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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 September 2005
This film focuses on an English family which struggles to cope with the Blitz during World War Two. The devastation of attacks on London is brilliantly juxtaposed with the idyllic countryside to which Grace Rohan (Sarah Miles) relocates with her children after her husband Clive (David Hayman) goes off to war. Much of the story is based on director John Boorman's own childhood experiences at a time when there seemed so little reason for hope. "Glory" certainly describes the eventual Allied victory but also the courage of the English people meanwhile and certainly the affirmation of shared values which bound so many families together amidst fear, separation, death, and destruction. Much of the film's focus is on Grace's father (Ian Bannen), a patriarch to be sure and (at times) something of an eccentric, but a loving and decent man nonetheless, struggling to cope with all manner of domestic crises while providing a safe haven for daughters Grace, Faith, Hope, and Charity. He and grandson Billy (Sebastian Rice Edwards) forge a special bond in response to the pastoral "harem" in which they find themselves. This is a charming film but also one which also offers some sobering insights into how disruptive wartime conditions can be, especially to a sensible and sensitive boy such as Billy. His perspective is presumably Boorman's (re-established years later) and done so with style and grace.
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on 25 October 2004
This film is as good as it gets for realism for the WW11 period in GREAT BRITAIN .
Lawn mowers stop mowing , war is declared and off we go , not knowing what we have in front of us . The film follows the fortunes of a family during the war with some wonderful ups and downs to which I can relate . If you are interested in WW11 then this film is a must . It will give you an insight to the way of life for ordinary folk during this difficult time as well as how the other half lived . BUY IT and ENJOY IT.... it really is how it was .
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on 1 February 2009
This is a film that reminded me of my wartime childhood - in the London suburbs. I remember looking for trophies in the mornings after the raids, with very little success. Except for the time two of us found the remains of a V1 that had exploded in fields near us and we carted away a section of the wing in a wheelbarrow !
The film conveys faithfully the contrast in the lives of the adults and children of the time. Our parents were fearful of what the future might bring, we saw life as a great adventure with the frisson of danger to add spice. Predictably our summers were sunny and the winters gave us lots of snow. The film suggests this beautifully and it took me back to my childhood.
My one criticism is that bomb damage was cleared away as soon as possible after the event. Steets may have had blank gaps but no heaps of rubble.
This is an excellent film, made with humour and sensitivity.
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on 31 July 2012
John Boorman's finest hour perhaps? This is a vivid portrayal of life in the blitz in London, how it impinges on one family, and in particular on a small boy who views much of what is happening around him as a great adventure. I think much of the material is based on John Boorman's own childhood. The shots of bomb-damaged suburban houses were all filmed on a huge outdoor set, and the period detail is perfect. Sarah Miles reins in her tendency to histrionics to give a subtle portrayal of a mother trying to hold her family together under great difficulties. Look out too for a cameo from Boorman's son Charlie (also seen in Emerald Forest) as a downed German airman. There are plenty of thrills but the film is also full of humour and some laugh-out-loud moments, for example the local kids cheering when they find out their school has had a direct hit. The film is presented in 16:9 ratio and is a very clean print. Recommended unreservedly.
Chris Gwilliam
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on 17 November 2013
Bill Rohan, a young boy living on the outskirts of London experiences the exhilaration of World War II.

During this period, Bill learns about sex, death, love, hypocrisy, and the faults of adults as he prowls the ruins of bombed houses on Rosehill Avenue.

His father is off chasing patriotic dreams of glory from behind a military clerk's typewriter; his teenage sister runs wild; his mother can't cope; but hopefully everything in the end will eventually turn out all right.....

A semi autobiographical movie by Boorman, Hope and Glory is as British as British movies have been since the old Ealing comedies.

And what's not to like about it? From the movie, you realise that growing up as a young child in WW2, must have had so much impact on your life, from family leaving, to lack of education, its all here, and even though Boorman slightly sugarcoats it and gives it an almost fairy tale like feel, its gripping stuff.

Along with the fantastic cast, including a scene stealing Ian Bannen, the sets are spectacular and really have an authentic feel to the proceedings.

The final third takes you away from the war, and the pain, and lets you spend the rest of the movie enjoying the English summer, a real treat, and a lovely way to end a film.

For the lengthy running time, it moves along quickly, and although its a tough subject for many, the essence of the film is love, and how huge events bring the nuclear family close together.
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on 29 January 2016
Nostalgia seeps from John Boorman’s Hope and Glory (1987).

On the cusp of World War II, Billy (Sebastian Rice-Edwards) is a young boy living in London with his family. When his father (David Hayman) signs up to fight and his mother (Sarah Miles) tries everything to keep the family safe, Billy’s left to do what he likes as the blitz obliterates his street.

Boorman’s brilliant script gives every character a voice: the patriotic father, the load bearing mother, the adventurous older sister (Sammi Davis), plus grumpy grandfather (Ian Bannen), and of course Billy, who is based on the director and his experiences growing up during this period.

Although a story about war, it’s focused on family and how in times of crisis, family is what’s important. Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun (1987) is along the same vein; both turn the spotlight on youth in wartime, the coming of age story, and semi-autobiographical as Spielberg’s film is based on J. G. Ballard’s novel of the same name.

The success of Boorman’s film is the portrayal of the British people, showing us we’re the same today as we were back then. A lot of the same values hold fast and it’s in the little comic quips that show the glorious absurdity that makes up a Brit, such as when the father finds a tin of German jam and the mother says it could be poisoned and that the enemy might have done it on purpose because, "They know we’re mad about jam." Only a Brit could say something like that and mean it.

This is a superb film that I can’t believe I haven’t watched for such a long time. I watched it when it was released, so I must have been seven or eight, and I recall placing myself in Billy’s shoes. Almost thirty years later and I still wear Billy’s shoes with all the pleasures of childhood, yet now I side with, and have greater interest in, the lives of the adults. When it was released the war had been over some forty-two years, and back then to me as a boy it might well have been during the Roman Empire, yet now as an adult the end of the war seems frightfully recent.
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on 23 June 2005
One of the best film on WWII in London... and surprisingly enough not available in the UK (and not even in European format).
I first saw the film about 15 years ago and have now bought it for my daughter (it fits perfectly with the year 3 curriculum) and of course for me. I think we've watched it about 10 times over the last 6 months.
Moving and fun, don't hesitate to buy it.
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on 30 January 2013
Another classic I've been searching for. We live in a Retirement Village and I do the Wednesday night films - they love my selection and will adore this as a lot of them are English and remember the Blitz.
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on 1 October 2006
We first saw this when we younger. We loved it. A film full of fun about a family in the war in london then moving to the country. We just love to quote lines from it...and no one knows what your on about....

"Thank you Adolf... it was a stray bomb!"


Everyone should see it and you'll just want to watch it again and again...

I would give 10+ stars if i could.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2016
I bought this DVD because I had seen a portion of it on the TV and really enjoyed it. As I knew my sister would enjoy it I ordered a copy for her also. We both really enjoyed the film immensely! It was funny in parts and sad in parts. Funny how children saw the war as an adventure not realising the real horror of it!!!! A really entertaining film.
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