"Great Heroism and Valor During the Great War"
What You Need To Know:
1917 is a very patriotic, classic war story based on a true story. To add suspense, some known actors are never filmed from behind. Also, the point of view always stays on the main characters, with long shots that work beautifully. Like many movies this year, 1917 would be highly recommended except for the significant wartime violence and excessive foul language, some of which were words not used at the time of the Great War. Aside from this, 1917 is a refreshing story about average men rising to the challenge and doing the impossible in the most horrible situations.
(BBB, PPP, CC, LLL, VV, A, D, M):
1917 is a powerful, patriotic, moral war movie set at the western front in France and Belgium during World War I about two British soldiers sent by their commander on a suicide mission to warn the British frontlines that they’re rushing into a German trap. Not only is it an entertaining movie, but the director wanted to do the movie as one unedited camera shot, even though the movie is really constructed of several long, but quite captivating, unedited shots following the action.
When Blake and Schofield are called up by the British commander, they think they’re going on leave or back home. The Germans seem to be retreating in France and Belgium on the western front. However, the Commander has intelligence, verified by pilot observations from the sky, that the Germans have decided to trap the British front lines in a pincer movement by drawing them into a place where many German soldiers are waiting, not retreating. So, the Commander needs someone to warn the British troops. Blake is chosen because he has a brother in the battalion on the front line. Schofield is chosen because he’s Blake’s friend and has a medal for valor, which, by the way, he gave away, disdaining some of the aspects of the war. These two men have to cross No Man’s Land through bombed-out towns, villages and fields for nine miles to give a letter from the British Commander telling the soldiers not to attack. Schofield doesn’t want to go, but Blake wants to save his brother. So, Blake and heads off, and Schofield follows him.
All around them, German artillery is peppering the British forces. The two men have to go in daylight because time is short. Making their way through the barbed wire, they get hurt. They have to climb over grotesque dead bodies. The craters are deep and unforgiving. When they get to the German line, they find it’s been abandoned, and the Germans have destroyed a lot of their artillery. They look for a way through the tunnels but hit a tripwire. The resulting explosion almost buries Schofield alive, but Blake drags him safely out of the collapsing tunnel.
When they make it to a French farm, they see two British fighters fighting a German fighter in the sky. The German pilot is shot down and almost crashes into them. They brave the fire to save the German. As a sign of his gratitude, however, the German stabs Blake, and Schofield tries to comfort him as Blake slowly bleeds to death.
Now, Schofield is on his own. Some local British trips give him a ride, but when he breaks off to deliver the message, he gets caught in German crossfire, dives into a raging river and barely survives. He makes his way to a small town where a few German soldiers ae still quartered.
Hiding in a basement, Schofield finds a Frenchwoman caring for a baby she found, and he gives her and the baby some of his supplies. Barely escaping the town with his life, he finally finds the British troops, who are listening to a Christian hymn about crossing Jordan in a makeshift Christian service. Now, he has to find the General and look for Blake’s brother. The troops are already leaving the trenches to attack. Is Schofield too late? Are they going to get out? Will the British General listen. The movie keeps viewers on the edge of their seats until the very last frame.
1917 is a very patriotic, moral, classic war story based on a true story that the filmmaker’s grandfather told him as a child. To add suspense, some known actors are filmed from behind. Also, the point of view always stays on the main characters, with long shots that work beautifully.
Like several movies this fall, 1917 would be highly recommended except for the surplusage of foul language, some of which were not even words used at the time of the Great War, and a significant amount of wartime violence. Even so, it’s refreshing to see a movie about an average man who rises to the challenge and does the impossible in the most horrible situations.