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Thread: 1917

  1. #1
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    1917

    Forgive me bypassing the movies thread.

    I've just got back from seeing this film, it's quite the most incredible piece of drama I've ever seen. We all know in our heads how truly awful the Great War was and all war is but after seeing this you will know it in your hearts. A very powerful and moving film.

    It's not an enjoyable evening but I don't regret going and I may take myself for a second viewing.

  2. #2
    I saw this on Thursday and agree it's an amazing piece of work.

    Recommended to anyone as a must see imho.

  3. #3
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    A most excellent film and a benchmark for capturing an important piece of our collective history. I was a little distracted by the fact that the two main characters both had wrist watches at a time when (I believe) only a privileged few would have had the benefit of such an innovation.

  4. #4
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    Went to the cinema this afternoon.

    Epic piece of cinematography for all the reasons mentioned below Sam Mendes has really done well on this one.

    The point below about the trench watches in the opening scene I had the same thoughts. I thought only officers would have worn a watch.
    In 1917 a wrist watch would have been an expensive bit of kit.

  5. #5
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    Looking forward to this.

  6. #6
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    Iím going tonight- looking forward to it.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  7. #7
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    Cant wait, getting the sound bars out for this one

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    Cant wait, getting the sound bars out for this one
    As Mark Kermode has said "See it on the biggest possible screen. Don't wait for the DVD to come out".

    I hadn't released but there is an IMAX version.

    For reference, see the end of the best out on The Film Review at 8m 50s.

  9. #9
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    It was a good film but for me I felt it came across like a series of scripted set pieces which meant I couldn't identify or resonate with the characters. It felt a bit contrived even though it was a thrilling watch it just came across to me a bit like a call of duty video game. But for sure it is a great watch and very thrilling with some real heart-in-mouth moments - it just felt a bit 'on rails' for my liking.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    It was a good film but for me I felt it came across like a series of scripted set pieces which meant I couldn't identify or resonate with the characters. It felt a bit contrived even though it was a thrilling watch it just came across to me a bit like a call of duty video game. But for sure it is a great watch and very thrilling with some real heart-in-mouth moments - it just felt a bit 'on rails' for my liking.

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    I suspected this seeing the trailers and promo stuff. I'll still pop along though.

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  11. #11
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    My grandfather volunteered in 1914 at the age of 14 years. He was put into the "suicide squad" (machine gun corps) and didn't tell any of his experiences until he was in his late 70's. I then understood why he spent much of his spare time in the garden and never watched "War" films. He was gassed twice and still smoked until his 75th birthday (not pleasant to listen to)! The sight of anyone in a Salvation Army uniform would bring him to tears as they were always the first people to meet the soldiers after a "stint" at the front offering mugs of hot soup and clean, dry socks. His lung "disease" took him in the end. I can still remember his long stares into the fireplace with tears rolling down his cheeks. Such a waste of life. RIP grandad and his "Pals".

  12. #12
    I'll don a Brodie steel helmet and also take a dissenting view.

    I saw it at the IMAX in Kingston. It's a gripping action drama and worth seeing for that. Long scenes, based over a short time period make it a very interesting film.

    However, that's it. In my opinion, the story line was unconvincing. The acting stereotyped. The main actors, a bit too clean shaven and scrubbed up, and in one case a little too well fed to be convincing.

    Parts of the film centre around tracking down a Yorkshire and then a Devonshire battalion. I might have missed it, but I don't recall hearing a northern or south western accent. Too hard for target audiences to understand?

    A good film, worth watching, but it didn't enlighten me about the First World War. I've become quite interested in the First World War, primarily for family reasons. Finding out more from having inherited my grandfather's Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, a great uncle's (well boy soldier) death scroll and another great uncle's Dead Man's Penny. Of no particular relevance, Sam Mendes dedicated the film to his grandfather who was in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, so was mine and was shot in the head in 1916 and surprisingly survived.

  13. #13
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    ^^^^^

    I have to agree with much of the criticism above that people have levelled at the film. It's magnificent if you can get past the flaws. i went to see it based on a 4* review that I think was deserved for the effort, concept and final result.

