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The Vault: Dunkirk (1958)

At once both a horrendous defeat and a miraculous victory, the Dunkirk evacuation was largely responsible for the Allies being able to go on to win the second World War. Such a pivotal event in world history almost demands dramatization. The heroism, bravery, and clashing luck and misfortune of the event work well when told as fiction.

13 years after the end of the war, a film synonymous with the colloquial name of the evacuation and based around the events of those days was released. As the operation involved hundreds of thousands of people, the script takes a wide view and follows several plots simultaneously but focusing primarily on two:
  1. A group of soldiers is trapped behind the rapidly advancing Blitzkrieg. They manage to get back into Allied territory, only to find themselves trapped on the beaches with hundreds of thousands of other soldiers, waiting for rescue.
  2. A group of civilians, some more willing than others, set sail for France to enact a rescue.
It's far from the most rousing or touching war film ever made, but the acting and production quality are quite good. It gives a personal view to a historical event that all should experience.

7 / 10 Winston Churchills

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