|Hope and Glory|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Boorman|
|Produced by||John Boorman|
|Written by||John Boorman|
|Music by||Peter Martin|
|Edited by||Ian Crafford|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|13 November 1987|
|Box office||$10 million|
Hope and Glory is a 1987 British-American 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 Rowan family and their experiences of the Blitz as seen through the eyes of the son, Billy (Sebastian Rice-Edwards).
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).
Beginning just before the start of the Second World War, the film tells the story of the Rowan 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. She almost sends Billy and Susie away from London, but pulls them back at the last second on the train platform when she realizes she cannot bear to be apart from them. Thus Billy stays in London for the rest of the war.
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 does 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 Billy to spend more time with his curmudgeonly grandfather.
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.filming also took place in Hightown Road, Ringwood, Hampshire.
The "newsreel" footage shown in the local cinema contains scenes from the 1969 film Battle of Britain.
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 Rowans 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 Rowan (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.
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 Rowan 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.