    It may be that what they could do to soldiers in WW1 far exceeds what they're allowed to do to actors today. They Shall Not Grow Old taught me that a soldiers time was spent between the front line and periods of relative tranquility behind the lines. Also that the action was intermittent with long period of nothing much happening at all...except for snipers, the possibility of being attacked and dealing with interminable mud and the military hierarchy. The film tries to reflect all of those but I feel that I'd have to multiply the impressions it gave me by about 5 times to get anywhere close to what it was actually like. But maybe I'm just not very impressionable?

  14. #14
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    Iím glad it wasnít just me who feels like some of you here. Went in with very high expectations and was quite disappointed. Didnít really feel emotionally involved with the characters at all.

    A fantastic technical achievement, and beautifully shot, but it left me pretty cold. In fact, I felt very much the same about Dunkirk.

    What war films do you guys rate?

  15. #15

    1917

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    What war films do you guys rate?
    Das Boot in German
    They Shall Not Grow Old
    Paths of Glory
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Come and See
    Battle of Algiers
    Land and Freedom
    Kajaki of the more recent ones
    84 Charlie MoPic
    South Pacific ( There ainít nothing like a dame.....)


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    Last edited by BillyCasper; 18th January 2020 at 22:32.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    Iím glad it wasnít just me who feels like some of you here. Went in with very high expectations and was quite disappointed. Didnít really feel emotionally involved with the characters at all.

    A fantastic technical achievement, and beautifully shot, but it left me pretty cold. In fact, I felt very much the same about Dunkirk.

    What war films do you guys rate?
    Where eagles dare
    Paths of glory
    Kelly's heroes
    Platoon
    Full metal jacket
    Saving private Ryan
    Hell in the Pacific


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  17. #17
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    It's a good movie but certainly not the best war film I've seen, although the going over the top scene towards the end was fantastic viewing. I could see nods to Saving Private Ryan and strangely to Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings, but none the less I really enjoyed it.

  18. #18
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    Yet to see it, however it will have to go some to better All Quiet of the Westen Front (Original version).

    Favorite War Films in no particular order.

    Full metal Jacket
    Saving Private Ryan
    Apocalypse Now
    Castle Keep
    A Bridge To Far
    Platoon
    Patton
    Ice Cold in Alex
    The Longest Day
    Battle of the Bulge
    The entire Band of Brothers series.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Yet to see it, however it will have to go some to better All Quiet of the Westen Front (Original version).

    Favorite War Films in no particular order.

    Full metal Jacket
    Saving Private Ryan
    Apocalypse Now
    Castle Keep
    A Bridge To Far
    Platoon
    Patton
    Ice Cold in Alex
    The Longest Day
    Battle of the Bulge
    The entire Band of Brothers series.
    Band of brothers the best thing I've ever watched. Absolutely fantastic TV.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Yet to see it, however it will have to go some to better All Quiet of the Westen Front (Original version).

    Favorite War Films in no particular order.

    Full metal Jacket
    Saving Private Ryan
    Apocalypse Now
    Castle Keep
    A Bridge To Far
    Platoon
    Patton
    Ice Cold in Alex
    The Longest Day
    Battle of the Bulge
    The entire Band of Brothers series.

    No problems with that list Andy. They're all good / great films and most tend to the action genre. Borrowing from someone else's post I'd like to recommend two other films with a more narrative approach: Das Boot (in German with English subtitles) and Come and See. I'm pretty sure that you'll have seen the former, but I'm not so sure about the latter. I saw Idi i smotri in the cinema and it was an experience comparable with seeing Schindler's List 10+ years later. Schindler's List I saw one afternoon in an almost empty central London cinema. It was a very emotional experience. Both are films that i would recommend seeing on a big screen, hopefully without crisp munching, cellophane wrapper opening viewers anywhere near your seat. A small screen simply doesn't do justice to the scenes they are portraying...just as with 1917, IMO.

