1917 Movie Poster

Trivia for 1917

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  • This is Sam Mendes's second war film. His first was Jarhead (2005).
  • This is Sam Mendes's first official writing credit.
  • Shot and edited to appear as a single long take that takes place in real time with almost no breaks.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Colin Firth all previously appeared in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott previously worked together on the BBC series Sherlock, playing enemies Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty respectively
  • Steven Colbert supposedly tried out for the role of Richard Madden's character
  • Tom Holland was in talks for the role of Lance Corporal Blake, but turned down the role due to schedule conflicts.
  • The movie was shot from April to June 2019 in Wiltshire, Hankley Common, and Govan, Scotland, as well as Shepperton Studios. Conservationists, concerned that filming on Salisbury Plain could disturb potentially undiscovered remains in the area, requested an archaeological survey be conducted before any set construction began.
  • Sections of the film were shot in and around Low Force, on the River Tees, Teesdale in June 2019. The production staff had to erect signs warning walkers in the area not be alarmed by the bodies strewn around the site.
  • Richard Madden and Dean-Charles Chapman both appeared in Game of Thrones (2011).
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott previously worked together on the series Sherlock (2010), with Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Scott as James Moriarty.
  • Andrew Scott and George MacKay previously worked together five years earlier in Pride (2014).
  • James (Tiana's Father from The Princess and the Frog (2009)) was originally supposed to be in this movie as the main antagonist.
  • Sam Mendes has directed four movies that have 2 hours. American Beauty (1999) is 122 minutes (2 hours and 2 minutes), Jarhead (2005) is 125 minutes (2 hours and 5 minutes), Skyfall (2012) is 143 minutes ( 2 hours and 23 minutes), and Spectre (2015) is 148 minutes (2 hours and 28 minutes). It remains to be seen if 1917 (2019) would be 161 minutes (2 hours and 41 minutes).
  • James (Tiana's Father from The Princess and the Frog (2009)) was originally supposed to be in this movie as the main antagonist, with Brian Tyree Henry playing the role.
  • Sam Mendes has directed four movies that have 2 hours. American Beauty (1999) is 122 minutes (2 hours and 2 minutes), Jarhead (2005) is 125 minutes (2 hours and 5 minutes), Skyfall (2012) is 143 minutes (2 hours and 23 minutes), and Spectre (2015) is 148 minutes (2 hours and 28 minutes). It remains to be seen if 1917 (2019) would be 161 minutes (2 hours and 41 minutes).
  • Skyfall (2012) has 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, making the highest score for a Sam Mendes film. It remained to be seen if 1917 (2019) will have 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • American Beauty (1999) has 93% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, making the highest audience score for this to be Sam Mendes' film. It is unknown if 1917 (2019) will have 97% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes or not is debatable, perhaps this Sam Mendes film should be having the highest Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Sam Mendes has directed four movies that run over 2 hours. This is not one of them. They are: American Beauty (1999), 122 minutes (2 hours 2 minutes); Jarhead (2005), 125 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes); Skyfall (2012), 143 minutes (2 hours 23 minutes); and Spectre (2015), 148 minutes (2 hours 28 minutes). In fact, at 110 minutes (1 hour 50 minutes), this is the second shortest film Mendes has directed, behind Away We Go (2009) at 98 minutes (1 hour 38 minutes).
  • Mark Strong and Daniel Mays starred in the TV series Temple (2019).
  • George MacKay has acted in one other project whose title also consists entirely of digits, namely the TV mini-series 11.22.63 (2016).
  • This is Universal Pictures' second film to be specially formatted For IMAX in the expanded aspect ratio of 1.90:1, entirely, since Oblivion (2013) (although its flashback sequences were letterboxed in 2.39:1) and is Sam Mendes' second film to be specially formatted For IMAX in the expanded aspect ratio of 1.90:1 since Skyfall (2012), which was also shot by Roger Deakins.
  • The seventh project Benedict Cumberbatch has worked on that revolves around war. His other six are Dunkirk (2004), Atonement (2007), Small Island (2009), War Horse (2011), Parade's End (2012) and The Imitation Game (2014).
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong were in another war movie together. They were both in The Imitation Game (2014) which was set during WWII.
  • Both Mark Strong and Colin Firth starred in the "Kingsman" movies and Fever Pitch (1997).
  • Inspired by Sam Mendes' grandfather's experiences in WWI: "The Autobiography of Alfred H. Mendes 1897-1991."
  • Over 5,200 feet of trenches were dug for the film (just under one mile).
  • April 6, 1917 (the date shown at the start of the film) is the date that the United States declared war on Germany and its allies.
  • The film borrows its hidden cuts from a technique first seen in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948). As in that film, Sam Mendes would move the camera behind an object during a scene, such as a tree or a burnt out building where the camera could be stopped and then restarted without a noticeable edit.
  • This was a technically challenging film for Sam Mendes to direct, yet one of the biggest headaches for the film crew came from a cigarette lighter that wouldn't work on cue in the scene and resulted in several takes until it did. This minor problem resulted in the best part of a day's filming being wasted.
  • Only Best Picture Oscar nominee to have a fully numerical title.
  • It took 6 months for the actors to rehearse the movie before shooting started.
  • The verse that Schofield recites to the French baby is part of the poem "The Jumblies" by Edward Lear. The poem could be seen as a metaphor for Blake and Schofield's mission. (" Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong...")
  • The events of ww1 led to the holocaust

Spoilers

  • The only time the sun shines in the movie is at the end, where Schofield sits under the tree.
  • George MacKay's character, Lance Corporal Schofield, bumping into running soldiers and getting up a few times was not in the script.
  • This is the second 2019 movie in which Dean-Charles Chapman plays a younger brother named Tom who dies in war. The first was The King (2019).
  • The two main characters' first names are not revealed until the end of the film.
  • The final scene of Schofield finding Lieutenant Blake and presenting him with his brother's rings was the very first take according to Sam Mendes and Lee Smith.
  • Although intended to appear as happening in real time, there is one exception to this, which is when Schofield passes out after storming the hideout of the sniper shooting at him from the bridge house. This is obvious because when he confronts the sniper there is still daylight but when he regains consciousness it is dark. However from Schofield's perspective it is real time. This is also the only noticeable cut in the entire film, which is otherwise doctored to look as if it is entriely one shot.
  • Although based on an original screenplay, the basic premise of this film (getting a message to a front line unit to cancel a military push) was also used in Peter Weir's WWI-set film Gallipoli (1981).
  • One of the very first shots of the film is Lance Corporal Schofield leaning on a tree sleeping, and the last shot of the film Schofield leans on a tree to once again sleep.
  • Other than in photographs, only two women appear in the entire movie. The French woman who helps Scofield and the baby she is caring for.
  • Lieutenant Leslie sprinkles whiskey on Schofield and Blake while reciting the prayer, "Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed". Andrew Scott is known for playing a priest in the second season of the highly acclaimed BBC/Prime series Fleabag (2016).
  • In the scene where a soldier bleeds to death, his face gets paler and paler until it's paper-white. This is a medical reality that many films overlook when someone bleeds out.
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