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Dressed in a suit adorned with military medals and awards, Ken Sturdy, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, sat in a crowded movie theater in Calgary, Alberta, on July 21 and watched Dunkirk — a war drama about a real-life battle he survived.
Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk inspired new attention to the famous evacuation by sea, in 1940, of four hundred thousand British troops under harrowing air attack. Had that evacuation failed, the United Kingdom would have been deprived of a land army to oppose Nazi Germany. But before Dunkirk, British and French troops fought desperate last stands in the channel ports of Calais and Boulogne that bought vital time for the evacuation in the Belgian Port. The situation grew so desperate at Boulogne that Allied destroyers were forced to blast their way into and back out of the harbor, using naval guns to duel with tanks, field guns and even snipers while evacuating panicky mobs of British soldiers.
If there’s one thing actor Tom Hardy does well, it’s go to war — or, at least, acting like he’s going to war. From his role as Twombly in "Black Hawk Down" to his upcoming performances in “Dunkirk” and Navy SEAL TV series “War Party,” Hardy’s put himself through the ringer to accurately capture what it's like to throw yourself headfirst into battle.
We already knew that Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” was going to be one hell of a movie. The 2016 trailer for the upcoming war drama, which stars Tom Hardy and follows three soldiers through one week surrounding the titular Battle of Dunkirk in 1940, showed all the signs of the gritty action that made past Nolan projects like The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception such epic cinematic experiences. Now, we have proof that ‘Dunkirk’ may just be one of the finest World War II movies since “Saving Private Ryan.”