  21. #21
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    In recent years the only other war film I would to that list is Hacksaw Ridge.

    I enjoyed Dunkirk but it wasnít an epic like Saving Private Ryan. I think had I not watched Dunkirk at the cinema it would have been disappointing

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Drago View Post
    Band of brothers the best thing I've ever watched. Absolutely fantastic TV.
    This.

    I canít believe it is very nearly 20 years old. May have to fish out the blu-ray to mark the occasion!

    The Pacific was also very good, although not recieved half as well as BOB. Upon repeated viewings though, it is almost just as great.

    I recall seeing a teaser trailer YEARS ago for a 3rd instalment by Spielberg and Tom Hanks, all about the Eighth Air Force, but have heard very little since.

    Some other good suggestions as well. Any love for The Thin Red Line? Iíd take that over SPR any day of the week. Not to diminish Saving Private Ryan, that too is a truly brilliant piece of cinema.

  23. #23
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    I've not seen the film, so thanks for the thoughts about it. I'm a little hesitant as from the trailers there is much green grass(!)

    This article from the year before last by the military historian Beevor had some interesting thoughts and amusing comments about war films (apologies if already seen):

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/201...es-i-cant-bear

  24. #24
    I sat and watched it couple of days ago

    I had high expectations from the reviews and trailer, however I came away underwhelmed

    I thought it was very well filmed but a weak and bitty plot

    There were things in it that didnít fit, somewhat disjointed

  25. #25
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    Went last night to see this at metro centre quite good but not as god as Das boot in German with subtitles have watched this quite a few times.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    Iím glad it wasnít just me who feels like some of you here. Went in with very high expectations and was quite disappointed. Didnít really feel emotionally involved with the characters at all.

    A fantastic technical achievement, and beautifully shot, but it left me pretty cold. In fact, I felt very much the same about Dunkirk.

    What war films do you guys rate?
    This is essentially the exact same thing I was going to post having been to see it last night.

    Itís a brave attempt, but at the end of the day the major flaw at the centre of the film is its concept - due to the extremely minimal narrative and tiny number of characters who you learn very little about, it lacks the essential prerequisite for any great movie - you have to become emotionally invested in the characters and the story.

    I wasnít, and thatís a shame.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    Iím glad it wasnít just me who feels like some of you here. Went in with very high expectations and was quite disappointed. Didnít really feel emotionally involved with the characters at all.

    A fantastic technical achievement, and beautifully shot, but it left me pretty cold. In fact, I felt very much the same about Dunkirk.
    This. Admired the Ďone shotí achievement but the leads were weak. If you see a clip with Cumberwomble and also Firth, well youíve seen their full role.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tixntox View Post
    My grandfather volunteered in 1914 at the age of 14 years. He was put into the "suicide squad" (machine gun corps) and didn't tell any of his experiences until he was in his late 70's. I then understood why he spent much of his spare time in the garden and never watched "War" films. He was gassed twice and still smoked until his 75th birthday (not pleasant to listen to)! The sight of anyone in a Salvation Army uniform would bring him to tears as they were always the first people to meet the soldiers after a "stint" at the front offering mugs of hot soup and clean, dry socks. His lung "disease" took him in the end. I can still remember his long stares into the fireplace with tears rolling down his cheeks. Such a waste of life. RIP grandad and his "Pals".
    Staggering , us later generations just don't have a clue do we ? That was thought provoking to read to say the least

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    Last edited by bond; 19th January 2020 at 14:04.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    No problems with that list Andy. They're all good / great films and most tend to the action genre. Borrowing from someone else's post I'd like to recommend two other films with a more narrative approach: Das Boot (in German with English subtitles) and Come and See. I'm pretty sure that you'll have seen the former, but I'm not so sure about the latter. I saw Idi i smotri in the cinema and it was an experience comparable with seeing Schindler's List 10+ years later. Schindler's List I saw one afternoon in an almost empty central London cinema. It was a very emotional experience. Both are films that i would recommend seeing on a big screen, hopefully without crisp munching, cellophane wrapper opening viewers anywhere near your seat. A small screen simply doesn't do justice to the scenes they are portraying...just as with 1917, IMO.
    Das boot (in German) was excellent, however the question was my Favorite Film and it didn't make the list

    along with

    The Sand Pebbles
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Bridge Over the River Kwai
    Merry Christmas Mr Lawerence
    The Blue Max
    Glory
    Run Silent Run Deep
    The Cruel Sea
    Gallipoli
    The 663 Squadron
    The Dam Busters
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamers
    Captain Corellis Mandolin
    Casablanca
    and so on.

