Through August, I’m preparing a “Friday Film” recommendation for films that I think have much to say about faith, grace, and life in community – but which may not be specifically “Christian” films and may be ones that might have been missed. Last week, I highlighted the Danish film Babette’s Feast. This week’s selection is The Winslow Boy.
This film, written and directed by David Mamet and based on a play by Terrence Rattigan, loosely re-tells an actual event in Edwardian English history. The story centers on the Winslow family and their son, Ronnie, who is a 14-year old cadet at the Royal Naval Academy. He is accused of stealing a five shilling postal order and after an inquiry at the school (where he lacks representation), is sent home under expulsion.
The story opens with Ronnie having to face his family to tell them the news. He proclaims his innocence in the matter and his father, portrayed by the marvelous actor Nigel Hawthorne, believes him and works with his daughter Catherine (Rebecca Pidgeon) to clear his – and the family name. The family engages one of the most famous barristers in London at the time, Sir Robert Morton (played by Jeremy Northam) and with tremendous public interest in the case, the Winslow family works against many difficulties, to “let right be done.”
The film is strong on several fronts – highlighting the importance of a family sticking together – even under difficult circumstances, and the importance of truth and honor.
The film is rated “G” and is available in the Marshburn Library.