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The Trench (1999)

 |  Drama, War  |  17 September 1999 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,783 users   Metascore: 58/100
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A story about a group of soldiers' last days before the battle of the Somme in 1916, showing the conditions in the trenches during World War 1 and taking you into the minds of the soldiers.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lance Cpl. Victor Dell
Pte. Colin Daventry
Tam Williams ...
Pte. Eddie Macfarlane
Anthony Strachan ...
Pte. Horace Beckwith
Michael Moreland ...
Lt. Col. Villiers
Pte. Charlie Ambrose
Rag Rookwood
John Higgins ...
Pte. Cornwallis
Pte. James Deamis
Tim Murphy ...
Pte. Bone
Pte. Dieter Zimmermann


A story about a group of soldiers' last days before the battle of the Somme in 1916, showing the conditions in the trenches during World War 1 and taking you into the minds of the soldiers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It is a place 8ft wide, 600 miles long, man-made and God-forsaken.


Drama | War


See all certifications »





Release Date:

17 September 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

La Trinchera  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer-director William Boyd has strong family connections to World War I. His great uncle was wounded in the Somme, as was his grandfather at Paschendale. See more »


When Eddie looks out the loophole, no mans land is a clear green field. When the Winter and Beckwith do the raid, Beckwith claims there is a a ton of wire left. During the final attack, there is no wire. Also, due to the weeks of bombing it is likely that the ground would be a bit rough and muddy. See more »


Title Card: In the high summer of 1916, in Northern France, the British Army prepared for the biggest offensive of the First World War. As hundreds of thousands of troops massed in the rear, waiting for the order to attack, a reduced force was put in place to hold the front line trenches.
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User Reviews

I Did Have Reservations At The Start ....
5 November 2003 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

.... because the opening title sequence is very bland . Compare it to the shocking title sequence of the 1960s BBC documentary THE GREAT WAR . As the film goes on we`re introduced to the characters and I couldn`t help noticing that one is Southern English , a couple are Northern English , a couple are Jocks , a couple are Irish while the sarge is a scouser . I`m sorry but I was convinced that British army infantry regiments of the period were composed of " Pals battalions " , that is battalions composed entirely of men from the same home town . Take for instance the 16th battalion of The Royal Scots which was formed in one week and was called " The Hearts battalion " because it was composed mainly of supporters of Hearts football club . The 16th Royal Scots even had 16 Hearts players in its ranks so I don`t believe for a moment that any British army infantry platoon was as regionally mixed as the one here

The more THE TRENCH goes on the more I found myself questioning the accuracy of the movie especially its mood and its sense of time and place . A British made trench in France in 1916 . Since when did the Brits build trenches like the one seen here ? It even has a concrete floor that the Germans would have been proud of which seems to go against I`ve seen in photographic evidence . The film also has an anachronistic cynical air , what on the eve of the Somme ? The British troops had witnessed day upon day of hellish bombardment of the German positions and a lot of British soldiers had begun to feel rather sorry for Jerry , and no one but no one in the British lines had any reason to doubt anything less than a swift , spectacular British victory . Of course one day and 20,000 dead British soldiers later changed these thoughts , in fact some historians describe the date 1st of July 1916 " The day British idealism died " . One final point - As at least one other commentator mentioned THE TRENCH contains a large amount of swear words . It has been documented that one criticism by the real life survivors of BAND OF BROTHERS was that the HBO/BBC drama contained too much swearing and that people in the 1940s used far less profane words than people use nowadays . I`m inclined to believe them and I`m also inclined to believe people in 1916 probably swore less than people in the 1940s so I doubt if the men in the trenches used the " F " word in every sentence

Unfortunately who German bullets didn`t claim on that grim day have been killed by the passing of time so the chances of someone who was there writing into this site and telling us their opinion of THE TRENCH are very remote . A pity because I`d be very interested what they thought of it . As for myself I found the ending moving ( How could it not be ? ) but the rest is rather poor history and a rather poor film that seems to have homo erotic undertones

35 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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World War I neglected in film? tarmcgator
just watched this loughtonguy
ending copied from 'galipoli' Wratchett
Is this Film worth seeing? Damfinos
Awful mise-en-scene, totally unrealistic Browney29
Anyone catch it on four? pdelamore
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