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The Trench [DVD] [1999]

Paul Nicholls , Daniel Craig , William Boyd    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: £4.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Trench [DVD] [1999] + My Boy Jack [DVD] + Beneath Hill 60 [DVD] [2010]
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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Danny Dyer, James D'Arcy
  • Directors: William Boyd
  • Writers: William Boyd
  • Producers: Mairi Bett, Steve Clark-Hall, Xavier Marchand
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 15 May 2000
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004T8VK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,337 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Covering forty-eight hours in the days leading up to the Battle of the Somme in 1916, this film retells the story of war through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Billy McFarlane (Paul Nicholls). As Billy and his comrades await the signal that will send them into battle, they ponder their past and their friendships - before the horrific reality of their situation becomes clear. Written and directed by William Boyd.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE TRENCH IS HEART-WRENCHING STUFF 16 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Saw THE TRENCH recently, the first film by famed novelist William Boyd (Armadillo, A Blue Afternoon) and was very moved by it. An odd piece in its structure (very little happens until the last 10mn) as well as form (almost entirely studio-shot) the film's evocation of the absurdity of war was ultimately very successful.
Disposing of any plot, Boyd slowly traces the 48hrs leading up to the Battle of the Somme, with a group of (very) young soldiers. They are bored, restless and scared and as an audience we are asked to go through the same journey. And when the inevitable does happen we are left in tears because we got to know and like those characters. This film is Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN but the other way round (in the Hollywood big budget blockbuster you start off with the battle and the death and the carnage and then you are bored for the following 2hrs!). For emotional payback THE TRENCH is a much more satisfying experience.
Paul Nicholls' performance is probably too weak to carry the film but Daniel Craig's awesome display of charisma is in itself worth watching the film for.
Also I would like to point out to so-called WWI experts who have written reviews for this film that the days depicted in this film take place in June when trenches were not muddy and wet, not yet at least. I do agree though that explosions would have rendered the field itself more lunar than grassy and luxurious.
A definite recommendation. You will not regret it.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Movie 4 Oct 2007
Having read all the other reviews, I think that most of them are rather unkind to this movie.
Prior to the battle, the Somme area was a quiet backwater of the Great War with activity consisting of both sides daily lobbing a few shells into "No Man's Land" just to maintain the pretence that there was a war on. Neither side wanted to do anything but have a quiet life.
As for the soldiers being too clean, well in a non-combat area, baths and showers were available as was clean clothing.
The Somme area is chalk, so there would have been none of the mud usually associated with trench warfare.
I'm old enough to have had conversations with Great War veterans, like my grandfathers and other relatives and their perception of the war was of
99% total boredom and 1% sheer terror.
I enjoyed the movie, despite being a Great War buff. The weapons were correct, the uniforms correct. As for the movie, well scripted and well acted.
Worth the money. Buy and enjoy
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible waste 8 Sep 2007
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Set in the run up to the disastrous first day of the 1916 Battle of the Somme, The Trench isn't entirely worthless, but it's not a movie, more a filmed play (despite being written as a movie), and a very poor one at that with that 1970s BBC For Schools television look. The decision to shoot on a soundstage is particularly disastrous, since it never looks like anything but a soundstage, and this despite having a good cinematographer (Tony Pierce-Roberts). The decision to never leave the trench until the final scene doesn't really work, partially because we have no indication of the world that awaits them, but largely because Boyd's finale is just too televisual to have any compensating shock value. The abrupt jump to exterior for the last couple of minutes (and very tame they are too) is very noticeable, the film stocks and looks just not matching at all. Borrowing the final image of Gallipoli as well doesn't help.

Characters constantly explain what they're doing to each other despite having been in the trench for several weeks or months; there's no immediacy, no sense of danger, no sense of having to live in a fetid, claustrophobic open grave. Indeed, it's one of the most comfortable British trenches I've seen, with an absolutely level floor for the most part and an unnatural tidiness. The soft barrage - the quietest I've ever heard for shells landing 700 yards away - doesn't help. Boyd really doesn't have any idea of the possibilities that cinema has to offer, either camera or sound. It's real problem, though, is that ultimately it's a polite, clean and determinedly inoffensive film about a dirty, ugly war.

Pluses are some good performances, most notably Daniel Craig and Paul Nicholls, the latter improving after a bland start to establish a credible screen presence.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and emotionally powerful 3 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Though some of the finer points in this film are innaccurate and the charachters are somewhat stereotyped, overall it portrays brilliantly the absurd and hopeless nature of the war and the terror and hopelessness felt by the soldiers. The out of date tactics and strategies used to fight the war are shown in their true light and you are left with a real sense of how awful and tragic a war it was.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See it! 3 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It's good that this type of film is still being made about a conflict that will very soon have no eye-witnesses remaining. It's a fantastic character study of innocence and bravery in the trench, as well as the ineptitude and incompetence of the High Command during the Battle of The Somme in 1916.
I watched this film yesterday, thought about it all evening, dreamed about it all night and still can't shake it off.
Don't expect an all-action film, which in itself would be disrespectful of the actual battle and men who fought in it. Prepare yourself for an engrossing and well acted film, made all the more enveloping because as the viewer you know exactly what the outcome will be...
See it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by keith241
5.0 out of 5 stars War
Excellent film depicting the dreadful time our boys suffered. Actors did a fine job and I believe it was based on factual events
Published 2 months ago by karen
4.0 out of 5 stars birthday gift
Bought this for Christmas for my husband. It really is a good film which Ii chose from watching a YouTube clip.
Published 4 months ago by Carol Howells
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Good production, enjoyed the film and story line. Well made film with very good actors. I would highly. Recommend this film.
Published 5 months ago by rjfpick
1.0 out of 5 stars a terrible waste of money and time
Wooden characters, poor acting, terrible soundtrack, no story, no depth a total waste of time and money. What is the meaning of this film? Does the director know?
Published 8 months ago by marc goris
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty realism but a bit stereotypical
This is a very good war film with clear, believable characters. The language and violence are quite shocking but what I would expect given the context of a World War One trench. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Steve Topham
3.0 out of 5 stars Undecided
I can not quite make my mind up about this movie ... it was a good watch, but it lacked "something" ... I think it may have been something to do with the cast ... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tony King
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the avarage WW1 film.
Nor for that matter a fan of Daniel Craig. The dialogue is very good and I believe, despite other comments, realistic. Not sensational but most enjoyable.
Published 14 months ago by I. R. Kippen
5.0 out of 5 stars good buy
item was quickly delivered on time , item is of a good quality and is as described in advert, item works well and i recommend this item
Published 16 months ago by Iain Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Well-intentioned but inept
It's heart might be in the right place, but this tepid misfire looks like a bad TV schools production in every way. Read more
Published on 30 May 2012 by Burrobaggy
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