King and Country

King and Country

Streaming Video - 1964
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World War I is renowned for the mindless slaughter of millions, and in 1917 the battle of Passchendaele, also known as the 3rd Battle of Ypres, succeeded in becoming one of the most bitterly fought battles of the war. Simultaneously at staff HQ another battle was fought between senior officers as to the style and conduct of the war, with heavy criticism of the huge number of casualties.. From the mud of the battlefield walked Private Hamp, the sole survivor of his unit, and having just heard of the adultery of his beloved wife. He instinctively walked towards home scarcely being able to comprehend with his shell shocked mind, what he was doing. He walked until he was picked up for desertion. The film centres around the Court Martial of Private Hamp for desertion, and the developing relationship between Hamp and his defending officer, Captain Hargreaves. Hargreaves himself was brought up in the tradition of the officer class with other ranks viewed, with some distaste, collectively as from another class, and not as individuals. His initial attitude towards Hamp was of contempt, considering him to be a malingerer and deserving of all he was going to get. As Hamp’s story unfolds, Hargreaves stance softens into compassion, and finally Hamp has a protagonist fighting his cause. The courtroom scenes are scrupulously fair and procedurally correct, with the prosecuting officer, Captain Midgley, presenting his case with ruthless precision. The Medical Officer, Captain O’Sullivan, however is brutally biased in his assessment of Hamp’s mental state, flatly declaring that the only thing Hamp was suffering from was a bad case of ‘cold feet’.. By now Hargreaves is deeply involved in Hamp’s fate and although Hamp is found guilty of desertion, Hargreaves makes an impassioned plea for mercy. The court does in fact make a recommendation for mercy, which is not sanctioned by Regimental Headquarters. It is decreed that since the regiment is moving up to the front the following day morale has to be maintained and Hamp must be executed as soon as possible. At the last, Hamp had become a political tool and justice was another casualty of the war..
Publisher: British Home Entertainment, 1964.
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2016.
Branch Call Number: eVideo kanopy
Characteristics: 1 online resource (streaming video file) (83 minutes): digital, .flv file, sound

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