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1917 (2019) Poster

(2019)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (9)
Inspired by Sam Mendes' grandfather's experiences in WWI: "The Autobiography of Alfred H. Mendes 1897-1991."
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Over 5,200 feet of trenches were dug for the film (just under one mile).
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April 6, 1917 (the date shown at the start of the film) is the date that the United States declared war on Germany and its allies.
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It took 6 months for the actors to rehearse the movie before shooting started.
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The film borrows its hidden cuts from a technique first seen in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948). As in that film, Sam Mendes would move the camera behind an object during a scene, such as a tree or a burnt out building where the camera could be stopped and then restarted without a noticeable edit.
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Sections of the film were shot in and around Low Force, on the River Tees, Teesdale in June 2019. The production staff had to erect signs warning walkers in the area not be alarmed by the bodies strewn around the site.
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The lighting rig used for the burning church was five stories high and consisted of 2,000 1K tungsten lamps, a total of 2 megawatts. It was one of, if not the largest, lighting rigs ever built for a film.
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The movie was shot from April to June 2019 in Wiltshire, Hankley Common, and Govan, Scotland, as well as Shepperton Studios. Conservationists, concerned that filming on Salisbury Plain could disturb potentially undiscovered remains in the area, requested an archaeological survey be conducted before any set construction began.
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This was a technically challenging film for Sam Mendes to direct, yet one of the biggest headaches for the film crew came from a cigarette lighter that wouldn't work on cue in the scene and resulted in several takes until it did. This minor problem resulted in the best part of a day's filming being wasted.
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The verse that Schofield recites to the French baby is part of the poem "The Jumblies" by Edward Lear. The poem could be seen as a metaphor for Blake and Schofield's mission. (" Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong...")
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This is Sam Mendes's first official writing credit.
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The flares flying over the ruined town were flown along wires, in order to control the direction of the shadows they cast. They were also chemically formulated to burn with a warmer color that was closer to tungsten light.
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Tom Holland was in talks for the role of Lance Corporal Blake, but turned down the role due to schedule conflicts.
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This is Sam Mendes's second war film. His first was Jarhead (2005).
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This is Universal Pictures' second film to be specially formatted For IMAX in the expanded aspect ratio of 1.90:1, entirely, since Oblivion (2013) (although its flashback sequences were letterboxed in 2.39:1) and is Sam Mendes' second film to be specially formatted For IMAX in the expanded aspect ratio of 1.90:1 since Skyfall (2012), which was also shot by Roger Deakins.
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Director of photography Roger Deakins chose to shoot most of the film on an Arri Alexa LF digital format camera using several lense types, the first time he had used this particular camera in his long career.
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Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott previously worked together on the series Sherlock (2010), with Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Scott as James Moriarty.
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One of the main credited production companies is Neal Street Productions. It is named after the street in Covent Garden, London, where the Donmar Warehouse theatre is located. Sam Mendes was artistic director of the theatre for ten years, near the beginning of his career and which was where he made his name and reputation as one of Britain's best theatre directors.
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The seventh project Benedict Cumberbatch has worked on that revolves around war. His other six are Atonement (2007), Small Island (2009), War Horse (2011), Parade's End (2012), The Imitation Game (2014) and Dunkirk (2017)
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Only Best Picture Oscar nominee to have a fully numerical title.
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Both Mark Strong and Colin Firth starred in the "Kingsman" movies and Fever Pitch (1997).
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Andrew Scott and George MacKay previously worked together five years earlier in Pride (2014).
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Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong were in another war movie together. They were both in The Imitation Game (2014) which was set during WWII.
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George MacKay has acted in one other project whose title also consists entirely of digits, namely the TV mini-series 11.22.63 (2016).
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Benedict Cumberbatch's second movie in which he portrays a British soldier during World War I. The first was War Horse (2011).
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Mark Strong and Daniel Mays starred in the TV series Temple (2019).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

George MacKay's character, Lance Corporal Schofield, bumping into running soldiers and getting up a few times was not in the script.
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The final scene of Schofield finding Lieutenant Blake and presenting him with his brother's rings was the very first take according to Sam Mendes and Lee Smith.
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In the scene where a soldier bleeds to death, his face gets paler and paler until it's paper-white. This is a medical reality that many films overlook when someone bleeds out.
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The two main characters' first names are not revealed until the end of the film.
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The film is dedicated to Sam Mendes' grandfather, who was Lance Corporal in The Kings Royal Rifle Corps during The Great War. The Kings Royal Rifle Corps was amalgamated into The Royal Green Jackets in 1966, and was then further amalgamated with other "Red Coat" regiments to form The Rifles in 2007
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Although intended to appear as happening in real time, there is one exception to this, which is when Schofield passes out after storming the hideout of the sniper shooting at him from the bridge house. This is obvious because when he confronts the sniper there is still daylight but when he regains consciousness it is dark. However from Schofield's perspective it is real time. This is also the only noticeable cut in the entire film, which is otherwise doctored to look as if it is entirely one shot.
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Other than in photographs, only two females appear in the entire movie. The French woman who helps Scofield and the baby she is caring for.
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Although based on an original screenplay, the basic premise of this film (getting a message to a front line unit to cancel a military push) was also used in Peter Weir's WWI-set film Gallipoli (1981).
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Lieutenant Leslie sprinkles whisky on Schofield and Blake while reciting the prayer, "Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed". Andrew Scott is known for playing a priest in the second season of the highly acclaimed BBC/Prime series Fleabag (2016).
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