March, 1918. C-company arrives to take its turn in the front-line trenches of norther France, led by the war-weary Captain Stanhope (Claflin). With a German offensive imminently approaching, the officers (Bettany, Graham, Sturridge) and their cook (Jones) use food and the memories of their lives before the war to distract themselves, while Stanhope soaks his fear in whisky, unable to deal with the dread of the inevitable. A young officer, Raleigh (Butterfield), arrives fresh out of training and abuzz with the excitement of his first real posting – not least because he is to serve under Stanhope, his former school house monitor and the object of his sister’s affections. Each man is trapped, the days ticking by, the tension rising and the attack drawing ever closer…
A Q&A session with the film’s producer Guy de Beaujeu will follow the screening of this film.
Guy de Beaujeu is the lead producer on RC Sherriff’s unforgettable war drama Journey’s End, recently released through Lionsgate in the UK and Good Deed in the USA. The film is directed by Saul Dibb and stars Sam Claflin and Paul Bettany.
He is currently in pre-production on The Laureate, a biopic of Robert Graves, starring Derek Jacobi and Laura Haddock. He will also produce Fluidity Film’s modern adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula due to shoot in early 2019, as well as Jane Austen adaptation Sanditon, due to shoot in summer 2019.
Guy produced Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful; based on his seminal and award-winning novel. It was directed by veteran Pat O’Connor and starred the late Richard Griffiths (in his last film), Frances de la Tour, Maxine Peake, Jack O’Connell & George Mackay. The film was released in the UK in autumn 2012.
“A roster of fine performances elevates director Saul Dibb’s worthy adaptation of RC Sherriff’s classic play about the difficulties and pressures facing soldiers living in the rat-infested trenches during the final throes of the First World War. The main focus is on the conflicted character of alcoholic Captain Stanhope, whose six-day command encompasses a major offensive, but when old school chum Raleigh is drafted into his unit, then routine events become emotionally messier . . . Dibb keeps his camera moving to give dynamism to the inherent staginess, the strained despair is well conveyed and Toby Jones’s cook provides welcome world-weary comic relief. But nothing in the slow-burning bleakness shakes it out of the now familiar “War Is Hell” message.” Radio Times
“The acting is stupendous, with Sam Claflin raising his game in the star role as the embittered, alcoholic, possibly gay officers’ leader Captain Stanhope, Paul Bettany as the older, wiser Osborne, Asa Butterfield as the fresh young lieutenant just arrived in the trenches, all bright eyed, bushy tailed and super keen, and Toby Jones in a very well judged, semi-comedic role as the head cook and bottle washer Mason. All four could not be better.” Derek Winnert
“The first world war is one of the 20th century’s oldest, grimmest tales of futility and slaughter. Dibb and his excellent cast put new passion into it.” The Guardian
Critics 73% Audience 67%
All Critics positive review 92% All Critics average rating score 75% Audience liked it 80%
Stockbridge Audience: 91%
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