Bill, a young boy living on the outskirts of London experiences the exhilaration of World War II. During this period, Bill learns about sex, death, love, hypocrisy, and the faults of adults as he prowls the ruins of bombed houses.
A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War II. For a young boy, this time in history was more of an adventure, a total upheaval of order, restrictions and discipline. The liberating effect of the war on the women left behind. And the joy when Hitler blows up your school.Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
Eight years earlier, the movie Yanks (1979)'s storyline partially captured the experiences of young English boys during the Second World War, a theme that is elaborated on in this film. See more »
When Pauline is standing in front of her newly destroyed house, in the close up shots her hair is flat, but in the distant shots it's noticeably more full. See more »
Do you wanna join our gang?
Do you know any swear words?
Say them. Go on. Say them. You can't join if you can't swear.
I only know one.
Well, say that one, then. Go on.
[Roger's gang is taken aback]
That word is special. That word is only used for something really important. Now, repeat after me: Bugger off.
[...] See more »
Set in London during World War II, Hope and Glory is anything but your typical war film. It's an autobiographical sketch of a schoolboy who witnesses, firsthand, the aerial devastation of London. Through his innocent eyes, we see the destruction in a completely unique way. To him, the war is more than simply catastrophic: it's also creative. This movie is somewhat unique in the sense that it's a war film lacking tragic or heroic qualities. We see ordinary people not only getting by, but also getting a buzz off of the excitement.
What's most interesting about the boy's perspective is this: while he watches any number of British social norms become transformed or nullified because of the exigencies of war (the film has some hilarious scenes to that effect), the British remain remarkably British. There is no debilitating self-doubt about who or what they are. It's about a crisis in the historical sense, similar to Bruni's experience of the early Italian Renaissance, which served to reinforce and infuse with energy the cultural assumptions commonly taken for granted. As an American, one senses what it means to be English, to have those qualities refined and purified like iron in a blast furnace, which is not an easy feeling to convey.
The boy's mother (Sarah Miles), for example, with her husband away in the service, is thrust into the role of head of household. And yet, she's demonstrably uncomfortable assuming these duties. The boy's grandfather, who is warm, acerbic, formal, dignified, and comically lascivious, appears as a bundle of contradictions; but, he's a microcosm of British social contradictions, which makes him fascinating.
One hopes that the events of September the 11th can inspire in us a similar sense of what it means to be American, and maybe help us to find some hope and glory in ourselves.
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