Television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Second World War trilogy. Guy Crouchback (Daniel Craig) seeks purpose in the British army following his shattering divorce from Virginia Troy (Megan Dodds). However, the ups and downs of military life at the height of the war at times prove too much for Guy, especially when he renews his acquaintance with his ex-wife. Ultimately he begins to find his sense of duty tested to the limit by the strength of his renewed relationship with Virginia.
War is hell, but it can bring out the best in the unlikeliest of men. Sword of Honour
, a splendid British miniseries, is based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Evelyn Waugh. Waugh's alter ego in the film, Guy Crouchback, played with gravitas, fortitude, and a wee bit of vulnerability by a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig, joins the World War II effort as an older soldier because he feels a pure calling to fight evil. And fight he does, though the realities of war and army life are ultimately revealed to him in all their venality and haphazardness. The film sweeps across Europe, from pre-war England--where life for the upper crust is all crisp linen, martinis, and a fierce denial of the notion that the British Empire is, in fact, doomed--to Capt. Crouchback's missions in Vichy France, an utterly destroyed Crete, Egypt, and more. All the while, Crouchback fights his own demons along with the Nazis; his alluring ex-wife, Virginia (played with sultry sensuality by the American actress Megan Dodds, so memorable in the British series MI-5
), to whom Crouchback is undeniably still drawn. The action and production values are topnotch, as is the ensemble cast. But the key is Craig, whose world-weary demeanor only barely masks the needs of a soldier--and a man--who is all too human. His performance is soul-stirring, and even those who think they aren't war-film fans will be captivated by the layered storytelling here. Extras include cast filmographies and a biography of Waugh. --A.T. Hurley
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.