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Joe Maddison's War (2010)

Tyneside ship-builder Joe Maddison lost his faith in the trenches at the Somme in 1916. Now that World War Two has begun he is too old to enlist alongside his son and son-in-law and is also... See full summary »


Patrick Collerton


Alan Plater

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sammy T. Dobson Sammy T. Dobson ... Sheila Maddison (as Sammy Dobson)
James Atherton ... Tommy Cowell
Angela Lonsdale Angela Lonsdale ... Polly Maddison
James Baxter ... Alan Maddison
Kevin Whately ... Joe Maddison
John Woodvine ... Father Connolly
Robson Green ... Harry Crawford
Trevor Fox Trevor Fox ... Eddie Turnbull
Niek Versteeg Niek Versteeg ... Billy Nicholson
Derek Jacobi ... Mr Simpson
Jackie Phillips Jackie Phillips ... Lily Parkinson
Madelaine Newton Madelaine Newton ... Jenny Barlow
Charlie Richmond ... Sergeant Bull
Judi Earl Judi Earl ... Woman 1
Sharon Percy ... Woman 2


Tyneside ship-builder Joe Maddison lost his faith in the trenches at the Somme in 1916. Now that World War Two has begun he is too old to enlist alongside his son and son-in-law and is also in a reserved occupation so, after his wife Polly has left him for a sailor,he joins the Home Guard with his friends,Marxist Eddie and cynical,wise-cracking Harry.Harry's anti-authoritarian attitude causes problems with Mr. Simpson,the company commander,and Joe leads the men out on strike after Harry is expelled. However,after he has dealt with an unexploded bomb he is acclaimed a hero,and,along with his friends, reinstated,being promoted to corporal.He also meets widow Selina who brings him out of his shell but Polly returns,with the sailor's child,seeking a reconciliation, a request which splits the family. Come 1945 and the war is ending but Joe still has his personal conflict to resolve. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War







Release Date:

19 September 2010 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Guerra de Maddison See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mammoth Screen See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (HD)| Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the opening scenes at the shipyard early in 1940 Robson and others discuss joining the LDV (later in the war known as the Home Guard), but the Daily Sketch they are reading has a front page report on the German advance on Moscow which didn't happen until late 1941. Poor research by someone. See more »


[in the shipyard, during the lunch break, Joe and Harry look at their sandwiches]
Joe Maddison: I've got cheese. You?
Harry Crawford: Potted.
Joe Maddison: Potted what?
Harry Crawford: I'm buggered if I know! Mind you, next door's dog's gone missing. It could be potted Rover.
Joe Maddison: I'll take a chance.
[they swap sandwiches]
See more »

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User Reviews

Good story - poorly portrayed
23 November 2010 | by almacmedalSee all my reviews

This was a good effort with some excellent performances from Kevin Whately, Derek Jacoby and Robson Green, who as a rule I don't reckon to be much of an actor. It was let down by some very poor production values, possibly driven by a low budget. The waves of bombers coming over at what looked more like 500' rather 10,000' were totally unconvincing, as were the pathetic pyrotechnic affects, with the unexploded bomb going off sounding like a Chinese cracker. Joe's son remained a sergeant all the way through the war despite flying on over 50 ops - that would never have happened, he would have almost certainly made warrant officer by the end. There were innumerable continuity errors - Joe goes out for a walk with his medal ribbons the right way up, half way through the walk they are suddenly upside down, and when he gets home they have disappeared altogether! Terrible. Shame the actors were let down by a sloppy production team. Not one I'd bother to watch again.

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