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on 9 March 2013
I work in a high school and this is a very popular book both by the English Department and the children. Whilst I know it is historically correct i.e., World War I and the fact that men were court martialed and killed by firing squad for whatever trump up charges could be found. The story starts at the end. Despite having read the book several times during lessons and the film being shown to the students, it is definitely a tear jerker. Each time I have watched it, it has left me in a bad mood. When you watch it and find out why... No, I'll say no more because it will ruin it. Such injustice, that is all I will say. This certainly isn't suitable for junior schools or anyone under the age of 12/13; any younger I don't think they would understand it anyway.
3 people found this helpful
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 January 2013
This low budget film directed by Pat O'Connor
was a bit of a curates egg for me. Good in parts.

As an attempt to commit Michael Morpurgo's novel
written for older children to the big screen it
was OK, but there were significant changes to the
book and the front line trench warfare set looked
unrealistic and quickly thrown together to me.

It is primarily the story of two brothers, Charlie
and Tommo played brilliantly by Jack O'Connell and
George Mackay who grow up among the farming community
in Devon in the early 1900's and like many boys of
their era soon find themselves in the arena of WW1.

What spoiled it for me was that the trenches looked
too new and unused. We could clearly see the newly
prepared wood and shine of the corrugated metal used
to shore up the trenches, so much so that it looked
as if the group of Devonshire lads had just been
dropped onto an unused film set, which of course it

Whether the whole thing was done to 'protect' today's
children from gaining too much of an impression of
the realities of warfare, I am unsure,
but it hid much of the filth, stress and state of utter
desperation that other films of the genre so readily

We must look to the acting and characters for any sense
of reality. The strong bond of brotherly love brilliantly
portrayed by the young actors was almost tangible as was,
the total brutish, almost psychopathic nature of Sergeant
Hanley which John Lynch played convincingly well.

The film works, in that it gives a glimpse into the unfair
treatment of soldiers during this period of British history
and the injustices of the 'justice' dished out by the military
commanders of the day, who conducted the war on their terms
Worth watching.
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on 2 June 2018
Will use this next session at school along with the novel. I am told it is a very moving and poignant story.
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on 22 February 2018
Good film, nothing great but I guess worth a watch. Slightly different from the book but not a bad film.
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on 7 November 2017
One person found this helpful
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on 5 October 2017
Service excellent but a little disappointed the script differs from the book.
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on 22 May 2018
Brilliant Michae Morpurgo
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on 31 August 2015
Decent story about a Private who got shot by firing squad for cowardice in WW2, with the story leading up to it.
I had a faulty disc that kept freezing, so hence the 3 stars.
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on 3 May 2016
A thoroughly entertaining film, remains true to Michael Morpurgo's story. A must watch film with characters played by truly talented actors who encapsulate the atmosphere of the story to the tee.
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on 19 June 2018
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