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Hope and Glory (film)

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Comedy, Drama

John Boorman

John Boorman



John Boorman

Queen and Country


United Kingdom

Hope and Glory (film) movie poster

Release date
13 November 1987

John Boorman, Lasse Hallstrom

Sebastian Rice-Edwards
(Bill Rowan (as Sebastian Rice Edwards)),
Geraldine Muir
(Sue Rowan),
Sarah Miles
(Grace Rowan),
David Hayman
(Clive Rowan),
Sammi Davis
(Dawn Rowan),
Derrick O'Connor

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The epic story of a world at war. And a boy at play.

Hope and glory official trailer 1 ian bannen movie 1987 hd

Hope and Glory is a 1987 British comedy-drama-war film, written, produced and directed by John Boorman and based on his own experiences of growing up in the Blitz in London during the Second World War. The title is derived from the traditional British patriotic song "Land of Hope and Glory". The film was distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film tells the story of the Rohan family and their experiences of the Blitz as seen through the eyes of the son, Billy (Sebastian Rice-Edwards).


Hope and Glory (film) movie scenes

Hope and Glory was a critical and commercial success; it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. It also received thirteen BAFTA Award nominations, winning for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Susan Wooldridge).

Hope and Glory (film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters10152p10152


Beginning just before the start of the Second World War, the film tells the story of the Rohan family: Billy, his sisters Sue and Dawn, and his parents Grace and Clive, living in a suburb of London. After the war starts, Clive joins the army, leaving Grace alone to watch over the children.

Seen through the eyes of 10-year-old Billy, the "fireworks" provided by the Blitz every night are as exciting as they are terrifying. His family do not see things in quite the same way as the bombs continue to drop, but their will to survive brings them closer together. The nightly raids do not provide the only drama, however, as his older sister, Dawn, falls for a Canadian soldier, becomes pregnant and, finding her life turned upside down, soon discovers the value of her family. The family eventually moves to the Thames-side home of Grace's parents when their house burns down (not in an air raid, but in an ordinary fire). This provides an opportunity for Bill to spend more time with his curmudgeonly grandfather.


  • Sebastian Rice-Edwards as Billy Rohan
  • Sarah Miles as Grace Rohan
  • David Hayman as Clive Rohan
  • Geraldine Muir as Sue Rohan
  • Sammi Davis as Dawn Rohan
  • Susan Wooldridge as Molly
  • Derrick O'Connor as Mac
  • Ian Bannen as Grandfather George
  • Anne Leon as Grandma
  • Jean-Marc Barr as Corporal Bruce Carrey
  • Filming locations

    The main film set was built on the disused runway at the former Wisley Airfield in Surrey and other scenes by the river were shot near Shepperton Lock.

    Archival film

    The "newsreel" footage shown in the local cinema contains scenes from the 1969 film Battle of Britain.

    Critical response

    The film was favourably reviewed by critic Pauline Kael in her film reviews collection Hooked.

    It's hard to believe that a great comedy could be made of the Blitz but John Boorman has done it. In his new, autobiographical film, he has had the inspiration to desentimentalize wartime Britain and show us the Second World War the way he saw it as an eight-year-old. The war frees the Rohans from the dismal monotony of their pinched white-collar lives. He doesn't deny the war its terrors. Yet he gives everything a comic fillip. That's the joy of the film: the war has its horrors, but it also destroys much of what the genteel poor like Grace Rohan (Sarah Miles), have barely been able to acknowledge they wanted destroyed. It's like a plainspoken, English variant of the Taviani brothers' The Night of the Shooting Stars.

    American critic Emanuel Levy's review was also positive; he wrote: "Director John Boorman offers a warmly nostalgic view of his childhood in a London suburb during WWII."

    On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 94% "Fresh" rating based on 18 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10.

    Awards and nominations

    Academy Awards

  • Best Picture (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Director (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Original Screenplay (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Cinematography (Philippe Rousselot) - Nominated
  • Best Art Direction (Anthony D. G. Pratt, Joanne Woollard) - Nominated
  • Golden Globe Awards

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (John Boorman) - Won
  • Best Director (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Screenplay (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • British Academy Film Awards

  • Best Film (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Direction (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sarah Miles) - Nominated
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian Bannen) - Nominated
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Susan Wooldridge) - Won
  • Best Original Screenplay (John Boorman) - Nominated
  • Best Film Music (Peter Martin) - Nominated
  • Best Cinematography (Philippe Rousselot) - Nominated
  • Best Production Design (Anthony D. G. Pratt) - Nominated
  • Best Costume Design (Shirley Ann Russell) - Nominated
  • Best Editing (Ian Crafford) - Nominated
  • Best Sound (Ron Davis, Peter Handford, John Hayward) - Nominated
  • Best Makeup and Hair (Anna Dryhurst) - Nominated
  • Hope and Glory also won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Film, the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Film, the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director and was named one of the year's Top Ten Films by the National Board of Review.


    A sequel to the film, titled Queen and Country, was made in 2014. The film tells the story of an older Bill Rohan as a soldier during the Korean War. The film was selected to be screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It was released generally in 2015.


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