    I will check out Come and See.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bond View Post
    Staggering , us later generations just don't have a clue do we ? That was thought provoking to read to say the least

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    We shouldn't just remember the "fallen". We will remember all of them. Many of them went away boys and came back broken men. It's still happening too. Support those who serve and those who have served for our freedom.

  31. #31
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    A film i'm looking forward to seeing , soon hopefully .

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    Iím glad it wasnít just me who feels like some of you here. Went in with very high expectations and was quite disappointed. Didnít really feel emotionally involved with the characters at all.

    A fantastic technical achievement, and beautifully shot, but it left me pretty cold. In fact, I felt very much the same about Dunkirk.

    What war films do you guys rate?
    My sentiments exactly. Funny, I too felt the same about Dunkirk.

    Still glad I went to see 1917. It was entertaining.

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  33. #33
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    Das boot (in German) was excellent, however the question was my Favorite Film and it didn't make the list

    along with

    The Sand Pebbles
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Bridge Over the River Kwai
    Merry Christmas Mr Lawerence
    The Blue Max
    Glory
    Run Silent Run Deep
    The Cruel Sea
    Gallipoli
    The 663 Squadron
    The Dam Busters
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamers
    Captain Corellis Mandolin
    Casablanca
    and so on.

    I will check out Come and See.
    What about Tora Tora Tora & The Battle of Midway?

  34. #34
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    saw it on Saturday; thought it was a 'clever' piece of film making but like others I didn't fully engage with the characters & some aspects of the story. Still some of the shots that showed the trenches and the horrors of war were harrowing and a timely reminder of those who have given their lives for us.

    not a film that the word 'enjoyable' can really be associated with due to the storyline; but glad that i went to see that and would happily recommend it, if only as an historical reminder.

  35. #35
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    Although i love history this film didn't do it for me...it was OK but not a patch on the Band of Brothers series.

    As a result of that series i even went to Bastogne,Jacks woods etc and the museum.



    Last edited by mjc1216; 20th January 2020 at 12:34.

  36. #36
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildheart View Post
    What about Tora Tora Tora & The Battle of Midway?

    Or Paths of Glory, which is perhaps one of the best War Films ever made, but Kirk Douglas just kept me thinking it was Vikings or Spartacus.

    If ever a film needed to be remade it was that one.

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  37. #37
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    Went to see it today with Liz. I thought it was well done albeit with some flaws but Liz had a good sob at the end

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildheart View Post
    What about Tora Tora Tora & The Battle of Midway?
    Das Boot.

    Just NE of Kiel is the monument of U995 in the beautiful little seaside town of Laboe. Visiting this monument is overwhelming. Even knowing that these men fought 'on the wrong side'. I had a few 'Das Boot' moments when I was there!

  39. #39
    Saw it with my other half last night . Found it utterly compelling with the single shot approach to filming . Yes a few sections felt staged and continuity not always there , but very very watchable . My other half , while thought it was good made similar comments about the plot being a bit thin , and characters not entirely believable . But as a piece of cinematographer it was amazing ..

  40. #40
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    An interesting find from a local:-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poNDuo_LK9I

    The "bearers" were often "non-fighters" who also must have seen some sorry sights and lived through hell afterwards.

  41. #41
    I thought 1917 was an excellent piece of cinematography (especially the scenes in the destroyed French village at night). I found it an emotional film and I would highly recommend it.

    I found out at Christmas that my late Grandfather fought at Cambrai.

