1917 is a 2019 British war film directed, co-written, and produced by Sam Mendes. The film stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, with Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch in supporting roles. It is based in part on an account told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes. The film tells the story of two young British soldiers during the First World War who are ordered to deliver a message calling off an attack doomed to fail soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich in 1917. This message is especially important to one of the soldiers, as his brother is taking part in the pending attack.
The project was officially announced in June 2018, with MacKay and Chapman signing on in October and the rest of the cast the following March. Filming took place from April to June 2019 in the UK, with cinematographer Roger Deakins and editor Lee Smith using long takes to have the entire film appear as two continuous shots.1917 premiered in the UK on 4 December 2019 and was released theatrically in the United States on 25 December by Universal Pictures and in the United Kingdom on 10 January 2020 by Entertainment One. The film received widespread praise and received numerous accolades, including ten nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards and three wins for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Mixing. It also won Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, and won a leading seven awards at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film and Best Direction. It also won the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture, and Mendes won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film.