Exploring a Century of War Movies with IWM | Realm & Empire

Exploring a Century of War Movies with IWM

Posted on June 07, 2016 by Realm & Empire


A long queue stretches out from the entrance of the Odeon Conema in wartime Reading, as people buy tickets, 1945. © IWM (D 25326)

From the 1st July, our partners at IWM London are running a new major exhibition Real To Reel: A Century of War Movies that goes behind the scenes of some of this century’s iconic war films that have captured the imagination of the cinema-going audience across the generations.

Marking 100 years since The Battle of the Somme film release, this exhibition goes behind the scenes to reveal how film-makers have re-imagined real life stories of Twentieth Century conflicts for the silver screen.

Drawing on a series of artefacts and archival documents, the display compares the films with the real life events that inspired them.


Film still of James McAvoy starring as Robbie Turner in Atonement. A uniform worn James McAvoy in this film will be on display at the exhibit. © Universal City Studios LLLP, photographed by Alex Bailey. 

An array of film props, costumes, scripts, sketches and clips from such iconic films as The Dam Busters, Atonement, Battle of Britain, War Horse, Where Eagles Dare and Casablanca alongside the museum’s own collection of wartime artefacts. Also on display will be the cine camera used to capture real and recreated footage for The Battle of Somme.

Accompanied by immersive audio-visual installations, the exhibition will explore the film-making process itself and how war movies have shaped popular perceptions of conflict.

Not one to be missed, visit iwm.org.uk for further details and tickets.


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