Dad's Army is a 2016 British war comedy film, based on the BBC television sitcom Dad's Army. The film stars Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Courtenay, Blake Harrison, Bill Paterson and Michael Gambon as Private Godfred. Directed by Oliver Parker, with a script by Hamish McColl, and produced by Damian Jones.
The film was released on 5 February 2016 in the United Kingdom by Universal Pictures.
- Directed by: Oliver Parker
- Produced by: Damien Jones
- Written by: Hamish McColl
- Story by: David Croft and Jimmy Perry
- Starring: Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Courtenay, Blake Harrison, Bill Paterson, Michael Gambon.
- Music by: Charlie Mole
- Cinematography: Christopher Ross
- Edited by: Guy Bensley
- Country: U.K.
- Language: English
- Running time: 100 minutes
- Budget: N/A
- Box Office: $13 million
- Release date: February 5, 2016
- Distributed by: Universal Pictures
It is summer 1944, and the invasion of Normandy is approaching. Nazi forces in France, seeking intelligence on the invasion location, send their best spy to a town on England's channel coastline, Walmington-on-Sea. In the town, Captain Mainwaring's Home Guard is suffering from a lack of luck and appreciation.
This is until an elegant journalist, Rose Winters, arrives to report on the platoon's motives and activities, allegedly for The Lady magazine. The platoon are charmed by her presence, especially Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson, causing feuds with the townsfolk, especially the platoon's wives. Adding to tensions, it emerges that Sergeant Wilson was Rose Winters' tutor at Oxford University.
Meanwhile, MI5 detect a radio signal transmitted from Walmington-on-Sea towards Berlin, believed to be from the Nazi spy. MI5's Major Cunningham and Captain Meeks locate Captain Mainwaring and inform him of the enemy presence, stating "it could be anyone". This news gives the Home Guard a chance to locate the spy and make a real difference in the war. They meet Winters who poses as a journalist while they are practising a routine of catch the Nazi after Wilson is chosen to play the Nazi.
While accompanying the platoon on a patrol, designated Top Secret by the British Army, Winters discovers the Dover base is intended to deceive German air reconnaissance, part of the (real) Operation Bodyguard. Winters now knows the invasion will target Normandy. As the platoon searches for the spy, Rose claims it is Sergeant Wilson. Captain Mainwaring believes Rose and arrests Wilson.
However, Private Godfrey's sisters investigate Rose and find evidence questioning her journalist credentials and that Rose has a home address in Berlin. The platoon and their wives rally to stop Winters and exchange fire with a German U-boat and a Wehrmacht landing party who are helping Winters escape.
The U-boat flees without Winters boarding. Mainwaring heroically arrests Winters and hands her over to MI5. The troop then parade through Walmington, having fought off the Nazis, and are congratulated by Colonel Theakes. Mainwaring and Wilson reconcile. Theakes underlines the platoon success by telling them they have played a prominent part in the war effort.
- Toby Jones - Captain Mainwaring
- Bill Nighy - Sergeant Wilson
- Catherine Zeta-Jones - Rose Winters
- Tom Courtenay - Lance Corporal Jones
- Blake Harrison - Private Pike
- Michael Gambon - Private Godfrey
- Bill Paterson - Private Frazer
- Daniel Mays - Private Walker
- Sarah Lancashire - Mrs Pike
- Mark Gatiss - Colonel Theakes
Box Office: Edit
The film grossed 12.8 million in the United Kingdom.
Critical response: Edit
Dad's Army has received generally negative reviews from critics, though Toby Jones' performance was praised. The film currently has a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 34 reviews, with an average rating of 4.94. On Metacritic, it has a score of 38 out of 100, based on seven critics, which indicates "generally unfavourable reviews".
Sean O'Grady, of The Independent, gave the film a five star review, remarking that rather than threatening the series' legacy, it "surpasses the original", calling it a "well-crafted reproduction" containing all the elements that made the original so clever, durable and loveable.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian was less convinced, giving it two stars, stating that "it’s hard to escape the sinking feeling that this is a waste of talent — that this is a good-natured, well-meaning but pointless kind of Brit-comedy ancestor worship; paying elaborate homage to a TV show that got it right the first time."
Empire rated it two stars describing the plot as "moderately entertaining bunkum" and that "as a whole it's an inessential oddity — amiable enough but also over-reverential and unlikely to leave a lasting impression".