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37 user 10 critic

My Boy Jack (2007)

Author Rudyard Kipling and his wife search for their 18-year-old son after he goes missing during World War I.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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King George V
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Bowe
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Corporal John O'Leary
Rúaidhrí Conroy ...
McHugh (as Ruaidhri Conroy)
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Doyle
Ciaran Nolan ...
Daly
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Colonel Ferguson
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Leo Amery MP
Peter Gowen ...
H.A Gwynne
Brian de Salvo ...
Field Marshal 'Bobs' Roberts
Simon Coury ...
Naval Doctor
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Storyline

English gentleman author Rudyard Kipling, famous for the Jungle Book, uses his considerable influence, being on a War Office propaganda think tank, to get his nearly 18 year-old son John 'Jack', admitted for military service during World war I after he is repeatedly refused on account of his bad eyesight. He is enrolled in the Irish Guards: their patriotic dream but mother and sister's nightmare. After a short officer training course Jack gets command of a platoon and embarks in France. Soon, and just after his 18th birthday, his unit suffers terrible losses and Jack is reported missing. Now mother Caroline 'Carry' Kipling proves unstoppable pushing Rudyard's influence and half of England to help find out the truth. When it finally comes, there is far less glory than gore and guilt. Written by KGF Vissers (edited P Vanderl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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A young man fights for his country.


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20 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Legenda o mém synovi  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Haig's original play had a successful run at the Hampstead Theatre, London, opening on October 13 1997, with Haig as Kipling and Belinda Lang as Carrie. The pair revived the production in 2004 for a nationwide tour. See more »

Goofs

Rudyard Kipling was a great flag waver (read his poem: 'The English Flag') yet in the scene where he announces the outbreak of WW1, the Great War, we see the Union Flag, on the podium in front of him, upside down, while all the others are correct. See more »

Quotes

McHugh: [the last of Jack's soldiers are about to go over the trench and take the enemy base] I am not fucking going anywhere!
John Kipling: You are, we all are!
McHugh: You're a murderer! You're a fucking murderer!
John Kipling: I'm not a murderer McHugh, I'm obeying orders.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: A Call to Arms (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
by Patty S. Hill (as Patti Hill Smith) & Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill)
EMI Music Publishing Ltd
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User Reviews

 
"Masterpiece" of a war movie
23 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

I have been viewing Masterpiece Theatre for many years and I have trouble thinking of one episode that surpasses the excellence of this production.

The main actors all give great performances in this story of how Rudyard Kipling, poet laureate and a member of an important government war committee, persuaded the authorities to enlist his son Jack despite failing two health examinations because of his poor eyesight. The rest of the movie deals with the dilemma that never seemed to cross Kipling's mind: what moral responsibility would he bear if anything happened to his much-loved son?

As we see in the run-up to the declaration of war, Kipling was a fervent supporter of taking on the "Huns". In the commentary following the film, we learn that he never served his country on the battlefield. Instead, he put his expectations on his son Jack. The scenes from the Great War tell the horror of the conditions in the rat-infested trenches as soldiers coped with open wounds in the rain and the mud. Then cutaway to the Kipling home in pastoral English setting...the contrast is vivid.

Kipling's wife (Kim Cattrall) and daughter (Carey Mulligan)are extremely upset at the prospect of John "Jack" Kipling going off to war. Daniel Radcliffe performs the role of the dutiful son who also proved to be more than a capable leader of the young men in his charge. Martin McCann, who plays the soldier Bowe who saw the younger Kipling die in battle, gives an extraordinary performance when he visits the Kipling estate to tell the story of Jack's death.

A very noteworthy scene takes place at the end of the movie when Kipling visits George V, the reigning monarch, and a personal friend. In this scene, the King expresses his sympathy to Kipling and then mentions that his own son recently died. This is a reference to the youngest child of George V and Queen Mary, who was an epileptic, and died suddenly following a seizure. This event was treated quietly by the press at the time. However, whether or not this meeting happened, it is an interesting side-bar to the movie, with the King and his poet laureate sharing their grief.

I have always been interested in the story of Jack Kipling from the time I read a newspaper article about how a Canadian who worked for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was able to locate the burial plot of Jack Kipling towards the end of the 20th century, many decades after he died. This was something the Kipling family had tried in vain to find.

For me, this movie adds an extra dimension to that story and to the ongoing cinematic treatment of a war that is now almost 100 years ago.


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