A Foreign Field

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A Foreign Field
A-foreign-field.jpg
Directed by Charles Sturridge
Produced by Martyn Auty
Richard Broke
Steve Lanning
Written by Roy Clarke
Starring Alec Guinness
Leo McKern
Edward Herrmann
John Randolph
Geraldine Chaplin
Lauren Bacall
Jeanne Moreau
Cinematography Richard Greatrex
Distributed by BBC
Release date(s) 10 September 1993
Running time 95 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Foreign Field (1993) is a motion picture about British and American World War II veterans returning to the beaches of Normandy as old men. It is more a drama than a comedy, although it combines aspects of both. It was directed by Charles Sturridge and featured an ensemble cast of American, Australian, British, and French actors and actresses. The title evokes the Rupert Brooke poem The Soldier.


The film was made to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and was driven into production by Alec Guinness who used his influence with the BBC to make it and with the various famous actors to appear in it.

It was shown only once on BBC1 at the time, but repeated a number of times some thirteen years later (2007) on the digital channel UKTV History.

Plot[edit]

Cyril (McKern) and Waldo (Randolph), who are British and American, respectively, have both returned to France in search of the same woman (Moreau) with whom they each had a rendezvous in 1944 (unknown to the other). Cyril is accompanied by fellow veteran Amos (Guinness), while Waldo has his petty daughter Beverly (Chaplin) and her henpecked husband (Herrmann) in tow. The two groups encounter one another, and after some conflict find common ground in old sorrows. Along the way they meet the recently widowed Lisa (Bacall), who has come in search of her brother's grave.

Eventually it is revealed that Amos saved Cyril's life during the battle of Normandy in 1944 but sustained a severe head-wound in the process. The wound has left Amos permanently brain-damaged and Cyril has been his carer ever since. Cyril also confides in the others that Amos does not have long left to live and this will be the last chance for the two men to come to Normandy to pay their respects to their close friend Briggs who was killed in action. Waldo has come to France for a similar reason, to visit the grave of a close buddy who was killed on D-Day. The trip helps put Beverly's problems into perspective and gives a new lease of life to her marriage. And it is revealed that Lisa's brother was in fact a German soldier but instead of showing hostility, the veterans instead pay their respects at his grave, in tribute to the bravery of the German forces who took part in the battle. The final image is the jar of flowers left by the gravestone of Briggs.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot entirely around the department of Calvados, in France.

References[edit]

External links[edit]