“I just started walking — walking away from the guns.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
As Courtenay expains to Bogarde (assigned to defend him), “Well, I wasn’t really thinking about it, sir, one way or the other. I just couldn’t stand it anymore.” When asked to share more about the recurrent idea of deserting, he states:
A central facet of the storyline is that Courtenay’s Private Hamp can’t “say it any different” to Bogarde or others; all he knows is that he needed to get away from “any place [he] could hear guns” though he “didn’t have a plan”, and he admits that his actual walk towards home was “like a dream” and he “didn’t know what was really happening.” Narrative tension is built from wondering how or if Bogarde will be able to help him — and if not, how his company mates will support him. Losey, cinematographer Denys N. Coop, production designer Richard Macdonald, and art director Peter Mullins do an admirable job helping audiences sense the muddy, bleak claustrophobia of the trenches, all through sets:
… and both Bogarde and Courtenay are excellent in their respective leading roles. This isn’t an easy film to watch by any means, but it’s worth a one-time look.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: