British director John Boorman’s personal memoirs breathe life into the drama that is the chronological sequel to his 1987 classic film, Hope and Glory.
1952. Bill Rohan is 18, waiting to be called up for two years’ conscription in the army. In the boot camp he meets Percy, an amoral prankster, and together they plot the downfall of Sergeant Major Bradley. After basic training many conscripts are shipped out to fight the Chinese in the Korean War, but Bill and Percy are assigned to the claustrophobic confines of a prison-like training camp, where they act as instructors to the newer recruits. The pressure is briefly relieved by excursions into the outside world, where Bill seeks out and falls in love with a troubled beauty. The hard-headed Percy meanwhile falls for Bill’s sister. The reality of war finally hits home when Bill is confronted with the shattered lives of wounded boys returning from Korea, including some of his former recruits.
»Hope and Glory was based on my childhood memories of the London Blitz and the contrasting idyllic days spent on the River Thames that my mother fled to when our house was destroyed. Queen and Country is set nine years on, in 1952, when I was eighteen and had to serve – as did every 18-year-old – two years’ conscription in the military. Many of the characters in the story are inspired by the people I met at that time and my own family.« (John Boorman)
Born in 1933 in London, Boorman attended Catholic school. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. He first made documentaries. His friendship with Lee Marvin allowed him to work in Hollywood, where he made his breakthrough films, Point Blank and Hell in the Pacific. He is considered to be one of the most prominent British filmmakers.