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This review is from: Their Finest Hour And A Half (Hardcover)
"Finest Hour" follows the making, during the early days of the Second World War, of a film about Dunkirk, intended to lift British spirits (and enthuse American ones). This film is based on a story that never happened (or, at least, is greatly exaggerated) and it is done on a shoestring. The description of the film's production is fascinating (and often funny - for example the way in which the writer is kept in his (or her) place).
Lissa Evans brings together the stories of some of the cast and crew and of the development of the film itself against a background of the London blitz. All the characters are portrayed well, especially Ambrose Hilliard, embittered and fading actor, whose grim memories of the previous war surface at times and, and Catrin Cole, who ends up, more or less by accident, helping to write the film.
The book has funny moments, tender moments and sad moments. It creates an entirely believable atmosphere of wartime London, populated by convincing characters who one sympathises with more and more. It is also something of a page turner. The whole things is cleverly structured as a cinema programme, from the "trailers", though "informational shorts", to the "main feature" and finally, "forthcoming attractions". Overall, it is excellent.