42 user 15 critic

Dunkirk (1958)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 10 September 1958 (USA)
A dramatization of the British Expeditionary Force's 1940 retreat to the beaches of France and the extraordinary seaborne evacuation that saved it from utter destruction by Nazi Germany.


Leslie Norman


Trevor Dudley Smith (novel) (as Elleston Trevor), Ewan Butler (book) (as Lt. Col. Ewan Butler) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Corporal 'Tubby' Binns
Richard Attenborough ... John Holden
Bernard Lee ... Charles Foreman
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Private Mike
Ray Jackson Ray Jackson ... Private Barlow
Ronald Hines ... Private Miles
Sean Barrett Sean Barrett ... Frankie
Roland Curram ... Private Harper
Meredith Edwards ... Private Dave Bellman
Michael Bates ... Airman Froome
Rodney Diak Rodney Diak ... Pannet
Michael Shillo Michael Shillo ... Jouvet
Eddie Byrne ... Commander - Tough's Yard
Maxine Audley ... Diana Foreman
Lionel Jeffries ... Colonel - Medical Officer


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 <galpinp@sabc.co.za>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Days That Shook the World! Victory Snatched From Disaster!


Action | Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


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?
Charles Foreman: 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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Crazy Credits

After the title is shown, it stays on screen while the rest of the opening credits roll. See more »


Referenced in Sean Bradley Reviews: Dunkirk (2017) See more »


A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Music by Manning Sherwin
Lyrics by Eric Maschwitz
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User Reviews

History's most inspirational defeat, captured admirably well
16 June 2017 | by grantssSee all my reviews

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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German | French | English

Release Date:

10 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dunkirk See more »


Box Office


GBP400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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