Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Impressions of Glorious 39, Spies of Warsaw and George and the dragon


Glorious 39 (2009)
Adaptation of: no adaptation
Length: 129 min

Summary: In the tense last summer before World War II, the adopted daughter of a high class British family discovers a family secret which could not only endanger her, but the entire nation.

Familiar faces (from period drama): Romola Garai, Jeremy Northam, Bill Nighy, Hugh Bonneville, David Tennant

Watch this if:
- You're a fan of Poliakoff movies
- You're a fan of realistic, tension-filled family drama

Don't watch this if:
- You don't want to be scared out of your wits
- You don't want to bite your nails

Best part: Romola Garai is acting her socks of here

My opinion: If Poliakoff is known for anything, it's for the atmosphere he manages to evoke in his movies. The atmosphere in Glorious 39 is filled with tension, from the moment the movie starts you know something bad is going on. This makes it -in a way- a very unpleasant movie to watch (and that's not considering some very unpleasant scenes in general). I cannot deny it's masterfully made, but I also can't say I liked watching this.

Spies of Warsaw (2013)
Adaptation of: the novel by Alan Furst
Length: 180 min

Summary: In 1938, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, working at the French embassy of Poland is drawn into the diplomatic struggle for the power in Poland as Nazi-Germany comes every closer to invading the country.

Familiar faces (from period drama): David Tennant!, Janet Montgomery (Downton Abbey), Burn Gorman (Bleak House), Linda Basset, Anton Lesser (Little Dorrit)

Watch this if:
- You love David Tennant!
- You like political or spy dramas

Don't watch this if:
- You want to watch something easy, which doesn't require to much thinking or remembering

Best part: David Tennant!! Alright, seriously now: Janet Montgomery. She really has the perfect appearance and style to act in 20's and 30's period drama.

My opinion: I really liked it, but I must admit it might be largely due to David Tennant playing the main character. Because period-spy dramas are not my usual fare. But it was an interesting story, which kept me quite on the edge of my seat until the end and ofcourse impeccably made as you can expect from the BBC. The central romance had my eye-rolling now and then as it was a bit over-the-top dramatic, but the rest of the story certainly made up for that.

George and the dragon (2004)
Adaptation of: the legend of Saint George and the dragon (sort of)
Length: 93 min

Summary: George, a knight returning from the crusades to England only wants to settle down to a quiet life, but gets swept up in the search for the king's daughter instead.

Familiar faces (from period drama): James Purefoy

Watch this if:
- You're looking for 90 minutes of light entertainment

Don't watch this if:
- You're looking for a serious and period-correct medieval movie

Best part: The initial 'fight' between George and Princess Lunna in which the princess has the upper hand

My opinion: This was a light and funny romp of a movie which I very much enjoyed. I'm sure you will enjoy it as well if you have the right type of expectations. Yes, there were some bland jokes and characters, as is often the case with these quasi-historical movies, but they didn't bother me too much. Because there also was some girl-power, some genuinely funny scenes, some sweet romance and some good sword-fights!


  1. George and the Dragon sounds like lots of fun! I'll keep an eye out for it. Is it kind of similar to Mirror Mirror or Jack the Giant Slayer? Those are both non-serious fantasy movies that I get a big kick out of.

    1. It's a little less 'other-worldly'/fantasy-like then Mirror Mirror (Haven't seen Jack the Giant Slayer). It reminded me a bit of Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, though a little less serious. Right, very clear....

    2. Oh man, I used to watch Prince of Thieves on a near-weekly basis! Cool, I'll keep an eye out for it, then. Thanks!

    3. Hehe, I was really fond of it as well! I even wrote a project about it in secondary school!

  2. Great reviews! I really enjoyed watching Spies of Warsaw, it was pretty thrilling and interesting and of course David Tennant ;)

    1. Thanks! Hehe, I don't feel guilty at all for watching things mainly for an actor sometimes.

      BTW, did you get the email I sent you at your blog-email-adress?