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Dunkirk (2017 movie)

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Directed byChristopher Nolan
Written byChristopher Nolan
Produced by
CinematographyHoyte van Hoytema
Edited byLee Smith
Music byHans Zimmer
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 13 July 2017 (2017-07-13) (Odeon Leicester Square)
  • 19 July 2017 (2017-07-19) (France)
  • 20 July 2017 (2017-07-20) (Netherlands)
  • 21 July 2017 (2017-07-21) (UK / US)
Running time
106 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • France
  • Netherlands
Budget$100 million
Box office$131.6 million

Dunkirk is a 2017 British-American war drama movie written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy.

Plot[change | change source]

In 1940, during the Battle of France, Allied soldiers have retreated to Dunkirk. Tommy, a young British private, is the sole survivor of a German ambush. At the beach, he finds thousands of troops awaiting evacuation and meets Gibson, who is burying a body. After a Luftwaffe dive-bomber attack, they find a wounded man. They rush his stretcher onto a hospital ship, hoping to get aboard, but are ordered off. The ship is sunk by dive bombers; Tommy meets Alex. They leave at night on a destroyer, but it is torpedoed by a U-boat. Gibson saves Tommy and Alex from the sinking ship, and they get back to the beach.

With only a single, vulnerable mole available for embarking on deep-draft ships, the Royal Navy requisitions civilian vessels in Great Britain that can get to the beach. In Weymouth, a civilian sailor Dawson, with his son Peter, sets out on his boat Moonstone, rather than let the Navy commandeer her. Impulsively, their teenage hand George joins them, hoping to do something noteworthy. At sea, they rescue a shivering shell-shocked soldier from a wrecked ship. When he realises that Dawson is sailing for Dunkirk, the soldier demands that they turn back and tries to wrest control of the boat; in the scuffle, George suffers a head injury that renders him blind. Elsewhere, three RAF Spitfires cross the English Channel, heading towards Dunkirk, tasked with defending the evacuation. After their leader is shot down in a dogfight, one of the pilots, Farrier, assumes command, but the other Spitfire is hit and ditches. Its pilot, Collins, is rescued by Moonstone.

Tommy, Alex and Gibson join some soldiers of a Highlanders regiment and hide inside a beached trawler in the intertidal zone outside the Allied perimeter, waiting for the rising tide to refloat it. German troops shoot at the boat, and water enters through the bullet holes. Alex, hoping to lighten the boat, accuses Gibson, who has stayed silent, of being a German spy. Gibson reveals he is French; he stole the identity of the dead British soldier he buried, hoping to be evacuated with the British. The group abandons the boat when it begins to sink, but Gibson is entangled in a chain and drowns. When a nearby minesweeper is sunk by a bomber, Moonstone manoeuvres to take on those in the water, including Tommy and Alex. Peter discovers that George is dead. Asked by the shell-shocked soldier, he lies and says that George is fine. Farrier reaches Dunkirk, before his fuel runs out. Gliding over the beach, he shoots down a dive-bomber, saving ships and troops, and then lands beyond the perimeter. He sets fire to his plane before being taken prisoner by the Germans. In all, 300,000 men are evacuated. Royal Navy Commander Bolton stays to oversee the evacuation of the French. Arriving back in Weymouth, Dawson is congratulated for having saved so many men. The shell-shocked soldier sees George's body being carried away. Peter goes to the local newspaper; a front-page article commends George as a hero. Tommy and Alex board a train, and receive a hero's welcome when the train arrives in Woking.

Background[change | change source]

Set during the Second World War, it portrays the Dunkirk evacuation.[1] It is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the movie is an international co-production between the United Kingdom, the United States, France and the Netherlands. Winston Churchill

Nolan wrote the script, told from three perspectives—the land, sea, and air—to contain little dialogue. Filming began in May 2016 in Dunkirk, France, and ended in Los Angeles, United States, where it also began post-production. Will Attenborough played Second Lieutenant.[2] His grandfather, actor-director Richard Attenborough, appeared in Dunkirk (1958).

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the film on IMAX 65 mm and 65 mm large format movie stock. The movie made extensive use of practical effects, such as employing thousands of extras, gathering boats that had participated in the real Dunkirk evacuation, and using genuine era-appropriate planes for aerial sequences.[3]

Release[change | change source]

Dunkirk premiered on 13 July 2017 at Odeon Leicester Square in London, England, and was released in the United Kingdom and United States on 21 July 2017 in IMAX, 70 mm and 35 mm film. The movie has grossed over $131 million worldwide and received praise for Nolan's screenplay and direction, acting, cinematography and Hans Zimmer's musical score.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Hooton, Christopher (5 August 2016). "Dunkirk trailer: Watch the tense first teaser for Christopher Nolan's new World War II film". The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016.
  2. "Dunkirk" Empire, 29 Dec 2016; "Will Attenborough brings 'Dunkirk' to life on Film-ish" FUBAR Radio, 6 Feb 2018
  3. Murugesu, Jason (3 August 2017). "How realistic are Dunkirk's Spitfire flight scenes?". newstatesman.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  4. Ryzik, Melena (26 July 2017). "Ticking Watch. Boat Engine. Slowness. The Secrets of the 'Dunkirk' Score". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]