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Their Finest (2016)

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A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them.


Lone Scherfig


Lissa Evans (based on the novel "Their Finest Hour and a Half" by), Gaby Chiappe (screenplay by)
4,444 ( 187)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Claflin ... Tom Buckley
Gemma Arterton ... Catrin Cole
Nicholas Murchie Nicholas Murchie ... Bus Conductor
Richard E. Grant ... Roger Swain
Henry Goodman ... Gabriel Baker
Rachael Stirling ... Phyl Moore
Jack Huston ... Ellis Cole
Bill Nighy ... Ambrose Hilliard / Uncle Frank
Amanda Root ... Cecy / Mrs Brown (Careless Talk Film)
Patrick Gibson ... Rex, the Clapper Loader
Darren Clarke Darren Clarke ... The Gaffer
Ed Birch Ed Birch ... Walter, the Director (Careless Talk Film)
Lissa Evans Lissa Evans ... Make-Up Woman (Careless Talk Film)
Richard Bevan Richard Bevan ... Mr. Richards (Dubbing Editor)
Gaby Chiappe Gaby Chiappe ... Dolly (Carrot Film)


During the London Blitz of World War II, Catrin Cole is recruited by the British Ministry of Information to write scripts for propaganda films that the public will actually watch without scoffing. In the line of her new duties, Cole investigates the story of two young women who supposedly piloted a boat in the Dunkirk Evacuation. Although it proved a complete misapprehension, the story becomes the basis for a fictional film with some possible appeal. As Cole labors to write the script with her new colleagues such as Tom Buckley, veteran actor Ambrose Hilliard must accept that his days as a leading man are over as he joins the project. Together, this disparate trio must struggle against such complications such as sexism against Cole, jealous relatives, and political interference in their artistic decisions even as London endures the bombs of the enemy. In the face of those challenges, they share a hope to contribute something meaningful in this time of war and in their own lives. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Relentlessly Charming! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | Sweden


English | Hungarian | Polish | French

Release Date:

7 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Their Finest Hour See more »


Box Office


€10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,197, 7 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,595,841, 16 June 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,313,591, 7 June 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sam Claflin, Rachael Stirling and Eddie Marsan previously appeared together in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). See more »


1930s/40s Technicolor cameras needed ridiculously large amounts of artificial light in order to get a good result (hence why most early three colour technicolor films were studio bound). Yet nowhere during the location shoots of this film do we see the huge arc lamps needed for Technicolor filming.. See more »


Ambrose Hilliard: [walks into the frame during a shoot]
Walter, The Director (Careless Talk Film): Cut! Can someone please get Mr. Hilliard out of Dunkirk?
See more »


References The Four Feathers (1939) See more »


Will You Go, Lassie, Go
(aka "Wild Mountain Thyme")
Written By Francis McPeake and McPeake Family
Performed by Bill Nighy and Rachel Portman
See more »

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User Reviews

So light and theatrical its almost pointless
22 April 2017 | by rabbitmoonSee all my reviews

Their Finest is absolutely one of those "nice" films that might pass the time on a long-haul flight where your mind is distracted, or something an old couple might enjoy on a Sunday afternoon whilst cleaning up after a roast dinner. For that kind of film, it does it's job well.

That's OK if its a "Me Vs You" type of whimsy, but Their Finest could have been so much more. It felt like it would have some dignity, purpose and backbone, like The King's Speech, Hidden Figures or Suffragette, but sadly it didn't. Their Finest could have been about so much - a woman's struggle for recognition, the influence and responsibilities of propaganda and journalism, how the pressure and fear of war could drive creativity, art vs craft in terms of sacrificing truth or expression for the greater good of what a demoralised audience needs. But it didn't have the confidence to really tackle anything at all - it just bumbles along with a phoney theatricality and those typically self-conscious witticisms that British films seem to pride themselves on. Its ironic that the film they're making ends up seeming so much more emotional than the film we're seeing.

A huge flaw is the character/love interest played by Sam Caflin, whose acting is unbelievably wooden in all his films. A role that a younger Ewan McGregor, Hugh Grant or Tom Hollander would have nailed without thinking, but here it just falls flat. How the romance is handled, and ultimately resolved, is almost satirical for how ill-judged it is. Gemma Arterton just about manages, but I was craving some nuance and actual character depth. One saving grace is Bill Nighy who thankfully does know how to portray a character, even if its the same one he's always known for. I can't help but feel that his performance and comedy saves the film from being exposed for its complete lack of purpose or point.

Their Finest really is a disappointing hack film aimed at the Sunday afternoon crowd, that no one will remember in less than two years.

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