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Weekend at Dunkirk (1964)

Week-end à Zuydcoote (original title)
In June 1940, during the Dunkirk evacuation of Allied troops to England, French sergeant Julien Maillat and his men debate whether to evacuate to Britain or stay and fight the German troops that are closing-in from all directions.

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Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jeanne
Georges Géret ...
Pinot
...
Pierson
...
Dhéry
...
Hélène
Christian Barbier ...
Paul
François Guérin ...
Le lieutenant pressé
...
Atkins
Ronald Howard ...
Robinson
Jean-Paul Roussillon ...
La gouape / Blackguard
Albert Rémy ...
Virrel
...
Un soldat brûlé
Pierre Vernier ...
Un soldat
Alan Adair
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Storyline

Set during World War II, and stuck on the beaches near Dunkirk, Julien Maillat tries to join England by boat with the English Army, but cannot succeed. He, then, tries to organize the life for him and his soldiers friends between German raids and shells. Written by Jean-Yves Simon <simon@wotangate.micro.ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only once before, in The Longest Day, has a motion picture achieved such greatness ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 December 1964 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Weekend at Dunkirk  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Merle was not satisfied with the adaptation of his novel. He said that the warfare was too present in the film and his book character far more intellectual than Belmondo's performance. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Icicle Thief (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good film about ¨The Dunkirk evacuation¨ , also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk , code-named Operation Dynamo
24 February 2016 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

This an important, interesting movie depicting Battle of Dunkirk , this was an important battle that took place in Dunkirk, France, during the Second World War between the Allies and Germany . As part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle was the defence and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 26 May–4 June 1940 , being shot with monumental logistics and means of effecting the landings to rescue escaped soldiers . This spectacular adventure about one of the most difficult campaign of war detailing the epic feats of some brave heroes contains noisy action , German raids , idealism , romance , unlimited courage , breathtaking battles and impressive sandy outdoors . Set during World War II, and stuck on the beaches near Dunkirk , Julien Maillat (Jean Paul Belmondo) attempts to join Great Britain by boat with the English Army , but cannot succeed . He , then , attempts to organize the life for him and his soldiers friends as Pinot (Georges Géret) , Pierson (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and Dhéry (Pierre Mondy) between shells , plane attacks on the beaches , bombings , and mayhem . Meanwhile , he meets a beautiful girl (Catherine Spaak) who is about to be raped .

This spectacular war movie contains thrills , exciting battles , aerial raids , dogfighting , romance and historical events . It is an enjoyable movie about friendship , warlike feats , courage and good feeling . This War movie packs crossfire , large-scale action , battles , shots of troops , landings and many other things . This film's source novel "Weekend at Zuydcoote" by Robert Merle won the 1949 Prix Goncourt, a prestigious French literary award . Acceptable movie pulls things together enough to rise thanks to continuous images of military marches , explosions , smoke and shootouts . This would-be blockbuster is not a description of such an important event but it is a context in which the battle offers the concrete development , life and death , a few men , Belmondo and his friends , being surrounded on the beaches of Dunkirk . The pic is well starred by Jean Paul Belmondo , a likable actor who has performed all kinds of genres as adventure : ¨Swashbuckler¨, ¨Le Magnifique¨, ¨The man from Rio¨, Cartouche¨, Polar : ¨Le Professionnel¨, ¨Stavisky¨, ¨Borsalino¨ , Comedy caper : ¨¨The brain¨ , Wartime : ¨Is Paris burning ?¨, ¨Two women¨ and Nouvelle Vague : ¨Pierrot Le Fou¨ "Breathless" . The movie broke box office records after bringing in a lot of money at the French box office . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Henri Decae , being shot at the actual location of one of the operation Dynamo evacuations, on the beaches of Bray-Dunes near Dunkirk . Rousing and thrilling musical score by the great composer Maurice Jarre . The film is magnificently produced with big budget by Raymond and Robert Hakim . This famous event from how was orchestrated the notorious battle and the dangerous , risky landings maneuvers was professionally directed by Henry Verneuil who also made other WWII films : "The Vultures" with Belmondo , "The 25th Hour" with Anthony Quinn and "The Cow and I" with Fernandel .

The picture was well based on historical events , these are the followings : General Von Kuechler assumed command of all the German forces at Dunkirk. His plan was simple: he would launch an all-out attack across the whole front . Strangely, he ignored a radio intercept telling him the British were abandoning the eastern end of the line to fall back to Dunkirk itself. Although Churchill had promised the French that the British would cover their escape, on the ground it was the French who held the line while the last remaining British were evacuated. Enduring concentrated German artillery fire and Luftwaffe strafing and bombs, the French stood their ground. On 2 June (the day the last of the British units embarked onto the ships), the French began to fall back slowly, and by 3 June the Germans were about two miles (3 km) from Dunkirk. The night of 3 June was the last night of evacuations. On 4 June , the Germans hoisted the swastika over the docks from which so many British and French troops had escaped under their noses The War Office made the decision to evacuate British forces on 25 May. In the nine days from 27 May–4 June, 338,226 men escaped, including 139,997 French, Polish, and Belgian troops, together with a small number of Dutch soldiers, aboard 861 vessels -of which 243 were sunk during the operation-. British Fighter Command lost 106 aircraft dogfighting over Dunkirk, and the Luftwaffe lost about 135 – some of which were shot down by the French Navy and the Royal Navy . The docks at Dunkirk were too badly damaged to be used, but the East and West Moles or sea walls were intact. Captain William Tennant —in charge of the evacuation— decided to use the beaches and the East Mole to land the ships. This highly successful idea hugely increased the number of troops that could be embarked each day, and indeed at the rescue operation's peak, on 31 May, over 68,000 men were taken off. The last of the British Army left on 3 June and all of them returning to Dover. However, Churchill insisted on coming back for the French, so the Royal Navy returned on 4 June in an attempt to rescue as many as possible of the French rearguard. Over 26,000 French soldiers were evacuated on that last day, but between 30,000 and 40,000 more were left behind and forced to surrender to the Germans .


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