The Real Story Behind 1917 Movie

Golden Globe nominated movie 1917 has an amazing true story.
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Sam Mendes is the director behind such films as ‘American Beauty,’ ‘Road to Perdition,’ ‘Revolutionary Road’ and ‘Skyfall.’ His latest film ‘1917’ takes a look at two specific hours during World War I in which two soldiers attempt to deliver a message across enemy lines. Designed as a continuous one-shot sequence and with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins behind the camera, ‘1917’ is being hailed as one of 2019’s most impressive cinematic efforts.

You may be surprised to learn that despite the historical event it’s depicting, ‘1917’ isn’t actually portraying a real event. Its characters and its story are fictional. The events are, however, inspired by something that really happened. Sam Mendes’ grandfather Alfred Mendes served in the war. During his time as a soldier, he volunteered to deliver a message across enemy lines. It was a dangerous mission with little hope of his survival. And yet Alfred Mendes managed to find the other Companies and deliver the message without a scratch.

Mendes’ film might not depict this story verbatim but it’s clear he took a great deal of inspiration from his grandfather’s tale. Using it as the ‘kernel’ to drive his main story, Mendes crafts something that manages to call forth the horrors of World War I while celebrating the heroism of the men who fought in the war.

Let’s dive right in and take a closer look at the full story, diving in to divide fact from fiction and determine where some of Mendes’s ideas might have come from.

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31 thoughts on “The Real Story Behind 1917 Movie

  1. Great video, but man, this guy's voice and delivery are exhausting to listen to. Breathe, pause, enunciate, put some dynamics in your voice man! You sound like you're screaming into the microphone the whole time…

  2. Some of the trench scenes do not appear to be in the soil common along the western front. In the movie the soil appears to be chalky. The soil of Flanders and northern France is a loam heavily laden with clay. The clay made the soil less permeable to water. Allied trenches often had duck boards on the bottom to keep boots above the water. Also, trench walls appeared to be more vertical and more lined with sandbags and other forms of support. By '17 most of the area between and around the trenches were reduced to a moonscape of shell craters.

    Unless a message is going to a cut off unit, they were sent not through "no man's land" but rather through rears areas or laterally through staging trenches or other secondary or tertiary trenches. There was more room and they were safer. Most often they went up the sender's chain of command then then down the receiver's chain of command.

    For all that, I am eagerly looking forward to 10 January when they movie shall open in my area.

  3. Sad to know it’s fiction .. It was such a war that I would have wanted to have a based on a true story or true events story not a made up one. In any case this man is a genius when he makes movies so I would still go watch it . I know I will love this movie too.

  4. Wanted to see it on Christmas, but the big cineplexes in my area are contracted to show both Cats…..& the new Star Wars on MOST of their screens. I bet a lot of theater owners are locked into that sort of thing. Their theaters will set mostly empty.

  5. his inspiration was a small time YouTube movie producers movie "the hun". watch it and you'll see what i mean!!!

  6. To summarize. The real story behind 1917 movie is that there isn't one. The screen play is a work of fiction based on historical fact; however, the director's grandfather served in the great war and had similar experiences to those of the film's protagonists.

  7. The real story? The one that shows that the King of England and his murderous family were the real aggressors in WW1 protecting their precious Empire? Yep, that's a movie I'd go and see.

  8. Is 7:25 part of this film? I swear i have seen this scene before but i haven’t seen this movie yet. Or is this from an other film ?

  9. No speak about all the soldiers that die by firings squad, for desertion, and there is a uncomfortable number of them, every nation is guilty of that, even the Entente, I didnt know that many soldiers die by firing squad until I had seen the French documentary Apocalypse The First World War.

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