Their Finest

Synopsis: During the London Blitz of World War II, Catrin Cole is recruited by the British Ministry of Information to write scripts for propaganda films that the public will actually watch without scoffing. In the line of her new duties, Cole investigates the story of two young women who supposedly piloted a boat in the Dunkirk Evacuation. Although it proved a complete misapprehension, the story becomes the basis for a fictional film with some possible appeal. As Cole labors to write the script with her new colleagues such as Tom Buckley, veteran actor Ambrose Hilliard must accept that his days as a leading man are over as he joins the project. Together, this disparate trio must struggle against such complications such as sexism against Cole, jealous relatives, and political interference in their artistic decisions even as London endures the bombs of the enemy. In the face of those challenges, they share a hope to contribute something meaningful in this time of war and in their own lives.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Lone Scherfig
Production: EuropaCorp / STXfilms
  1 win & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min


What's the matter, Mrs. James?

You'd better have a good rest tonight.

It's these 12-hour shifts.

I had some bad news this morning, miss.

My Jim's missing.

Oh, try not to worry.

I'm sure he'll turn up.

Oh, I do hope so, miss.

I expect I'll feel better

when I've had a cup of tea.

That's right. It's finishing time now.

A million bullets

for dispatch by the morning?

But, I tell you, the girls have done

ten hours today already.

Yes, I realize how urgent it is.

But you can't expect these girls to work

14 hours a stretch.

All right, I'll ask them.

She doesn't have to ask us.

A million bullets by the morning.

All right, come on, girls.

It's got to be done.

Stop. Stop there.

Stop the bus there.

All right, can't go no further.

Passengers for Bloomsbury,

you're on foot from here.

Thank you.

- Mmm-hmm.

- This way, miss.

"A million bullets by morning"?

No wonder the audience booed.

- Or snored.

- We learn from our mistakes.

I would have shot the writers,

not the picture.

Authenticity, that's what we're after now.

Authenticity informed by optimism.

You think I don't understand

to give an audience optimism?

I have three grandsons in the forces.

Your company reputation

is founded primarily on comedy.

The highest-grossing British picture

of the year was a comedy. Mine.

And Mr. Buckley here wrote it.

Yes, and very entertaining it was, too,

but if we are to capture the public

imagination and their trust,

we need more than fat policemen

toppling off ladders.

We need a story to inspire a nation.

Give me a real brief, Mr. Swain,

and I swear, I will bring you

a picture to win the war.

Or at least one to cheer us up

if we carry on losing it.

So, please, tell us what it is you want.

You have your brief, Mr. Baker.

Authenticity and optimism.

Right, so I'll look for a story.

So sorry. Monstrous of us

to have kept you waiting.

Welcome to the Ministry

of Information Film Division.

Roger Swain.

You must be Miss Cole.

- Mrs.

- Ah, splendid. Please, take a seat.

Husband in the forces?

He volunteers as an air-raid warden,

but he wasn't fit for conscription.

He fought in the war in Spain.

Splendid, that's splendid.

Now, about the job.

We need to cultivate a more convincing

female angle in our output.

Mr. Buckley here has been appointed

to the department as a special adviser.

Not special enough to get paid, obviously.

He seems to think you're what we need.

I said "might be." She can't be worse

than those chaps you've got.

- Did you write this?

- Mmm-hmm.

It was wrapped around my chips.

I was the secretary

at the copywriting department,

but all the copywriters got called up.

"So-Be-Fee. It ain't beef,

but it ain't bad,

'cause sometimes you just have

to make do with what you've got."

Ah, splendid.

Ministry wages start at three and ten.

And obviously, we can't pay you

as much as the chaps,

so shall we say 2 a week?

Thank you.

- You a cinemagoer?

- Yes.

Then you'll be familiar

with informationals.

We sandwich them between the support

and the main feature,

so the public to be informed

don't have time to escape.

What to do in an air raid.

Get under cover at once.

Don't stand staring at the sky.

Take cover at once.

You'll find a page of script equates

to a minute of screen time

or roughly 80 yards of celluloid,

or it would if directors

didn't squander the film stock

as if it were lavatory paper.

Speaking of which,

ladies' is last door on the left.

I wouldn't risk the other facilities

if I were you.

I thought it was a secretarial post.

Oh, for God's sake, keep that to yourself.

What did they say,

the War Artists Committee?

They find my interpretations

altogether too brutal and dispiriting.

I saw April today.

She and Tony have made up

ever such a clever code,

so he can write to her

about what he's doing.

"The village green,"

that means "England."

"Onion soup" is "France."

There's a word for "regiment,"

and one for "troop train."

Do you really have

to smoke that thing?

- Couldn't you just mime?

- I can mime smoking.

I can't mime smoke.

That's a cut.

I wonder, would it be possible

to have some knitting?

My hands are aching for something to do,

and it seems so right for the character.

- Props!

- Yeah, I'll try and find some knitting.

Walter, a word.

I fully understand the national

importance of what we're shooting,

and obviously there's no question

of diluting the message.

I just...

Wonder if it mightn't pack

a little more punch

if Mr. Brown were

to express a little more.

For example, at the mention

of the clever code,

I might say, "Well, that'll be

the first clever thing

April's ever done in her life."

Do you see?

So, just a... Just a...

Just a dash of humor.

And then further along...

- Excuse me.

- Hello.

- Hello.

- Oh, certainly.

Oh, no, no, no.

It's just that the caption

at the end's going to be,

"He's not listening,

but the enemy might be."

It's a joke for women who think

their husbands never pay attention.

So if you start answering her,

well, the caption won't make sense.

You're so much better

than all the rest of them.

All the rest of them manage

to put food on the table.

Ellis, I had a meeting today...

about a new job.

They offered it to me.

2 a week.

You know, Perry wants you

to model for him.

I told him only I'm allowed to paint you.

You only ever put me in

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Gaby Chiappe

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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