About this title: One of the most significant moments in the history of British warfare (in both the best and worst sense) is given reverent but reserved treatment in Dunkirk. The film takes place during the 1940 evacuation of Allied troops across the English channel. One party of British soldiers becomes detached from the rest of the retreating Allies. John Mills plays an inexperienced lance corporal who resists an increase in rank, but when the chips are down performs with courage and authority in organizing the lost troop and shepherding them to Dunkirk. Running 135 minutes in its original release (much of the footage comprised of newsreel shots), Dunkirk was based on two novels: Eleston Trever's The Big Pick-Up and Lt. Col. Ewan Hunter and Maj. J. S. Bradford's Dunkirk. The above time pertains to the original British theatrical version; the film was reedited and shortened to 113 minutes for U.S. release. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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