Hope and Glory

Hope and Glory

Sebastian Rice-Edwards
Director: John Boorman Cast: Sebastian Rice-Edwards
Sebastian Rice-Edwards
, Sarah Miles
Sarah Miles
, David Hayman
David Hayman
John Boorman

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An affectionate reverie about war, childhood, and British stoicism, John Boorman's Hope and Glory is the veteran filmmaker's recollection of the bombing of London during World War II. Set on the British home front during the early days of the war, this episodic movie shows the blitz through the eyes of seven-year-old Billy Rohan (Sebastian Rice-Edwards). At the war's outset, Billy finds himself alone in a house full of women, as all the men are called off to join the war effort. With wide-eyed wonder and an outsized imagination, Billy sees the war as a grand diversion, an extension of his world of knights, tin soldiers, and war games. As bombs fall and houses burn, Billy's mother (Sarah Miles) struggles to keep the family together in her husband's absence. Even as Billy seeks to escape the harem of aunts and sisters, Dawn (Sammi Davis), his older sister, falls for a Canadian soldier, who gets her pregnant. After the Rohans' home catches fire (not, ironically, as the result of a bomb blast, but from a domestic accident), the family is forced to move in with Billy's cantankerous grandfather in the countryside, where they spend the rest of their summer and enjoy an unusual idyll amid the raging war. Nominated in 1987 for a Best Picture Academy Award, Hope and Glory proved to be another high point in the career of the remarkably protean Boorman. ~ Elbert Ventura

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse

The effects of World War II on Britain are recalled with bittersweet nostalgia in this beguiling, richly textured film produced, written, and directed by John Boorman (Deliverance). Barely nine years old when his family hears a broadcast announcing the commencement of hostilities, the Boorman character (played by the delightfully unassuming Sebastian Rice-Edwards) sees the conflict as a grand adventure. His working-class parents (Sarah Miles and David Hayman) display unexpected courage and fortitude, and in the midst of the war the family manages to spend a fairly idyllic summer at the home of grandparents Ian Bannen and Annie Leon. Boorman's evocative film is loosely plotted but lovingly detailed; his re-creation of London during the Blitz is painstakingly accurate, not only in a physical sense but also emotionally and psychologically. High drama rears its portentous head on occasion, but much of Hope and Glory focuses on both the day-to-day banalities associated with wartime hardship and the occasional diversions that relieved family tensions and renewed the spirit. Considerably more sweet and funny than its backdrop might suggest, Hope and Glory is also a moving, memorable tribute to the indomitable will of the British people.

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams

A superlative memoir of life in London during World War II from the unique perspective of a child, this ravishing drama from writer/director John Boorman is his thinly veiled autobiography and an essential work from his canon, arguably his single most important film. Much has been made of the film's fine performances, and they are indeed unforgettable, with young Sebastian Rice-Edwards suitably wide-eyed and vigorous as the hero, and Sammi Davis and Ian Bannen turning in career-high work as the main character's trampy sister and eccentric grandfather, respectively. What makes Hope and Glory (1987) a truly remarkable picture, however, is Boorman's keenly remembered, written, and re-created sense of a child's perception and how the mechanics of the adult world intrude upon it. Shifts in tone and mood occur rapid-fire at times, moving from such extremes as horror to humor to wonder in the same scene, as the filmmaker recalls the instant fluctuations of temperament and feeling that wash through a boy, particularly one subjected to the sensory overload of the London Blitz. When the film moves in its third act to a genteel country home where safety is found with a protective overseer, the change is jarring, but intentionally so. Presenting war as a joy and a thrill is an audacious act of artistic honesty and sets Hope and Glory (1987) in the same category as the same year's similarly underrated, under-seen Empire of the Sun (1987).

Product Details

Release Date: 04/24/2018
UPC: 0887090140713
Original Release: 1987
Rating: PG-13
Source: Olive Films
Time: 1:53:00
Sales rank: 19,720

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