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Two men went to war - Kenneth Cranham, Leo Bill, Derek Jacobi, John Henderson

Threat advisory: Under evaluation

Movie propaganda

England expects every dentist to do his duty.

Based on a true story, Sergeant Peter King (Kenneth Cranham) of the Army Dental Corps, too old to fight, and Private Leslie Cuthbertson (Leo Bill), a trainee dental mechanic in the Corps, are thrown together by their passionate desire to see active service. Armed with just two revolvers and a dozen grenades, King persuades Cuthbertson to join him on a mission to occupied France.

In a letter to Winston Churchill (David Ryall), King explains their intention to invade France and fight the Germans. After a number of failed attempts, they finally arrive by boat and stumble across a German radar station. They succeed in blowing-up what they believe to be the main Operations Room, but are soon forced to make their escape as the entire compound unexpectedly erupts with gunfire and explosions. After narrow escapes from the Germans and a stray mine in the Channel, the two men are picked up at sea and interrogated as spies.

Identified as deserters, they are returned to their barracks to be court-martialled. At the eleventh hour King and Cuthbertson are saved by the arrival of Major Merton (Derek Jacobi), Churchill's Chief Intelligence Advisor. Their letter has been received in Whitehall and Merton corroborates their heroic story. Exonerated of lying, King and Cuthbertson are nevertheless reprimanded by the Court for their behaviour, but receive an invitation to tea with the Prime Minister should they ever be in Whitehall.

Persons of interest

  • Kenneth Cranham .... Sergeant Peter King
  • Leo Bill .... Private Leslie Cuthbertson
  • Derek Jacobi .... Major Merton
  • Rosanna Lavelle .... Emma Fraser
  • Phyllida Law .... Faith
  • James Fleet .... Major Bates
  • Julian Glover .... Colonel Hatchard
  • David Ryall .... Winston Churchill
  • Anthony Valentine .... SM Dudley
  • Mossie Smith .... Mrs Fraser
  • Raymond Foxall .... Author: Amateur commandos
  • Richard Everett .... Screenwriter
  • Christopher Villiers .... Screenwriter
  • John Henderson .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Security censorship classification

PG (Low level coarse language, low level violence)

Surveillance time

109 minutes (1:49 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated 2004

Cinema surveillance images

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