1917: The most realistic war movie ever made

Eric Sof

Best War Movies: 1917 (2019)

The Hollywood blockbuster movie 1917 has been hailed as a masterpiece and is one of the main favorites at this year’s Oscars. The war drama from the First World War received great critics as a movie with a factual war background.

Furthermore, military personnel of all ranks hailed 1917 as the most realistic war film ever. According to the information, the most important man who can take a lot of credit for that is ex-paratrooper Paul Biddiss, according to the Mirror.

Paul BiddissS

Paul Biddiss had only one objective: train more than 800 men to look and act like soldiers and give ­essential advice to director Sam Mendes. In his interview with the Sunday People, Paul Biddiss, 51, a dad of five from Oxfordshire, tells the secrets behind 1917’s authenticity.

Paul is a retired sergeant who served 24 years in the Parachute Regiment before entering private ­surveillance. He became a military ­adviser after working as an extra on the 2014 film Monuments Men and getting into a ­conversation with its star, Hollywood giant George Clooney.

Paul Biddiss provided advice and training for the hit film 1917
Paul Biddiss provided advice and training for the hit film (Photo: Paul Biddiss)

He has since worked on Jason Bourne’s film, the BBC version of War and Peace, and most recently on Sky One’s Strikeback series. Paul’s meticulous attention to detail runs all through the film 1917. And it has won praise from real soldiers such as Afghanistan veteran Colonel Richard Kemp.

World War One

The First World War was sparked by Austria-Hungary heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s shooting on 28 June 1914, with the war officially declared a month later. It drew in all the world’s major economic powers. The war ended at 11 am on 11 November 1918, and a truce was declared. More than 9 million combatants had died.

Boot Camp

Although it features A-list names Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Benedict Cumberbatch in supporting roles, the actors who take up most screen time are the ­previously little-known George MacKay, 27, and Dean-Charles Chapman, 22.

In a gripping drama inspired by a real-life war story told to Mendes by his grandfather, they play Lance Corporals Will Schofield and Tom Blake – two young British soldiers on a mission to warn comrades that they are walking into an enemy trap.

The two men had a baptism of fire from Paul, who put them through ­gruelling boot camps until they looked and acted the part.


According to Rotten Tomatoes, 1917 is described as a ‘Hard-hitting, immersive, and impressive technical achievement, 1917 captures the trench warfare of World War I with raw, startling immediacy.’

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