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Dunkirk (1958)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 10 September 1958 (USA)
A dramatization of the British Expeditionary Force's 1940 retreat to the beaches of France and the extraordinary seaborne evacuation that saved it from utter destruction by Nazi Germany.

Director:

Leslie Norman

Writers:

Trevor Dudley Smith (novel) (as Elleston Trevor), Ewan Butler (book) (as Lt. Col. Ewan Butler) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Corporal 'Tubby' Binns
Richard Attenborough ... John Holden
Bernard Lee ... Charles Foreman
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Private Mike
Ray Jackson Ray Jackson ... Private Barlow
Ronald Hines Ronald Hines ... Private Miles
Sean Barrett Sean Barrett ... Frankie
Roland Curram ... Private Harper
Meredith Edwards ... Private Dave Bellman
Michael Bates ... Airman Froome
Rodney Diak Rodney Diak ... Pannet
Michael Shillo Michael Shillo ... Jouvet
Eddie Byrne ... Commander - Tough's Yard
Maxine Audley ... Diana Foreman
Lionel Jeffries ... Colonel - Medical Officer
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Storyline

Two stories in one, an easygoing British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. Meanwhile, British civilians are being dragged into the war with Operation Dynamo, the scheme to get the French and British forces back from the Dunkirk beaches. Some come forward to help, others are less willing. Written by Paul Galpin <galpinp@sabc.co.za>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Days That Shook the World! Victory Snatched From Disaster!

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

10 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dunkerque See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,025,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$310,000, 31 December 1958

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,060,000, 31 December 1958
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The beach sequences were shot at Camber Sands on the south coast of England, while the town of Dunkirk was re-created in the nearby English town of Rye. See more »

Goofs

When the platoon come under air attack at the farm (and their officer is killed), the aircraft attacking them seen head on is a Blenheim, an RAF light bomber, where as the aircraft shown flying away is a German Junkers 88. See more »

Quotes

Corporal 'Tubby' Binns: What about all of this?
Charles Foreman: Stupidity. Everybody saying that war was so terrible it couldn't happen again. And shoving our heads in the sand, like a lot of ostriches. Well, the Germans didn't think that way. To them, war meant guns or butter. They chose guns. We chose butter. No, you can't blame the Army. They had what we gave them - last war weapons, last war methods. This is the result.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the title is shown, it stays on screen while the rest of the opening credits roll. See more »

Connections

Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Eric Maschwitz
Music by Manning Sherwin
Heard on the beach at Dunkirk
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Nation Mobilized
13 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

My favorite story of heroism in the 20th century happens to be the evacuation of the bulk of the British army from the beaches at Dunkirk. There was the United Kingdom which if they had not been rescued probably would have had to sue for peace with Nazi Germany despite Mr. Churchill's intentions to fight. The United Kingdom would have had nothing to fight with and World War II would have been over on the western front.

The Dunkirk story was touched on briefly in the American cinema in William Wyler's Mrs. Miniver. Walter Pidgeon who owned a small craft was asked to meet some friends at a local pub. Turns out they wanted him and his boat to cross the English channel and evacuate troops. It's one of the great scenes from that film boats feeding in from every tributary of Thames and the flotilla sailing out to sea. But it's only part of Mrs. Miniver.

The story is told from the perspective of the high command, but also from the ordinary tommy and from the civilians who helped. John Mills is a corporal who leads his small squad out of certain capture from the Germans. Richard Attenborough is a small craft owner like Walter Pidgeon who is a timid and frightened man, but summons up enough courage to help his country out in its darkest hour. Bernard Lee is a reporter who goes along with Attenborough to cover the story. All three meet on the beach at Dunkirk and go to the fates that await them and their country.

My favorite in the film is Attenborough, he plays his role with real conviction, representing as it were, the courage and determination of a people united to repel an evil.

Make no mistake about it, with the Royal Navy up over its head in other commitments, those people like Richard Attenborough in saving John Mills and others like him saved civilization itself. In many ways civilization owes them more than even the men of the RAF because they weren't in the armed forces, but civilians fighting for their homes and families as we did not see the like before or since.

Dunkirk is one of the best war films ever to come from the United Kingdom and a worthy tribute to the small boat owners who saved their army and their nation.


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