1917 is Sir Sam Mendes’ latest war epic, which has been based on an account told to him by his grandfather, Alfred Mendes. Starring George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman, the story follows two soldiers who are asked to tell troops about an ambush expected on the Western Front, but both lads must go behind enemy lines to save their comrades. The film will cover difficult subject-matter, so how old fans have to be to see it at the cinema?
How old do you have to be to watch 1917?
According to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) the film has a 15 certificate.
This means no one younger than 15 may see the film in the cinema, or rent or buy it when it comes out on DVD or for digital download.
For parents who hope their children may be able to join them, sadly this is also not possible, as children who are younger than 15 will be turned away even if they are with a guardian or parent.
The rating information, provided by the BBFC, gives detailed information on what can be expected in the film to help parents decide whether their 15-year-olds should be watching the film.
According to the BBFC, there is injury detail, language and some moderate violence seen in the film.
The guidelines reveal: “Scenes include decaying corpses, severed limbs, and bloody detail following a stabbing.
“There is use of strong language (‘f**k’), as well as milder terms including ‘bloody’, ‘bugger’, ‘bastard’, ’s**t’, ‘piss’ and ‘b******s’.
“Sequences of moderate threat and violence also occur.
“Undetailed references are made to sex and masturbation.”
Given the film is set during wartime and features people fighting or travelling through fighting on the Western Front, it is likely unsurprising the film contains corpses, swearing and violence.
However, parents could also consider seeing the film first, so as to ensure their teenagers will be able to cope with the action which unfolds on screen.
Is 1917 a true story?
Sir Sam Mendes, the film’s director and writer, has spoken out about how his new Golden Globe-winning film is based on stories told to him by his grandfather.
Alfred Mendes was a poet, writer and children’s author, so this story could still have come from his imagination.
However, in research conducted exclusively for Express.co.uk by Ancestry, it is clear there are some real life facts upon which this story is based.
Military service records of Mendes’ grandfather, whose stories sparked the cinematic feature, are just some of the items that have been recently uncovered in relation to this story.
Alfred H. Mendes served with the British Army in World War I and, given his small frame, he was chosen to be a messenger on the Western Front.
According to Ancestry, he was awarded the Military Medal after he volunteered for a dangerous mission to locate injured soldiers scattered across No-Mans Land during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
It turns out, tales from this journey, amongst others, helped spark the narrative for 1917, which sees two young soldiers trying to send important intelligence to the Western Front, about Operation Alberich.
It was also revealed in Ancestry’s research the film’s star, George Mackay, also had an intimate connection to the story, as his three times great uncle Albert Victor Baulk was a signaller for the 196th Siege Battery in Sailly-au-Bois, just a few miles from the German front lines where Operation Alberich took place and where the film is set.
As a signaller and telephonist, Albert would have helped relay crucial communications to his unit just like Mackay’s character in 1917, though it would likely not have led to the same personal dangers or treacherous journey.
1917 is in cinemas on January 10