Two stories in one, an easygoing British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. Meanwhile, British civilians are being dragged into the war with Operation Dynamo, the scheme to get the French and British forces back from the Dunkirk beaches. Some come forward to help, others are less willing.Written by
Paul Galpin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sir John Mills was fifty-years-old at the time of filming. The British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940 were a professional army, not conscripts (conscription (the draft) only began after Dunkirk to recoup numbers) therefore, Sir John Mills would be beyond the retirement age for a soldier, and would have been considered too old even for conscription, the maximum age being forty-five. The only soldiers aged fifty or above would have been senior officers, not frontline soldiers, and certainly not Corporals. See more »
When the soldiers and crew are picked up towards the end of the film the ship that rescues them is a Royal Navy ship. At the dock side they seem to disembark from a paddle steamer. See more »
Corporal 'Tubby' Binns:
What about all of this?
Stupidity. Everybody saying that war was so terrible it couldn't happen again. And shoving our heads in the sand, like a lot of ostriches. Well, the Germans didn't think that way. To them, war meant guns or butter. They chose guns. We chose butter. No, you can't blame the Army. They had what we gave them - last war weapons, last war methods. This is the result.
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After the title is shown, it stays on screen while the rest of the opening credits roll. See more »
History's most inspirational defeat, captured admirably well
The story of the famous evacuation of British forces from the beaches of Dunkirk in May/June 1940. Seen through the eyes of a squad of infantrymen, and their leader, Corporal Binns, in particular, as well as civilians who helped evacuate the soldiers. Also covers the high-level decisions as well as the individual sacrifices that were made.
History will record the Battle of Dunkirk as a British/Allied defeat, as the Germans ultimately captured the pocket and inflicted over 60,000 casualties on the Allies. However, over 300,000 Allied troops escaped, living to fight another day. This, and the method to evacuate them - the large scale use of civilian craft of all shapes and sizes, bolstered British morale and ultimately kept Britain in the war.
The inspirational nature of the event is captured well in this movie, as are the actions during and leading up to it. Quite gritty in showing the bravery involved, sacrifices made and against-the- odds nature of the event.
Good performances by the main actors - John Mills as Corporal Binns and Richard Attenborough as John Holden. Supporting cast are a mixed bag, varying from solid to serious over-acting.
Overall, a great depiction of a momentous event.
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