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The Great War (2007)

A historical recreation of Canada's role in World War I, cast by descendants of the people who participated in it.


Brian McKenna


Brian McKenna
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian McKenna Brian McKenna ... Narrator (voice)
Justin Trudeau ... Talbot Papineau
Michael Rudder Michael Rudder ... Canon Frederick Scott
Maxime Cournoyer Maxime Cournoyer ... Ernest Lamarche
Arthur Holden Arthur Holden ... Col. John McCrae
Pat Kiely ... William Bird
Noel Burton Noel Burton ... Charly Stewart
Sascha Cole Sascha Cole ... Beatrice Fox
Francis X. McCarthy ... PM Robert Borden (as Francis Xavier McCarthy)
Glen Bowser Glen Bowser ... General Arthur Currie
Jean-François Blanchard Jean-François Blanchard ... Henri Bourassa
Susan Almgren Susan Almgren ... Caroline Papineau
John Dee Delorimier John Dee Delorimier ... James Moses
Ralph François Ralph François ... Dana Thompson
Paul Stewart Paul Stewart ... British PM Lloyd George


The Great War Project is a docu-drama and reality TV series produced by Galafilm and the CBC. These have recruited over 125 descendants of First World War combatants on both sides of the conflict to re-enact the First World War's major battles and trench warfare. Written by K. Phillips

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | History | War


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English | French

Release Date:

April 2007 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

La Grande Guerre See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada


Box Office


CAD 4,300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Galafilm Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Several of the extras suffered from heat stroke and illnesses due to the incredibly hot 2006 summer. See more »


Featured in Gruen XL: Superannuation (2016) See more »


No Man's Land
Words & Music by Eric Bogle
© Copyright Larrikin Music Publishing Pty Ltd
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
Used by Kind Permission of Larrikin Music Publishing Pty Ltd.
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User Reviews

the value of Living History and Historical reenactment
18 April 2012 | by raymond-andreSee all my reviews

The McKenna brothers have long worked with groups of historical re- en-actors as a support for their documentaries (from the war of 1812 to World War II) and here for the Great War.

Here, in a twist they use living history, defined as an interaction between observers and history through tools, dress and placing them inside situations in order to bring greater understanding of the events. Descendants of the soldiers and nurses who gave their all in World War I are brought along and share their insights as they live through some of the experiences of their grand sires.

Dramatic re-enactments, professional actors and amateurs all mixed together with documentary narration and a few photographs make for an interesting mix. Some new insights. A good companion piece for the Paul Gross narrated "Far from Home - Canada and the Great War".

I read on one of the discussion groups that the film's weakness is the overly emotional reactions of some of these amateur re-en-actors. I thought they were quite sincere and brave in sharing their emotions to the camera. Stepping into history, living in a muddy trench for three days with little or no sleep after going through a rough boot camp, would tend to make most people vulnerable and yes, even weepy.

I saw a news report a few years ago about how they did the same thing with a bunch of high school students in Ontario for a remembrance day week-end, and the students were deeply affected by it. They had Canadian soldiers and historians help out as technical advisers, they dug a section of trench for the kids to live in, and set off fireworks and flares all night and raided the trench to keep them awake and on their toes.

This documentary is similar, but on a larger scale, given that is is all done on location.

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