cinematography by Paul Beeson.
"Dunkirk was a great defeat, and a great miracle. It proved, if it proved anything, that we were alone but undivided. No longer were there fighting men and civilians. There were only people. A nation had been made whole"
I think it's safe to say that to fully "get" this version of Dunkirk it helps to have some knowledge of the actual events. This is no standard war film, more so given it's about a defeat and the subsequent extraction of the armed forces from the beaches of that part of France.
Narrative is two fold, one strand follows soldiers as they strive to make it through perilous lands to get to the beaches, the other comes from the civilian angle and those back in Britain, where there's an ignorance about how seismic this war is going to be. While the film is hardly a rousing battle laden spectacle - it's more an appreciation of a critical moment in history - it's very authentic in its teaching, the various human interest stories and their respective emotions are absorbing and always attention holding.
Absolutely a must see piece of cinema for anyone who needs to understand just why the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk was so important. Superbly played by the cast, directed with safe hands and produced with class by the brilliant Michael Balcon, Dunkirk 58 a smart bit of classic war cinema. 8/10
Ealing Studios by Leslie Norman, Trevor Dudley Smith, Ewan Butler, J.S. Bradford.
Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee.
Genres: Action, Drama, History
Keywords: world war ii evacuation sacrifice based on a true story survival dunkirk
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