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The Winslow Boy (1999)

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Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.

Director:

David Mamet

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (play), David Mamet (screenplay)
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Pidgeon Matthew Pidgeon ... Dickie Winslow
Rebecca Pidgeon ... Catherine Winslow
Gemma Jones ... Grace Winslow
Nigel Hawthorne ... Arthur Winslow
Lana Bilzerian Lana Bilzerian ... Undermaid
Sarah Flind ... Violet
Aden Gillett ... John Watherstone
Guy Edwards ... Ronnie Winslow
Colin Stinton ... Desmond Curry
Eve Bland Eve Bland ... Suffragette
Sara Stewart ... Miss Barnes, Beacon Reporter
Perry Fenwick Perry Fenwick ... Fred
Alan Polonsky Alan Polonsky ... Mr. Michaels
Jeremy Northam ... Sir Robert Morton
Neil North ... First Lord
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Storyline

Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five shillings. Father asks son if it is true; when the lad denies it, Arthur risks fortune, health, domestic peace, and Catherine's prospects to pursue justice. After defeat in the military court of appeals, Arthur and Catherine go to Sir Robert Morton, a brilliant, cool barrister and M.P., who examines Ronnie and suggests that they take the matter before Parliament to seek permission to sue the Crown. They do, which keeps Ronnie's story on the front page and keeps Catherine in Sir Robert's ken. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El honor de los Winslow See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,553, 2 May 1999

Gross USA:

$3,957,934

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,957,934
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Winslow Partners Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neil North, who played the First Lord of the Admiralty in this adaptation, played Ronnie Winslow in the first adaptation, The Winslow Boy (1948). See more »

Goofs

The corset that Catherine Winslow wears under her dress clearly appears and disappears between shots in her last scenes with Sir Robert. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Sir Robert Morton: Oh, you still pursue your feminist activities?
Catherine Winslow: Oh yes.
Sir Robert Morton: Pity. It's a lost cause.
Catherine Winslow: Oh, do you really think so, Sir Robert? How little you know about women. Good-bye. I doubt that we shall meet again.
Sir Robert Morton: Oh, do you really think so, Miss Winslow? How little you know about men.
See more »

Connections

Version of The DuPont Show of the Month: The Winslow Boy (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A matter of honour
2 December 2001 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Terence Rattigan's classic English play from the 1940s but set just before WW1 has been filmed at least five times. This 1999 version is by the American director David Mamet, with his wife Rebecca Pidgeon in a lead role as the Boy's sister Catherine, along with Nigel Hawthorne and Gemma Jones as the parents. The acting honours however truly belong to Jeremy Northam as their barrister, Sir Robert Morton, who finds himself strangely attracted to young Ms Winslow. He is the full QC-MP, urbane, smooth as silk (dammit he is a silk) and deeply cynical, scambling up the greasy pole at Westminster, using his legal skills as best he may. Yet he compromises his career by taking the case. It involves the absurdly trivial matter of the alleged theft of a five shilling postal order but by the time it's over Sir Robert and his clients have managed to put the Navy and half the government on trial. Northam make this almost unbelievable transformation seem not just likely but inevitable.

`The Winslow Boy' is of course based on a real case, the Archer-Shee affair, though Rattigan modified the story substantially. In particular the Archer-Shee's counsel, Edward Carson, the prosecutor of Oscar Wilde and raving anti-Irish home ruler, never became personally involved with the family. He was made a law lord (top British judge) shortly after so his quite spectacular career was not affected by his involvement in the Archer-Shee case. Yet the most interesting thing in the film is the entirely ficticious relationship between Sir Robert, the conventional male supremacist and Catherine, the dedicated suffragette. In the end sex triumphs over politics, as it so often does. A pity it did not do so in the case of Lord Carson.

The Boy himself has a wonderful line in English Public School patter (I'm sure an American audience would need sub-titles). Sadly the real Boy was killed in WW1, which also killed the society to whom the Archer-Shee case was so important.


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