Dunkirk (2017 movie)

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Dunkirk Logo.png
Directed byChristopher Nolan
Produced by
Written byChristopher Nolan
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyHoyte van Hoytema
Edited byLee Smith
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 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, hundreds of thousands of 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 soldier Gibson, who is burying a body. After a German dive-bomber attack, they find a wounded man. They rush his stretcher onto a hospital ship, hoping to remain aboard, but are ordered off. The ship is sunk by dive bombers; Tommy saves soldier 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 are brought ashore by a rowing boat. On the mole, Royal Navy Commander Bolton and Colonel Winnant discuss the situation; British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has committed to evacuating 30,000 soldiers, and with only a single, vulnerable mole available for embarking on deep-draft ships, the Royal Navy requisitions civilian vessels that can get to the beach.

In Weymouth, a civilian sailor named Dawson and his son Peter set 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 struggle, George falls and suffers a head injury that renders him blind. Elsewhere, three Spitfire aircraft cross the English Channel, heading towards Dunkirk, tasked with defending the evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk against attacks by the German Luftwaffe. After their leader is shot down, pilot Farrier assumes command with a shattered fuel gauge. They save a minesweeper from a German bomber, but the other Spitfire is hit and ditches. Its pilot, Collins, is rescued by Moonstone.

Tommy, Alex and Gibson join some soldiers from a Highlanders regiment and hide inside a fishing trawler that lies beached in the intertidal zone outside of 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 been silent throughout, of being a German spy and demands that he leave. Gibson reveals he is French; he stole the identity of the dead soldier he buried, hoping to be evacuated with the British. The group then abandon the fishing boat when it begins to sink, but Gibson is entangled in a chain and drowns. Alex and Tommy swim towards a nearby destroyer, but it is hit by bombs from a bomber. Moonstone manoeuvres to take on those in the water, including Alex and Tommy. Peter discovers that George is dead; when asked by the shell-shocked soldier, he lies that George is fine. Farrier shoots down the bomber, which crashes and ignites the oil slick from the sinking destroyer.

Farrier reaches Dunkirk, before his fuel runs out. Gliding over the beach, he shoots down an approaching dive-bomber diving towards the mole, saving ships and troops. Farrier flies over the beach, boosting morale as he receives cheers from the troops below. He cranks his landing gear down and lands beyond the Allied perimeter. He sets fire to his plane and is taken prisoner by the Germans. On the mole, Commander Bolton watches the last British soldiers leave. He notes that nearly 300,000 have been evacuated, ten times more than Churchill had hoped for. He remains 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 later commends George as a hero. Alex and Tommy board a train, and Alex expects public hostility as the train approaches Woking, but they receive a hero's welcome instead. Tommy reads out Churchill's address to the nation from a newspaper.

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.

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.

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.

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.[2]

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. 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.

Other websites[change | change source]

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