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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Highly Anticipated "Dunkirk" Premieres in London

July 13, 20017 Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan with an ensemble cast including Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy premiered in London, England.

Warner Bros. rolled out the red carpet for the WWII epic. The world premiere was held at the Odeon in Leicester Square, north of Trafalgar Square and just south west of the Tube station baring its name. The area is an active night spot inundated by movie theaters and multiple locations baring some Prince or another's name. The hi-tone event was attended by the usual suspects, director, stars and regular collaborators Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, as well as Mark Rylance, and Kenneth Branagh. Not to mention a couple of local crowd pleasers, Prince Harry and Harry Styles who makes his feature debut in the film.

Nolan introduced the screening by telling the anticipating audience how very special it was for him, “to show this film in my beloved 70mm in my favorite cinema.” He continued with, “I won’t say enjoy the film, that doesn’t seem quite right. So, I would say, experience the film and hope you get something out of it.” Nolan also addressed the more than dozen or so WWII survivors in the audience, noting, as he thanked them for their “world changing inspirational service.” Earlier this year, Nolan said at CinemaCon that this story was, “one of the greatest stories of human history. At its heart, it’s a survival story. The enemy is closing in on the British on this beach with no escape. I wanted to put the audience in the story.” Many critics who have seen the film would say that the acclaimed British director has achieved this goal.

At one hundred and six minutes, this is Nolan's shortest film since his 1998 debut, Following. Dunkirk dramatically depicts the unbelievable rescue of over 300,000 Allied troops from the beaches of France in 1940. The story includes not only the desperation of the men on those beaches, but how British civilian boat owners came together to save their country men from the German forces. The tale is well-known in Britain and France, but has not been the focus of a major motion picture (let alone an American one) in decades. Dubbed Operation Dynamo, the event has solidified its place in history as a legendary spectacle of what a people can do when banded together. In fact, the act inspired Winston Churchill to write his “We shall never surrender” speech.

Warner Bros. releases the film July 21 at 125 domestic locations (some in 70mm!). It begins overseas rollout in France, Belgium and elsewhere on July 19.

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