PopPolitics: Saul Dibb on the Century-Old Lessons of War in ‘Journey’s End’ (Listen)

WASHINGTON — Saul Dibb’s “Journey’s End” is being released 100 years to the week after its subject takes place: The trenches of France during World War I, as a group of British soldiers awaits an almost certain German offensive that will likely mean casualties.

The movie, which is based on R.C. Sherriff’s famous play of the same name, features relatively few combat scenes. Rather, it is focused on the psychological impact of waiting for almost certain death. Sam Claflin stars as one of the officers, the shell-shocked Captain Stanhope. Asa Butterfield plays the still-innocent and eager Second Lt. Raleigh, who is startled by Stanhope’s condition, having known him before the war.

“It was a huge waste and an unavoidable war,” Dibb tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “I think all reminders of war that look at the impact on men, and now women, involved are useful to see what the cost of conflict is.”

He said that the film captures what is still true for soldiers in combat: “95% of their time is spent waiting, and when the action comes, it is very short and very traumatic.”

Sherriff originally wanted to call his work “Waiting.”

“What we do in the film is say, ‘There is this enormous attack coming. All these men know they are coming. The chain of command has said, ‘Go to the front,’ and they are not allowed to leave.”

He added, “They are in this unbearably tense situation, hoping that their six days at the front will go without the attack coming, and of course it doesn’t.”

He said that the play, which debuted in 1928, was “way ahead of its time in looking at the psychological impact of war,” including what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. But he also said that it had a big impact in the late 1920s because it challenged “this noble idea of dying for your country.”

Listen below:

PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, airs from 2-3 p.m. ET/11-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

More Politics

  • Robert Mueller Report

    Robert Mueller Agrees to Publicly Testify to Congress

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17, the committee chairmen announced on Tuesday. Mueller has resisted testifying, saying the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and obstruction ought to speak for itself. In a public statement on May 29, he said that any [...]


    Quality Control's Coach K Says Abortion Ban Has Already Impacted Business in Atlanta

    A who’s who of black entertainment and tech filled the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom on June 22 for the 4th annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch. Honorees included Byron Allen, who received the Icon Award; actress and executive producer Marsai Martin, who was named Innovator of the Year; and Quality Control Music founders [...]

  • Wyclef Jeans Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can

    Wyclef Jean Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can be Re-Elected'

    Wyclef Jean, the actor and rapper who performed the 2016 song “If I Was President,” is no stranger to politics, after trying to run for president of his native Haiti in 2010. At Cannes Lions, the annual advertising conference in the South of France, Jean talked about the future of music but his conversation with [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Refused to Answer Committee's Questions 155 Times

    Fox communications chief Hope Hicks refused to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee on 155 separate occasions during closed-door testimony, the committee chairman said Thursday. The committee released a transcript of the hearing on Thursday afternoon. Prior to the hearing, President Trump directed Hicks not to answer questions about her service as a senior [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Gives Closed-Door Interview on Mueller Probe

    Hope Hicks appeared at the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning to give closed-door testimony on her involvement in the special counsel investigation of President Trump. The Fox communications chief was subpoenaed in May to provide documents and testimony that would aid in the committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice. After extensive negotiation, Hicks agreed [...]

  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz al

    Saudi Crown Prince Should Be Investigated Over Khashoggi Killing, U.N. Report Says

    Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be investigated in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of “credible evidence” that the prince is among those liable for the dissident journalist’s death, a United Nations report said Wednesday. While no “smoking gun” has yet been found that directly incriminates the prince [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content