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The Trench

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Set in the 48 hours leading up to the catastrophic attack on the German lines on 1st July 1916 that signalled the start of the Battle of the Somme, this is the poignant, intense story of young men at war, as seen through the eyes of seventeen year old Billy Macfarlane. As Billy and his squad are thrown into war, they experience trauma, friendship, animosity, nostalgic recollection and the prospect of their agonisingly short lives coming to an imminent and sudden end.

The action of the film is deliberately oppressive, set entirely in the few dozen yards of front line and communication trenches that Billy and his fellow soldiers occupy.

As the boys wait for the attack, alternately excited and terrified, a series of events begins to undermine and fracture the solidarity of the group, and for the first time our young soldiers have to confront the reality of the enemy as the suspense and tension reaches critical mass.

When Billy's platoon is ordered to go with the first wave of attackers, the awful truth of what they are about to undergo begins to impact. The whistles blow, the boys clamber over the top. We see the first wave surge into the maelstrom of smoke and explosions through the meadows of the Somme valley, advancing gamely on to meet their individual and tragic destinies.

Billy Macfarlane's war ends moments later.


Type of film
35mm Fuji
William Boyd
Steve Clarke-Hall
Director of Photography
Tony Pierce-Roberts BSc
Principal Cast
Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Danny Dyer, James D'Arcy, Tam Williams, Anthony Strachan
Screen Writer
William Boyd


Production status


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Last updated 30th October 2007

Production Company

Somme Productions Ltd
P.O. Box 8210
London W4 1WH
Tel: 020 8354 2236
Fax: 020 8354 2219


Portman Entertainment Ltd
167 Wardour Street
London W1V 3TA
Tel: 020 7468 3456
Fax: 020 7468 3469