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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wartime conspiracy / costume drama
This wartime costume drama is a couple of years old now, but it's worth watching for Bill Nighy's delightful performance if nothing else. Julie Christie and Jenny Agutter may be somewhat underused, but Nighy is perfect as an aristocratic MP; landed gentry of the old school, faced with an appalling situation as WW2 kicks off and all he holds dear is threatened by another...
Published 10 months ago by Rowena Hoseason

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Let Down
I was told this was a beautiful and sensitive film about the outbreak of WWII, well directed and acted, but it was so pretentious and boring that I could only watch the first 20 minutes of it. I really can't remember another film that I loathed so much and could not see up to the end. I wanted to give it a fair chance but could stand no more. Definitely not recommended.
Published 7 months ago by ByFloSin


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wartime conspiracy / costume drama, 29 Nov 2013
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
This wartime costume drama is a couple of years old now, but it's worth watching for Bill Nighy's delightful performance if nothing else. Julie Christie and Jenny Agutter may be somewhat underused, but Nighy is perfect as an aristocratic MP; landed gentry of the old school, faced with an appalling situation as WW2 kicks off and all he holds dear is threatened by another war to end all wars...

The story is tolds from the perspective of his adopted daughter, a young film actress, who has led a fabulous life on the family's estate and London mansion, growing up with younger siblings in an idyllic setting. She stumbles on what appears to be some kind of conspiracy within the government; a friend commits suicide; she investigates further and suddenly everything she knows is thrown out of kilter.
The result is an enjoyable romp, even if the plot itself is somewhat far-fetched. Nighy's discreet, understated performance starkly contrasts with the heroine's increasingly hysterical, paranoid squeaking. The backdrop of wartime Britain isn't entirely convincing - the country estate far better realised than London suburbs, for instance - but Christopher Lee adds significant weight to the narrative with a short but solomn turn.
The are some distinctly dippy plot-holes (like why a murderer would leave a corpse hanging around to be found; or why the bad guys would ever have bothered to destabilise the heroine during a family picnic) but overall the action clips along at a decent pace so you don't find yourself questioning those moments until afterwards. In the meanwhile, the photography, costumes and props are delightful.
7/10
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119 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected - but . ., 28 Mar 2010
By 
Ben Bottle (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
This is a marvellous film that sets you thinking and talking.
I was expecting more in the way of a regular "late period drama" with a formulaic theme. I'd forgotten about Poliakoff's flair and gift for amazing twists and hidden shadows.
The performances are superb - and hardly surprising really. Romola Garai is excellent in the lead role as Anne - but with the likes of Bill Nighy, Christopher Lee, David Tennant, Jenny Agutter, Julie Christie et al; she is never alone!
The film sits on a bed of sinister intrigue and weaves a tangled web of curious agendas as Britain moves towards war.
I am in no doubt that it is a film that demands more than one viewing - it leaves more questions than answers.
Highly recommended; a truly thought provoking film.
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74 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Watching, 10 April 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
At about two hours long this film will keep you absorbed, and the time will fly past. Taking in the time shortly before we declared war, and the early days of the second world war this film looks at those who wanted appeasement with the Third Reich. Nowadays when children are taught about the war they are told how we couldn't stand by and due to treaties with Poland we declared war on Germany. What is forgotten is the lead up to our entry, where our government tried to turn a blind-eye to what was happening (unlike today where we have a war due to imaginary WMDs). We were told of peace in our time whilst Europe was being ravaged and just stood back. The previous generation were still remembering the first world war and to be honest we were in no way ready to fight another, unlike Germany who had been re-arming for some time.

This film written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff is about one upper class family and the secrets that are kept hidden. Anne who is the eldest child of the family, but also adopted finds out something that she shouldn't have. From this her idyllic life takes a turn for the worse. If like me you have gone on quite normally in life and then it has been changed by events outside your control then you will readily identify with this movie. Also this is one of the beauties of this film, as when you first start watching it it seems just like a family saga, then it turns into a thriller which is almost Hitchcockian.

There are also a few scenes in this that border on the surreal. The acting is top-notch, although the film does seem a bit clunky in a couple of places. All in all though this is a great film that will have you thinking about the war long after it has finished. This film definitely showcases to the rest of the world what can be written, acted and produced in this country and has some excellent actors, both old and new. The very beautiful and talented Romola Garais excels in the starring role.

If you like your films intelligent and thought provoking then this is a must see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Let Down, 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
I was told this was a beautiful and sensitive film about the outbreak of WWII, well directed and acted, but it was so pretentious and boring that I could only watch the first 20 minutes of it. I really can't remember another film that I loathed so much and could not see up to the end. I wanted to give it a fair chance but could stand no more. Definitely not recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another goodie from Poliakov, 21 Nov 2013
This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
This was recommended by a friend who had seen it on TV. She mentioned it as she knew that we have enjoyed Poliakov's other stuff. I bought it on DVD and we watched it the same evening that it was delivered. We were not disappointed, it was amazing as usual and the plot twists gave us plenty to discuss. The acting was great and it was very atmospheric. It stayed with me for days afterwards. Food for thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romola demonstrates once again why she is and will be remebered for generations as one of the greatest actors ever., 19 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
A brilliant story which will appeal to all. Anextremely clever plot and typically Poliakovian. All performances are brilliant but Romola mesmerises as she does in all her films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece!, 6 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
Brilliant, as Stephen Poliakoff's productions always are. Highly recommended. Excellent acting from Romola Garai, Bill Nighy and the rest of the cast. A film to watch more than once!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant film, 15 Oct 2013
This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
I just watched this film (on bbciplayer) and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. What a cast and a great storyline. I don't know anyone who wouldn't enjoy it. Now to hunt for a Poliakoff boxset...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A substantial and memorable film, 13 Oct 2013
It's a Stephen Poliakoff film, so expect a slow-burner that is as much about memory and identity as it is about anything 'factual'/historical.

Stick with it and you have a satisfying, if, in the end, slightly sentimental story.

Not one for the Friday/Saturday night multiplex crowd or for girly Doctor Who fans drawn to the film by the appearance of David Tennant.

Overall, a film that should have been promoted better and more prominently scheduled on first transmission by its co-investor, the BBC; a film that deserves a better reputation than it has.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach, 10 Jun 2013
By 
Birgit (Hoersholm, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
It's a surprising story in many ways, beautifully acted by everyone and convincingly told. A not-so-heroic view of the last months before WWII broke out.
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Glorious 39 [DVD]
Glorious 39 [DVD] by Stephen Poliakoff (DVD - 2010)
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