Jackboots on Whitehall

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Jackboots on Whitehall
Jackboots poster.jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed by The McHenry Brothers
Produced by
Written by The McHenry Brothers
Story by The McHenry Brothers
Music by Guy Michelmore
Cinematography Michael Connor
Edited by Chris Blunden
  • Vertigo Films
  • Matador Pictures
  • Entertainment Motion Pictures (E-MOTION)
  • McHenry Pictures
Distributed by Vertigo Films
The Weinstein Company
Dimension Films
Media 8 Entertainment
Release date
  • 20 June 2010 (2010-06-20) (EIFF)
  • 8 October 2010 (2010-10-08) (United Kingdom)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $6 million[2]
Box office $20,776[3]

Jackboots on Whitehall is a 2010 British puppet adult animated satirical action comedy war adventure film set in an alternate history Second World War, in which Nazi Germany have seized London. The British must band together at Hadrian's Wall if they are to thwart the German invasion.[4] 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.[5] The film was executive produced by Frank Mannion.[6] The film premiered at the EIFF on June 20, 2010 and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2010 by Vertigo Films.[7] The film grossed $20,776 on a $6 million budget. Jackboots on Whitehall was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 26 July 2011 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


In 1940, Nazi Germany 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 issues a call to arms for all of Britain to band together to resist the invaders. In a small village, Chris, a young everyman 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):[8]

In using real-life characters to embody a more accurate portrayal, some characters are easily recognizable.[9] While Battle of Britain hero and American pilot Billy Fiske appears, he embodies the characteristics of screen legend Clark Gable.[10] Spall had previously portrayed Churchill in The King's Speech (2010).


The characters were sculpted accurately to portray real historical figures and the models of military equipment and weapons were likewise realistic.

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.[11] Some continuity errors creeped in. During the first battle between the elite Punjabi Guards and the Germans, a Punjabi soldier is seen using a PIAT rocket launcher, but the PIAT was introduced in 1943 while the film is set in 1940. Also, Jackboots on Whitehall features the German airship Hindenburg which was destroyed in 1937. A German tank destroys the Cenotaph to gain access to Downing Street, but the Cenotaph is not located at the junction of Downing Street and Whitehall, it is further down the street. One prominent scene has a crane shot at the village fête, where a direction sign with two arrows is labeled "Upper Trollope" and "Lower Trollope", apparently as a tribute to Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope. 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 and Supermarine Spitfire I. In addition, the following models were also featured: Douglas DC-3, Ford 4-AT-A Trimotor, Sopwith F.1 Camel and Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg.

Theatrical release and premiere[edit]

Jackboots on Whitehall was released in cinemas on 8 October 2010 in the United Kingdom by Vertigo Films and premiered on 20 June 2010 at the EIFF.

Critical reception[edit]

Richard E. Grant was praised for his performance.[12]

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".[13]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".[14] 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.[11] Other reviews were of a similar nature;[15] the review in The Telegraph characterized the film as "an enterprising comedy but ultimately a boorish overkill."[16]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $20,776[3] worldwide.

Home media[edit]

Jackboots on Whitehall was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 26 July 2011 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Nominee
British Independent Film Awards 2010 Raindance Award Nominated


Jackboots on Whitehall
Soundtrack album by Guy Michelmore
Released 10 August 2010
Recorded 2010
Genre Film score
Length 64:45
Label MovieScore Media
Producer Mikael Carlsson

All music was composed by Guy Michelmore.

  • Battle Of Britain
  • Harvest And Village
  • Nazi Airship Attack
  • Punjabi's Last Stand
  • Light The Beacons
  • Last Of The Few
  • Retreat To Scotland
  • Battle Of Downing Street
  • Chris To The Rescue
  • Freedom
  • Nazis In London
  • Travelling North
  • Punjabi's Escape From London
  • Hadrian's Wall
  • Aurora Borealis
  • Where Is Herr Churchill?
  • The Morning After
  • A Highland Morning
  • Chris' Mission
  • Facing The Enemy
  • Jerusalem - Performed by Rosamund Pike, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Merchant, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Pam Ferris and Cast
  • Defending The Wall
  • The Battle
  • Facing Defeat
  • Scottish Attack
  • You're A Scotsman
  • The Fallen
  • Rule Britannia
  • Scots Revenge
  • Whitehall March
  • Scotland The Brave
  • Jackboots Demo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Jackboots on Whitehall' (12A)." British Board of Film Classification, 27 September 2010. Retrieved: 8 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Business: 'Jackboots on Whitehall'." IMDb. Retrieved: 29 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "'Jackboots on Whitehall'." Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: 29 March 2015.
  4. ^ Chapman, Matt. "Jackboots On Whitehall." Total Film, 21 February 2011. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Puppet love for Jackboots On Whitehall: Britain’s answer to Team America." Total Film, 8 December 2006. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Jackboots on Whitehall." Screenrush.com, 14 August 2009. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
  7. ^ Vertigo Films production notes
  8. ^ "Credits:Jackboots on Whitehall." The New York Times. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
  9. ^ Etier, Bob. "Barbie vs. Hitler: Jackboots on Whitehall (2010)." technorati.com, 3 31 August 2011. Retrieved: 20 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Film: Jackboots On Whitehall." TV Tropes Foundation, LLC. Retrieved: 20 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b Bradshaw, Peter. "Review: Jackboots on Whitehall." The Guardian, 7 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
  12. ^ Bennett, Ray (June 20, 2010). "Jackboots on Whitehall -- Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. with Grant a standout as the foul-mouthed vicar. 
  13. ^ Collin, Robbie. "Jackboots On Whitehall (12A)." News of the World, 3 October 2010.
  14. ^ Smith, Neil. "Jackboots On Whitehall." Total Film, 11 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
  15. ^ Gant, Charles (24 June 2010). "Review: 'Jackboots on Whitehall'". variety.com. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  16. ^ Robey, Tim. "Jackboots on Whitehall, review By Tim." The Telegraph, 7 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 June 2012.

External links[edit]