Hope and Glory

Watch Hope and Glory

"The epic story of a world at war. And a boy at play."
  • PG-13
  • 1987
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 7.3  (14,550)
  • 86

Hope and Glory is a British film released in 1987, directed by John Boorman. The movie is set in London during the Second World War and tells the story of a young boy named Billy Rowan (played by Sebastian Rice-Edwards) and his family's struggle to survive during the Blitz. The film starts with the Blitz of 1940, when London was being bombed by German planes, with the Rowan family taking shelter in their basement. Billy, who is around 9 years old, is excited about the bombings and thinks it's an adventure. He watches the planes flying overhead and the bombs exploding, hoping that they will hit their house. His parents, Grace (played by Sarah Miles) and Clive (David Hayman) try to protect their children and keep them safe during the dangerous times.

As the war progresses, Billy's family faces many challenges. The children have to cope with new schools, evacuation, and the loss of a friend they have made. Grace, a strong and independent woman, struggles to keep their home intact while her husband is away serving in the army. She has to deal with rationing, shortages, and the fear of losing her children in the bombings.

In the midst of all this, Billy discovers the world of adolescence, love, and sexuality. He develops a crush on his older cousin, Dawn (played by Sammi Davis), who is also evacuated to their home. His innocent curiosity about sex is both humorous and poignant, as he observes the adults around him struggling with their own desires and fears.

The film's title, 'Hope and Glory', refers to the optimism and resilience of the people during the war. Despite the hardships and the loss of life, they continue to find moments of joy and beauty in their lives. The Rowan family, like many others, find solace in music, dancing, and other small pleasures that help them forget the horror of the bombings.

The film also explores themes of class, gender, and identity. The Rowan family is working-class and struggles to make ends meet. Grace's father, who lives with them, is a socialist and an anti-war activist. His views clash with those of Clive, who believes in the glory and heroism of war. Grace is caught between these two men, trying to hold her family together in the face of their conflicting beliefs and attitudes. Meanwhile, Dawn, who comes from a middle-class family, represents a world of sophistication and privilege that Billy is fascinated with.

The film is beautifully shot, capturing the wartime atmosphere and the changes that London undergoes during the Blitz. The music is a mix of popular songs from the era and original scores by Peter Martin. The cast is superb, especially the child actors who bring a sense of innocence and wonder to the film.

In conclusion, Hope and Glory is a moving and poignant film that captures the spirit and resilience of the British people during the Second World War. It is a tribute to the ordinary people who suffered and sacrificed during the war and a reminder of the values that sustained them in the darkest of times. The film is not only a history lesson but also a celebration of life and the human spirit.

Hope and Glory
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (14,550)
  • Metascore