The movie 1917 is currently making the rounds in theaters during awards season. The Sam Mendes’ directed war film recently won two Golden Globes awards giving it plenty of buzz.
It’s not only praised by critics but also by audience members who have seen it.
What’s 1917 about & who’s in the cast?
The newest World War I film takes place in the spring of 1917 and follows the brave journey of two young British soldiers. They’re sent on a dangerous but necessary mission as they must deliver a message to warn troops of an impending ambush.
That ambush comes just after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich. By the way, one of the young soldier’s brothers is amongst the 1,600 soldiers in danger, making the mission even more personal.
Starring in the film as the two main soldiers are George MacKay as Lance Corporal William Schofield and Dean-Charles Chapman as Lance Corporal Tom Blake.
Also in the cast are Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Claire Duburcq.
1917 based on a Mendes family story
Sam Mendes directed and produced the film, 1917. Mendes is known for his Academy Award-winning work on the 1999 movie American Beauty. He’s also the man behind 2002’s Road to Perdition, as well as the James Bond movies Skyfall in 2012 and Spectre in 2015.
Per KTEP El Paso’s report, it’s a story with a good bit of family history for Mendes too.
Mendes’ grandfather Albert Mendes fought in World War I at the age of 17. He’d go on to become a novelist and writer but shared his war experiences with his children later on in life.
According to Sam Mendes, his grandfather didn’t share the stories until he was in his 70s.
“…there was one particular story he told us of being tasked to carry a single message through no man’s land in dusk in the winter of 1916,” Mendes said. “He was a small man, and they used to send him with messages because he ran 5 1/2 feet, and the mist used to hang at about 6 feet in no man’s land, so he wasn’t visible above the mist. And that stayed with me. And that was the story I found I wanted to tell.”
How long is 1917 and where was it filmed?
There are plenty of long films out in theaters at the moment or on-demand, including fellow movie award nominees like The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. However, 1917 checks in at 110 minutes and moves along pretty nicely due to the story and action.
The filming for 1917 also gives it a unique look and feel. That’s because cinematographer Roger Deakins put in work to make this appear to be one continuous shot by using long takes during the filming process.
A behind-the-scenes featurette was released to show just what went into making this such a brilliantly-captured and visually-stunning war movie.
The movie was filmed from April to June 2019. Locations were spread across the United Kingdom with England and Scotland used for various parts of the movie.
For England, filming locations included Wiltshire, Surrey’s Hankley Common, and Shepperton Studios in Surrey. Glasgow, Scotland, was also a filming location.
Initially, plans were submitted to the Glasgow City Council earlier last year to shoot exclusively in Glasgow, Scotland. According to an iNews report, Govan Docks was a part of the filming locations.
Reportedly, that particular location was to be used for 10 weeks with a special set constructed to give “the appearance of a bridge over a canal” around where the two northernmost docks were.
In June, there were also parts of the movie shot in and around Low Force, which is an 18-foot high set of falls located on England’s River Tees in Teesdale.
An interesting tidbit with that location was that signs were set up to warn any nearby walkers that the bodies seen lying around in the area were prosthetics and not real.
Is the movie worth seeing in a theater?
If the trailers, behind-the-scenes, Golden Globes wins, other award nominations and story details aren’t enough to convince viewers, the critical reception and audience love may give plenty of reason to see 1917.
At Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has an 89 percent on the Tomatometer with over 250 critics’ reviews.
The critical consensus reads:
Hard-hitting, immersive, and an impressive technical achievement, 1917 captures the trench warfare of World War I with raw, startling immediacy.
'1917' directed by Sam Mendes.
The Cinematography, Music Score, Set Pieces and Practical Effects are some of the best I've ever seen on a cinema screen. And they all fit perfectly together. Horrific, tense and beautiful film for 2 solid hours.
— Andy Touch (@andytouch) January 8, 2020
Moviegoers are liking 1917 just as much, if not more, than critics. There are over 660 user reviews as of this report, with the overall percentage landing at 95 percent.
That certainly seems like a vote of confidence from quite a few people who have seen the film.
With 1917 considered a breakthrough achievement in how war is recreated on-screen coupled with its masterful storytelling, this is certainly one worth seeing on the big screen.
1917 is currently playing in theaters with a runtime of 110 minutes.