Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk leaves HBO Max on November 11.
By Britta DeVore | Published
World War II buffs will want to rush to HBO Max before November 11 to catch the critically acclaimed Christopher Nolan film, Dunkirk, before it takes its final bow from the platform. Paving the way for the specific recording of other battle-heavy films, including Netflix’s recently released Completely quiet on the west front, the film drew fans in with its up close and personal war scenes and incredible performances from its all-star cast. The film would also be the first feature to launch Harry Styles out of the world of a pop star and into a movie star, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for the budding actor.
As for the film itself, Dunkirk centered around the titular Second World War evacuation that saw over 338,000 Allied troops rescued from the beaches and harbor of the northern French city of Dunkirk between late May and early June 1940. After six bloody and brutal weeks of the “Battle of France”, Belgian, British and French soldiers found themselves trapped and surrounded by German troops with no way out. The feature followed the experiences of several different military personnel from land, air and sea as they tried to fight their way against all odds.
Dunkirk featured a wide range of talent with performances from actors including the aforementioned Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch), Tom Glynn-Carney (House of the Dragon), Jack Lowden (War and peace), Aneurin Barnard (Hunky Dory), James D’Arcy (Broadchurch), Barry Keoghan (The killing of a sacred deer), Kenneth Branagh (Death on the Nile), Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), Mark Rylance (The outfit), and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight rises). The film is directed by Christopher Nolan and also boasts an incredible score from the critically acclaimed and celebrated Hans Zimmer. An absolute hit, the feature would go on to earn eight nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, taking home three, for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.
Released in cinemas in the summer of 2017, Dunkirk raked in a global total of $525 million at the box office against a budget of $100-150 million. Smashing box office sales of previous WWII movies like Save Private Ryanwhich brought in $482 million at the worldwide box office, Dunkirk remains the highest grossing WWII feature of all time. Relying heavily on the special effects, the film was successful in transporting audiences from the theater seats to the chaotic and frightening action unfolding around the characters.
Along with a focus on members of the armed forces, Dunkirk also sheds light on the incredible story of civilians living in the UK who chose to sail their own personal watercraft directly into the fray in the hope of helping the captured servicemen. In the film, Mark Rylance plays Mr. Dawson, who sets out with his son Peter Dawson (Tom Glynn-Carney) on such a mission. In the story, the citizens of the coastal town of Ramsgate, England set sail with a fleet of 850 known as the Little Ships of Dunkirk.
The feature did much for its lesser-known actors, launching many film careers for its younger stars and cementing the talents of the likes of Barry Keoghan, who had a double breakout that year with Dunkirk and The killing of a sacred deer. For Harry Styles, it would put the actor on the map and see him take on roles in features including Marvel’s Eternals and the recently released Don’t worry dear and My police officer. The film attracted audiences and used the talents of well-known and famous actors, including Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, each of whom had already made big names in the industry.
Considered to be one of Christopher Nolan’s best films, it’s no surprise why Dunkirk has continued to inspire a new group of filmmakers when it comes to how war movies are shot. Although it focuses on the First World War, the recently released Edward Berger helmet was Completely quiet on the west front relies heavily on close-ups, revealing the true horrors of war, just as Nolan did with Dunkirk. As for Nolan, he is preparing to release his next film, Oppenheimerwhich will tell another story about World War II, that of the creation of the first atomic bomb, created under the guise of the Manhattan Project. Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21, 2023 and sees Nolan reteam with Murphy, who will play the titular physicist.