Film / The Winslow Boy

1999 film adaptation of the play by Terence Rattigan, written for the screen and directed by David Mamet. A young boy, Arthur Winslow, is expelled from the Royal Naval College for theft. When he maintains his innocence, his father (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) does whatever it takes to clear his family name. Caught up in the battle are Mrs. Winslow (Gemma Jones) and the Winslow's feminist daughter Catherine (Rebecca Pidgeon). The Winslows turn to the expensive, conservative, and controversial attorney Sir Robert Morton (Jeremy Northam), and they proceed to take England by storm with the slogan, "Let Right be Done."

The film contains examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Let Right Be Done."
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ronnie is cleared of the charges against him and romance may blossom between Sir Robert and Catherine, but the Winslow family has lost much of its wealth and Sir Robert has had to decline appointment as Chief Lord Justice.
  • Casting Gag: The man who plays a lord in one of the House of Commons scenes played the original Winslow Boy in the 40s film of the play.
  • The Edwardian Era: The setting, with plenty of foreshadowing for World War One and England's suffragette movement providing a major subplot.
  • Honor Before Reason: The sensible thing to do is just to suck it up, and accept life is unfair at times. However, in defence of honour the Winslow family take on the entire British establishment and press despite it wrecking their finances and dragging their name through the mud to get there.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sir Robert.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The play and film are loosely inspired by the real-life case of George Archer-Shee.