1917 is a 2019 British war film directed and produced by Sam Mendes, and written by Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The film stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, with Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch in supporting roles. It is partially inspired by stories told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes, about his time serving in World War I. Taking place soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich, the film follows two young British soldiers who are ordered to deliver a message calling off a doomed offensive attack. This message is especially important to one of the soldiers because his brother will be part of the attack.
The project was officially announced in June 2018, with MacKay and Chapman signing on in October and the rest of the cast the following March. Filming took place from April to June 2019 in the UK, with cinematographer Roger Deakins and editor Lee Smith using long takes to have the entire film appear as two continuous shots.
1917 premiered in the UK on 4 December 2019 and was released theatrically in the United States on 25 December by Universal Pictures and in the United Kingdom on 10 January 2020 by Entertainment One. The film received critical praise and was a box office success, grossing $384 million worldwide.
Among its numerous accolades it received ten nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, and three wins, for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Mixing. It was the last film to win the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing before the category was combined with Best Sound Editing as a single award for Best Sound. The film also won Best Picture at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, 73rd BAFTA Film Awards, and PGA Awards, while Mendes won Best Director at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and DGA Awards. The film was also chosen by both the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute as one of the top ten films of 2019.