Jackboots on Whitehall
|Jackboots on Whitehall|
|Directed by||Edward McHenry
|Written by||Edward McHenry
|Distributed by||Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company (U.S.) Vertigo Films (UK)|
Jackboots on Whitehall is a 2010 British satirical film portraying an alternate history of the Second World War, in which Nazi Germany has seized London, causing the British to band together at Hadrian's Wall if they are to thwart the German invasion. This is the first film of its kind to feature animatronic puppets and the voices of well-known British actors including Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall, Richard O'Brien and Richard Griffiths. The film was executive produced by Frank Mannion. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2010.
In 1940, the Nazi enemy invades Great Britain by drilling under the English Channel and up through the cobblestones on Whitehall. In London, from his bunker under Downing Street, Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall) issues a call to arms for all of Britain to band together to resist the invaders. In a small village, Chris (Ewan McGregor), a young farm worker rallies the residents to fight back. Joining forces with Churchill's small group of soldiers, the resistance movement retreats to Hadrian's Wall where the unlikely saviours of the country come from the Scottish highlands.
As appearing in Jackboots on Whitehall, (main speaking roles and screen credits identified):
- Ewan McGregor as Chris
- Rosamund Pike as Daisy
- Richard E. Grant as The Vicar
- Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill (note: Spall reprises his role as Churchill from The King's Speech)
- Tom Wilkinson as Albert and Joseph Goebbels
- Dominic West as Fiske
- Alan Cumming as Adolf Hitler and Braveheart
- Sanjeev Bhaskar as Major Rupee
- Richard Griffiths as Hermann Göring
- Richard O'Brien as Heinrich Himmler
- Stephen Merchant as Tom
- Pam Ferris as Matron Rutty
- Hugh Fraser as Gaston and the Newsreader
- Tobias Menzies as Captain English
- Neil Newbon as Zeppelin Captain
In using real-life characters to embody a more accurate portrayal, some characters are easily recognizable. The character of Fiske, for example, was obviously patterned after Battle of Britain hero, U.S. pilot Billy Fiske but embodies the characteristics of screen legend Clark Gable.
Writer-directors Edward and Rory McHenry poured an enormous amount of effort into the animatronic creations and models, known as “supermarionation” that featured accurately rendered period uniforms, architecture and military equipment. With a focus on the actual period of the Battle of Britain, the following aircraft models were essential to the depiction of the alternative history:
- Fairey Fulmar MkI
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190D
- Hawker Hurricane
- Junkers Ju 88A
- Junkers Ju 87B-2 Stuka
- Messerschmitt Bf 109E
- Supermarine Spitfire I
In addition, the following models were also featured:
Reviews have been somewhat mixed; Robbie Collin, of the News Of The World, gave the film 4 stars summarising it as "Stupid, throwaway nonsense - and that's the whole idea".Total Film Magazine also gave the film 4 stars stating "Jackboots wittily merges war flick iconography, Inglorious revisionism and Team America silliness to create a hilarious, endearing one-off".
While The Guardian praised the "impressive all-star vocal cast" in Jackboots on Whitehall, and called it a "labour of love" by its writer-directors, concluded it was "amiably intentioned but desperately weak in terms of script" comparing it unfavourably with Wallace and Gromit and Team America: World Police. Other reviews were of a similar nature; the review in The Telegraph characterized the film as "an enterprising comedy but ultimately a boorish overkill."
- Chapman, Matt. "Jackboots On Whitehall." Total Film, 21 February 2011. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- "Puppet love for Jackboots On Whitehall: Britain’s answer to Team America." Total Film, 8 December 2006. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- "Jackboots on Whitehall." Screenrush.com, 14 August 2009. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- Vertigo Films production notes
- "Credits:Jackboots on Whitehall." The New York Times. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- Etier, Bob. "Barbie vs. Hitler: Jackboots on Whitehall (2010)." technorati.com, 3 August 31, 2011. Retrieved: 20 October 2012.
- "Film: Jackboots On Whitehall." TV Tropes Foundation, LLC. Retrieved: 20 October 2012.
- Bradshaw, Peter. "Review: Jackboots on Whitehall." The Guardian, 7 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- Collin, Robbie. "Jackboots On Whitehall (12A)." News of the World, 3 October 2010.
- Smith, Neil. "Jackboots On Whitehall." Total Film, 11 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- Robey, Tim. "Jackboots on Whitehall, review By Tim." The Telegraph, 7 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.