1917 | 2019 | R | – 1.8.6
Two young British corporals (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) fighting in trenches against the German army in World War I are given an apparently suicidal mission: Run across enemy lines, over open fields and more trenches, and through abandoned villages, rivers and forests to deliver an urgent message to the commanding officer of a forward unit getting ready for an ill-advised attack. The movie unspools as a single take. With Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. Directed by Sam Mendes. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in French with English subtitles. [Running Time: 1:59]
1917 SEX/NUDITY 1
– A reference is made to masturbation. Several men urinate against walls of a bombed out building (we do not see stream or nudity).
1917 VIOLENCE/GORE 8
– After a company of soldiers charges an enemy line we see many wounded men being carried back behind the lines and men are shown missing parts of their arms and legs, as well as with bloody tissue ripped and bone exposed as some moan. A man stabs another man in the abdomen and we hear him scream as the man with the knife is shot and killed; the stabbed man is shown with a lot of blood on his abdomen and clothing as another man tries to get him to walk so they can get help (the wounded man dies).
► Two men slide down the wall of a ditch where they see dead bodies with rats nibbling on the remains and one man inadvertently puts his hand through the decaying chest cavity of a body (we hear a squish and see blood and matter on his hand). A man is shot at and chased through a town with bombed out buildings and he jumps over a wall and falls into a raging river; he floats thought the rapids and over a waterfall and swims to the bank where he climbs out of the water and over many dead and bloated bodies. Several ditches filled with water at the bottom are shown with bodies and body parts in the water and stuck in the muddy walls. A few scenes shown bodies submerged in water with birds perched on them and pecking. A dead man is shown wrapped in barbed wire. A large flat expanse is shown with many bodies strewn around as well as equipment overturned.
► A man walks across the framework of a downed bridge and he is shot at by a man in a building; they exchange gunfire and the man enters the building to find the other man wounded in a room and they shoot at each other; one man falls down a flight of stairs and is knocked out (we see a bloody wound on his head later) and the other man is seen dead later. Two men fight and one draws a knife until the other disarms him and strangles him to death (the man thrashes and kicks trying to free himself); another man approaches them and the first man runs away bumping into him. Three planes fight mid-air and one plane is shot down, it drops toward two men and crashes into a structure throwing the men to the ground and bursting into flames; the pilot screams for help and we see his pant leg on fire as he is pulled out of the plane.
► A roaring fire burns in the distance and we see bombed out buildings and the silhouette of another man in the distance; the man raises his gun and runs toward another man shooting at him until he hides in a building. A man walks outside a building and flares light up the sky and the area as he is shot at and chased. Two men walk through abandoned tunnels and a rat walks through a tripwire causing an explosion that throws one man against a wall and buries the other man under rubble; he is lifted out of the rubble and he coughs out dust and cannot see from all the dust in his eyes and the two men jump across a deep opening to escape the tunnel as the structure begins to collapse.
► Many soldiers pour out of trenches and across a field as bombs drop on them; dirt blows up around them and we see several men thrown as one man runs across the line of men trying to find their commanding officer. Two men pass through a blockade of barbed wire and one man catches his hand on some barbs (we see his bloody hand). A woman attends to a man’s bloody head wound and he winces. A wounded man is carried on a stretcher and we see his head wrapped with a blood stained bandage.
► Two men see planes flying overhead and hide in a ditch until they determine if they are enemy planes. Two men climb out of a trench and crawl on the ground, passing several dead horses in various states of decay and we see flies buzzing around the carcasses. We see dead and decaying animals on the ground in a few scenes (horses and a dog).
► A man pushes through narrow trenches filled with other men marching toward a front line and he struggles to get through as bombs drop around them and throw rubble into the trenches. Many scenes show two men running through trenches where other men are shown sitting, standing and sleeping in mud. A man hides in a building and finds a woman and an infant also hiding inside.
► Two men walking through trenches step on a mound of earth and another man says “You’re stepping on the dead,” and he talks about men having been killed in a recent attack. We hear a medic in a makeshift infirmary say, “He’s hemorrhaging.” Two men argue briefly while one holds the other by the lapels. An officer kicks a sleeping soldier and orders him to follow him. Two men argue about why one chose the other for a mission and he blames him for the danger they are in. A man talks about passing dead horses and to follow the stench. An officer tells two soldiers that a commander at the front lines thinks he can break the German lines, but that he is wrong and that the Germans have set a trap. A soldier asks another soldier, “Did they feed us?” and the other soldier replies, “No.” A soldier asks another soldier about a medal he was awarded and the second man says that he traded it for a bottle of wine because he was thirsty. A man talks about what it would mean for a widow to receive her husband’s medal (he’s disparaging). A man talks about another man putting a cream on his head and waking up to find rats on his shoulders nibbling on his ear and the man implies that the other man is missing part of his ear. A dying man asks another man to write to his mother to, “Tell her that I wasn’t afraid.” Men say that other people “machine gun cows.” A man sings a mournful song before a company of soldiers prepare for an attack. A man tells another man that his brother died and hands him a few of the dead man’s possessions. Two men share a small piece of bread and ham and one man says, “It tastes like old shoe.”
► A transport truck slips off the road and into a muddy ditch; several soldier struggle to push it back onto the road again. Several soldiers struggle to lift a fallen tree from a road as a commander yells at them. Two men come upon abandoned munitions and equipment. Men walk through a gate and find an abandoned farm with many cherry trees cut down.
► A man vomits in the distance and we see goo as he bends over and retches. Several men urinate against walls of a bombed out building (we do not see streams or nudity). Several soldiers make fun of a commander and mimic his manner of speech and one man describes the officer coming out of the latrine and wiping his hand on another man’s back. A man is shown with a scar on his face.
1917 LANGUAGE 6
– About 11 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 5 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 15 mild obscenities, name-calling (Boche, Hun, idiot, waste of space, bastard), exclamations (bloody starving, bugger out, bloody, keep your bloody hair on, effin), 15 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Oh My God). | profanity glossary |
1917 SUBSTANCE USE
– A man drinks from a flask and sprinkles some of the liquid on two soldiers as he says a sort of prayer, and a man offers another man a drink from a flask. Soldiers are shown smoking cigarettes while standing and sitting in miles and miles of trenches, a cigarette burns in the background of a scene with smoke wafting up, a man smokes a cigarette that had been tucked behind his ear, and a man smokes a pipe in a trench.
1917 DISCUSSION TOPICS
– World War I, war, futility, trench warfare, family, seeking honor, PTSD, courage, hope.
– Heroism is noble and ultimately not entirely futile but war is senseless and awful and some men just want the fight, regardless of the consequences.
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