Friday 27th March 20:00 £5
On 6 April 1917, aerial reconnaissance has observed that the German army, which has pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France, is not in retreat but has made a strategic withdrawal to the new Hindenburg Line, where they are waiting to overwhelm the British with artillery. In the British trenches, with field telephone lines cut, two young British soldiers, Lance Corporals William Schofield, a veteran of the Somme, and Tom Blake, are ordered by General Erinmore to carry a message to Colonel Mackenzie of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, calling off a scheduled attack that would jeopardise the lives of 1,600 men, including Blake’s brother Lieutenant Joseph Blake.
Schofield and Blake cross no man’s land to reach the abandoned German trenches. In an underground barracks, they discover a booby-trap tripwire, which is promptly triggered by a rat. They arrive at an abandoned farmhouse, where they witness a German plane being shot down. Schofield and Blake rescue the German pilot from the burning plane. Schofield is then picked up by a passing British unit.
A destroyed canal bridge near Écoust-Saint-Mein prevents the British lorries from crossing. Schofield chooses to part with them at the bridge, but before he does, one of the unit’s officers Captain Smith, warns Schofield that Colonel Mackenzie is someone who would rather fight than follow orders. He then uses what is left of the bridge to cross alone, and quickly comes under fire from a German sniper. Schofield escapes soldiers by hiding in the basement of an abandoned building, and stumbles into the hiding place of a French woman with an infant. She treats his wounds, and he comforts the infant by reciting a poem, giving the woman his canned food and milk from the farm. Despite her pleas, Schofield leaves soon after, realising that time is running out. He encounters more German soldiers. Being chased, he escapes by jumping into a river. He is swept over a waterfall before reaching the riverbank by morning. In the forest, he finds D Company of the 2nd Devons, which is in the last wave of the attack. As the company starts to move toward the front, Schofield tries to reach Colonel Mackenzie.
Realising that the trenches are too crowded for him to make it to Mackenzie in time, Schofield sprints across the open battlefield, just as the infantry begins its charge. He forces his way into meeting Mackenzie, who reads the message and reluctantly calls off the attack. Schofield is told that Joseph was in the first wave, and he searches for him among the wounded.
Starring Colin Firth and Dominique Cumberbatch amongst others
Scoring 89% and 88% on Rotten tomatoes by critics and audiences respectively
The list of accolades and awards is too long to list hear but includes Best Director and 2 Golden Globes. See LIST