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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)
6 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 a photographer
Alan Polonsky Alan Polonsky ... Mr. Michaels (as Alan Polansky)
Jeremy Northam ... Sir Robert Morton
Neil North ... First Lord of the Admiralty
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

At about 1:25 minutes, Kate having returned from court comments on how hot it is and proceeds to go upstairs to change into something less confining and cooler. When she returns downstairs and goes outside with Sir Robert, she grabs a shawl to throw over her shoulders as they leave the house. See more »

Quotes

Sir Robert Morton: I wept today because right had been done.
Catherine Winslow: Not justice?
Sir Robert Morton: No, not justice. Right. Easy to do justice. Very hard to do right.
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Connections

Version of Theatre Night: The Winslow Boy (1989) See more »

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

The Winslow Boy 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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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