Behind the Lines

Behind the Lines

Director: Gillies MacKinnon

Cast: Gillies MacKinnon, Jonathan Pryce, James Wilby, Jonny Lee Miller

     
 

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This period drama was based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by author Pat Barker, one of a trilogy dealing with World War I. James Wilby stars as Siegfried Sassoon, the real-life war hero and poet who, in 1917, writes a statement against the war that is read in Parliament. Faced with the choice of either a court-martial or time in a mental hospital as a result,… See more details below

Overview

This period drama was based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by author Pat Barker, one of a trilogy dealing with World War I. James Wilby stars as Siegfried Sassoon, the real-life war hero and poet who, in 1917, writes a statement against the war that is read in Parliament. Faced with the choice of either a court-martial or time in a mental hospital as a result, Sassoon chooses the hospital, and is sent to Craiglockart, a Scottish castle where shell-shocked vets are being treated by Freudian therapist Dr. William Rivers (Jonathan Pryce). Sassoon soon befriends a pair of fellow inmates. One, Billy Prior (Jonny Lee Miller) is suffering from battlefield trauma. The other is shy young fan and fellow poet Wilfred Owen (Stuart Bunce), whose own anti-war writings, encouraged by Sassoon, will go on to make him posthumously famous as well. In the meanwhile, the once-zealous Dr. Rivers begins to question his role of mending patients' minds so that they may simply go back to the front lines.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This well-mounted period piece raises several intriguing big-theme questions about the nature of war -- particularly one as brutal as World War I -- as well as explores the early concepts of the science of psychiatry. Jonathan Pryce's Dr. Rivers is a military man of a progressive mind, and his cerebral run-ins with his famous patient Siegfried Sassoon (James Wilby make for compelling conversations that demand the viewer's attention. Sassoon is sent from the bloody trenches of the front to Rivers' idyllic estate-turned-hospital for "correction," but it soon becomes apparent that Sassoon is having an effect on Rivers, rather than the other way around. While there is no big finish to put it over the top (though ultra-realistic trench battles bracket the film), this very British production has the sort of Merchant/Ivory-ish heavy going that cops kudos by the enlightened few who see it; it's likely to stay with audiences for a while. Those looking for a traditional war movie, however, may find it going slowly over their heads.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2003
UPC:
0012236139539
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:36:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Full screen version; 2.0 Dolby Stereo Surround; Digitally mastered; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jonathan Pryce Dr. William Rivers
James Wilby Siegfried Sassoon
Jonny Lee Miller Billy Prior
Stuart Bunce Wilfred Owen
Tanya Allen Sarah
John Neville Dr. Yealland
James McAvoy Anthony Balfour
Dougray Scott Robert Graves

Technical Credits
Gillies MacKinnon Director
Todd Beckett Sound/Sound Designer
Kate Carin Costumes/Costume Designer
Pia Di Ciaula Editor
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Eddie Dick Executive Producer
John Frankish Art Director
Tommy Gormley Asst. Director
Andy Harris Production Designer
Kathy Avrich Johnson Executive Producer
Louis Kramer Sound/Sound Designer
Glen MacPherson Cinematographer
Tim O'Connell Sound/Sound Designer
Scott Purdy Sound/Sound Designer
Allan Scott Producer,Screenwriter
Mark Shivas Executive Producer
Peter R. Simpson Producer
Saskia Sutton Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Bodies [3:17]
2. "Mad Jack's" Declaration [4:46]
3. An Admission [4:15]
4. Lost Boys [6:37]
5. "Other Grounds" and a Voice [4:13]
6. What Is Poetry? [4:41]
7. Non-Memories [3:33]
8. Tea/"It Was Like Sex" [5:03]
9. Bitter Breakfast & Hiccups [4:25]
10. Different Ideas of Honor [6:06]
11. "Writing Is Like Exorcism" [4:59]
12. Breaking Down the Breakdown [7:02]
13. Wounds [3:53]
14. Shell-Shocked by Proxy [3:21]
15. Shock(ing) Treatment [4:41]
16. Club and Contract [3:44]
17. The Medical Board [4:16]
18. "Fit for Duty?" [5:23]
19. Leaving [3:17]
20. Back Into the Insanity [4:48]
21. End Credits [2:59]

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