Sword of Honour – 2001 TV adaptation

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After finishing Waugh’s series (again), I hunted down the DVD of the 2001 adaptation.

Originally shown in two parts; each was a mini-movie of over one and a half hours. As you’d expect with turning the books into a mini-series, much was cut out. In some ways, the show lost much of the black humour and the ridiculous; in other ways lots of action was lost. There’s an episodic, slightly disjointed feel, especially in the second half but the narrative is clear and told well.

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Daniel Craig is brilliant as the central character, Guy Crouchback. Again as you’d expect in a film the reflections and inner thoughts of the character don’t come out. We see less of his Catholic meditations and his character doesn’t change or mature so noticeably. And other characters are not as fleshed out.

Those criticisms really are minor. It really is well done and worth watching. Love the scenery and settings. The doodle bomb scenes are particularly evocative. Glad I watched it.

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2 thoughts on “Sword of Honour – 2001 TV adaptation

    • I’ve watched quite a lot of WWII movies and mini-series. I prefer movies and series that show the British home front and the Blitz, like Housewife 49 and The Camomile Lawn. (And you can’t go past Dad’s Army!)

      SoH doesn’t have lots of graphic battle scenes, blood and death, like Saving Private Ryan (which I haven’t seen) or Band of Brothers (of which I have seen many episodes and was riveted). SoH does shows how the politics and personal contacts were often more important than soldiering skills. And it crossed over many different fronts and battlegrounds – Crete, Yugoslavia, Egypt – as well as London.

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