Dir: Saul Dibb | UK | 2017 | 107 mins
From director Saul Dibb (Bullet Boy, The Duchess) comes this piercing new adaptation of R.C. Sheriff’s seminal1928 anti-war play. It’s World War 1 and youthful recruit Lieutenant Raleigh has pulled strings to join his sister’s fiancé and childhood hero Captain Stanhope on the front line. But Stanhope is altered beyond recognition by years in the trenches. Reliant on alcohol and his friendship with phlegmatic fellow-officer Osbourne to survive, he is horrified by Raleigh’s arrival into the tension and claustrophobia of the officers’ dugout where they are anticipating a massive German attack. With its timely release in the centenary of the Armistice, this terse and focused version of an enduring classic slams home the pathos, harrowing emotional costs and utter futility of war.
“It is a governing sense of restraint that lends the film such an emotional kick, and breathes fresh life into an old classic.” Screen