Based on the play by RC Sherriff and the book by RC Sherriff and Vernon Bartlett, adapted by Simon Reade
Director Saul Dibb (The Duchess, Suite Francaise)
Producers Guy de Beaujeu and Simon Reade
Screenplay Simon Reade (Private Peaceful)
DoP Laurie Rose (High Rise)
Production design Kristian Milsted
Costume Anushia Nieradzik
Hair & make up Roseann Samuel
Editor Tania Reddin
Composer Natalie Holt
Music Hildur Guðnadóttir
Stanhope Sam Claflin (My Cousin Rachel, The Hunger Games)
Osborne Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Master & Commander, A Beautiful Mind),
Raleigh Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children)
Mason Toby Jones (Dad’s Army, Harry Potter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Hibbert Tom Sturridge (Far From the Madding Crowd, The Boat that Rocked)
Trotter Stephen Graham (Pirates of the Caribbean, This is England)
Colonel Robert Glenister
General Rupert Wickham
Hardy Miles Jupp
Sarn't Major Andy Gathergood
Journey's End was released 2nd February 2018 by Lionsgate in the UK and
16 March 2018 by Good Deed in the US and by Icon Film in Australia
on 8 November 2018.
Fluidity Films is working with and supporting Combat Stress, the charity
that cares for veterans suffering from PTSD - our hero Stanhope suffers
from (undiagnosed) PTSD or 'shell shock'.
It was written by war veteran RC Sherriff in 1928, ten years after the Armistice at a time when public opinion was daring to question the purpose of the Great War. He had caught the mood of the nation. Journey’s End opened in the West End with Laurence Olivier playing Stanhope and it continued to play to packed houses for years afterwards.
Sherriff never claimed his play to be anti-war, saying that he simply wrote what he knew and had experienced in the trenches. Whatever the sentiment, Sherriff had written a classic – a drama that was destined to change his life and propel him to Hollywood (where he wrote scripts for films such as The Dambusters, The Four Feathers, The Invisible Man and Goodbye Mr Chips).
DoP Laurie Rose BSC
Production designer Kristian Milsted
Costume designer Anushia Nieradzik
Make up designer Roseann Samuels
Editor Tania Reddin
Music Hildur Guðnadóttir
Composer Natalie Holt
BFI, Ingenious, The Welsh Government’s Media Investment Budget, Fluidity Films, Metro Entertainment International, The British Film Company, uMedia, Molinare,
Jimmy Raleigh has left Barford School to join up. He is desperate to join his hero Stanhope's ‘C’ Company. On his journey to the Front Line he pulls a favour from his uncle who is a General in charge of logistics. What he doesn’t realise is that Stanhope’s Company is directly in the path of the impending and massive German attack.
Captain Stanhope's men must take over the line of trenches from Captain Hardy's company. They will be in the line for six days and nights and everyone knows the Germans are planning a big push.
Stanhope is famous for his whisky-drinking ability. The stress of almost continuous action is becoming increasingly apparent to everyone in the company – and in the wider army. Alcohol is now the only thing enabling Stanhope to deal with the senselessness of war.
His fellow officers are drawn from a broad base. His key ally is Lieutenant Osborne, nicknamed Uncle, a middle-aged schoolmaster who loves Stanhope like a son and on whom Stanhope increasingly relies to get him through each day.
Second Lieutenant Trotter is a big, homely man with a sense of humour, no-nonsense, who has come up through the ranks and who readily talks about his wife, his life at home - anything but the war.
Also in the dugout is 2nd Lt. Hibbert. Like Stanhope, Hibbert is failing to live with the stress which he claims (to Stanhope's disbelief and disgust) is responsible for his neuralgia. Stanhope is appalled by Hibbert's obvious cowardice in front of the men and is determined to prevent him going sick and absenting himself from the Line.
The officers and their dugout is looked after by Mason, their soldier cook. He is a man determined to stay on the right side of everyone, especially Stanhope, if it means not being in the trenches with the other soldiers.
Raleigh arrives into this increasingly war-weary and disorientated world: a world full of the stench of death emanating from No-Man's-Land; of wet and mud and cold; of men living like animals, where life is boxed in by trenches and dugouts and saps - where the night sky is lit up by Very lights and the shriek and spit of random shells.
Raleigh's arrival horrifies Stanhope. He is livid and confused. Raleigh's fresh face reminds him of Margaret, Raleigh's sister, to whom he almost declared his undying love moments before he left for the Front. Like everything connected to him, Stanhope's relationship with her is now disintegrating.
Stanhope is immediately convinced that Raleigh will reveal to Margaret that he is more of a drunk than a hero, exposing his secret.
Osborne does his best to tell him he is wrong about Raleigh, but Stanhope's whisky-fuelled paranoia drives him to confront Raleigh, demanding to read his letter home, convinced Raleigh is bad-mouthing him to Margaret.
Raleigh is bewildered by Stanhope's behaviour. The letter reveals the exact opposite, as Osborne has foretold. But there is little time to clear the tension because the Colonel orders a raid on the German line. Raleigh and Osborne are selected to lead the raid to capture a German soldier for questioning about the impending advance.
Stanhope tries in vain to prevent the raid happening. Osborne has a premonition of what might be coming, but as a good soldier (and determined to look after Raleigh) he accepts his fate.
Raleigh returns from the raid with a captured German soldier, to the Colonel's delight. But Osborne is killed. Stanhope's bitterness spews forth as the Colonel comes to congratulate them on a successful mission.
Tradition dictates that the team celebrate Raleigh’s success with a champagne-fuelled party in the dug-out – but Raleigh cannot bear it, preferring to stay up in the trenches with the soldiers as the horror of Osborne’s death hits home.
Hibbert spends the evening telling ribald stories of his sexual exploits back home, to Stanhope’s growing annoyance. He is furious with Raleigh too, for staying with the men rather than joining the officers. He orders Raleigh to take part, but he won’t, accusing Stanhope of not caring about Osborne.
At this Stanhope finally cracks, sobbing into Raleigh’s arms that Osborne was the only man who understood him. He eventually pulls himself together, dismissing a bewildered Raleigh to the subaltern’s dugout.
At dawn the next morning the long-feared German assault begins. The officers all depart the dugout, preparing for battle, the strictures of the night seemingly forgotten.
Raleigh is in the trenches as the German shelling intensifies. He is hit and badly wounded. Stanhope has him taken back to the dugout where he is left alone to gently tend to his childhood school-friend, cradling the dying Raleigh in his arms. Finally we see the depth of their friendship as the war screams outside destroying all of ‘C’ Company in its path.
Later that morning, at Raleigh’s family home back in rural Hampshire, Margaret opens the door to the postman - she is terrified at what news he might bring. But it is not a telegram but the letter from her brother, telling her how much the men love Captain Stanhope and how very proud he is to be able to call him his friend.
© Fluidity Films/Journey’s End Films Ltd 2018