A hardened American gunslinger is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to mount a showdown in a friendly town in Canada where no one seems to understand or appreciate the brutal code of the American Wild West.
Sergeant Michael Dunne fights in the 10th Battalion, AKA The "Fighting Tenth" with the 1st Canadian Division and participated in all major Canadian battles of the war, and set the record for highest number of individual bravery awards for a single battle.Written by
Passchendaele (now called Passendale) is only 12 km away from Boezinge, where the Canadian war physician John McCrae wrote his famous poem "In Flanders Fields". Lt.Col. McCrae died of pneumonia in 1918 near Boulogne-sur-Mer, and lies buried in Wimereux. See more »
When Sarah enters her house just before Michael is leaving for France, all the windows are broken. From the inside they suddenly are fixed again. See more »
Passchendaele is part unabashed romance and part horrific and quite graphic war story.
In film World War One has been a neglected war compared to the more morally unambiguous Second World War and the more recent Vietnam War. And films that aren't about American participation are just as neglected. Passchendaele fills that void.
The movie moves quickly and switches between home life and battlefield with surprising ease and effect. I was not bored for a moment of this movie. The movie will make you care about these people when they are at home living their lives and then fear for them at war. While the battle scenes are quite brutal, they are not sensational or exploitive, since to have made them sensational or exploitive would defeat the great effort this movie takes in showing how men had to cope with life after the war and the memories of what they lived through.
Undoubtedly there will be cynics who will decry some moments as contrived or melodramatic, but these are the small-minded who have missed the real emotion of this film. The movie is great entertainment, but there is something going on beneath the surface. This is the first time I can recall a film where the main character is someone who has been both emotionally damaged by the war, but does not succumb to it. I suspect there must be many men coming out of the war who were damaged, but quietly lived with that damage their entire lives. For that depiction alone, this is a great movie.
The movie is not without humour and it has one of the funniest seduction lines I've ever heard uttered by a woman in a movie.
The movie is entertaining, but there's a lot going on and much I haven't mentioned as I don't want to click the spoiler warning. There are scenes I'm still thinking about, which doesn't happen with every movie I see.
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