    (I knew he had served in WWI and was sent to Russia in a failed mission to support our Russian allies in 1916).

    He never said a word to me about his experiences. He only left my father with one sentence on Cambrai:

    'I never saw any bloody tanks. I just saw total confusion and chaos and I was very lucky to survive. Many good men didn't.'

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tixntox View Post
    An interesting find from a local:-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poNDuo_LK9I

    The "bearers" were often "non-fighters" who also must have seen some sorry sights and lived through hell afterwards.
    Thanks for sharing that. Moving video.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tixntox View Post
    An interesting find from a local:-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poNDuo_LK9I

    The "bearers" were often "non-fighters" who also must have seen some sorry sights and lived through hell afterwards.
    This photo comes courtesy of the British Library:


    ...showing "A team of stretcher bearers struggle carry a wounded man through deep mud to safety near Boesinghe on 1 August 1917 during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge part of the Third Battle of Ypres." See link

    There is a lot more material on their World War One pages...link...if anyone wants to do a little research or simply read up about it.


    PS See also Lance Corporal William Harold Coltman.
    Last edited by PickleB; 21st January 2020 at 21:54. Reason: Added PS

  44. #44
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    Last edited by Passenger; 21st January 2020 at 21:56.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurmot View Post
    A most excellent film and a benchmark for capturing an important piece of our collective history. I was a little distracted by the fact that the two main characters both had wrist watches at a time when (I believe) only a privileged few would have had the benefit of such an innovation.
    I noticed one of them in a gold cased wristwatch with a leather strap. It looked out of place. I suppose it's a minor but even from the trailer it stuck out like a sore thumb

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  46. #46
    No one mentioned another (anti-) war film 'JoJo Rabbit' which came out around the same time as 1917. It's very difficult to be extremely funny and quite profound around WWII issues but this film manages it with style and substance. If you read the plot line it sounds very stupid but i was very impressive with the leads and the script is brilliant. Very entertaining and thought provoking..

  47. #47
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    I'd very much like to see an historically accurate film made about the opening part of the Great War (WW1), i.e. the famous battle of Mons and subsequent 'race for the coast'. A very different view of the war before trenches were largely 'sunk'.
    Not long ago, I was reading about my great grandfather in a regimental war diary and who was part of these as a professional soldier. Interesting, (given current 'debates') he fought alongside another regiment several times that was from the North West Frontier who were renowned fighters.
    Mons has a dedicated Great War museum and the canal (and bridge) where the BEF held off vastly larger forces and saw the action that was awarded the first VC of WW1 remains.
    The British Embassy leaves a wreath there on anniversaries. Last time I went it was still serenely there.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by A.Pottinger View Post
    I'd very much like to see an historically accurate film made about the opening part of the Great War (WW1), i.e. the famous battle of Mons and subsequent 'race for the coast'.
    There was a BBC factual drama series in 2014 called ĎOur World Warí. Episode 1 was ĎThe First Dayí and is about Mons.

    (JoJo Rabbit is on my list to see)


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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    No one mentioned another (anti-) war film 'JoJo Rabbit' which came out around the same time as 1917. It's very difficult to be extremely funny and quite profound around WWII issues but this film manages it with style and substance. If you read the plot line it sounds very stupid but i was very impressive with the leads and the script is brilliant. Very entertaining and thought provoking..

    My son (17) saw it last week and very much enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing it myself.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    No one mentioned another (anti-) war film 'JoJo Rabbit' which came out around the same time as 1917. It's very difficult to be extremely funny and quite profound around WWII issues but this film manages it with style and substance. If you read the plot line it sounds very stupid but i was very impressive with the leads and the script is brilliant. Very entertaining and thought provoking..
    See:

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
    Watched Jojo Rabbit last night - really enjoyed it.

    Funny / moving and sad.

    "It's definitely not a good time to be a Nazi"

    " Youíre stupid. Love is the strongest thing in the world.
    Jojo: I think youíll find that metal is the strongest thing in the world, followed closely by dynamite, and then muscles."
    ...and later posts in that thread.

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