Hope and Glory 1987
1h 53min | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 November 1987 (Ireland)
A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War 2. For a young boy, this time in history was more of an adventure, a total upheaval of order, restrictions and discipline. The liberating effect of the war on the women left behind. And the joy when Hitler blows up your school.
Film-maker John Boorman’s (Oscar nominated for writing and directing) semi-autobiographical account of growing up in London during the early-1940s is a wonderful sight to behold as a 9-year-old boy (Sebastian Rice-Edwards) looks at German blitz air-raids as fantastical and interesting occurrences rather than tragic happenings. But the youngster does know enough to realize that the country is in turmoil as his father (David Hayman) is out fighting in World War II, his mother (Sarah Miles) is noticeably distraught and his older sister (Sammi Davis) is having a love affair with a Canadian soldier (Jean-Marc Barr). As all this happens though Rice-Edwards and little sister Geraldine Muir just behave as if nothing was wrong. Their innocence and lack of total understanding allows them to enjoy their youth even though the world around them is in total chaos. Sometimes a lack of understanding can lead to happiness and wonder anyway. Also along for the ride is Hayman’s brother (Derrick O’Connor), a man who has always secretly loved Miles (and vice versa), and Miles’ eccentric father (scene-stealer Ian Bannen). Boorman grew up in London during the heated years of World War II and it is apparent that he remembers his childhood years not as a time of horror and despair, but as a time of love and lifetime discovery. This is definitely his finest picture (I never did get much out of “Deliverance” and he plummeted to new lows with “The Exorcist II: The Heretic”) as he uses quietly effective characters and old-time movie-making principles to create a truly endearing motion picture masterpiece.
Director: John Boorman
Writer: John Boorman
Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards
Country: UK | USA
Release Date: 20 November 1987 (Ireland)
Filming Locations: Bray Studios, Down Place, Oakley Green, Berkshire, England, UK