My Boy Jack

DirectorBrian Kirk
ScreenplayDavid Haig
StarringDaniel Radcliffe
David Haig
Kim Cattrall

Based on the true story of Rudyard Kipling trying to pull strings and use his influence in high places to get his short-sighted son into the armed forces for the First World War. The rest of the family are less than impressed at risking Jack's life for a noble cause of serving King and Country.

This film was shown on British TV to commemorate Remembrance Day. It has to be said that this film is far superior to most made-for-TV dramas indeed it puts many blockbusters to shame. The screenplay and acting are faultless. The actors and actresses all put in compelling performance. Indeed David Haig really did become Rudyard Kipling.

The film is great at showing the early war bravado and innocence. The expectations are for a glorious and noble test of manhood. What actually met them on the battlefield was beyond comprehension. Jack plays his part to perfection, wanting to serve his country as dutifully as he could and yet he would become just one more achingly painful statistic. One that was made all the more poignant to Rudyard by the fact that it was his actions that had allowed his son to cut corners and die on a muddy battlefield on the Western Front. Bravery and willingness to fight counted for little on the industrial battlefield. Slaughter was the name of the game.

The film really comes into its own with the news that Jack is missing on the bloody battlefield of Loos. In many ways, the missing in action sobriquet was worse than the finality of death. The Kiplings would embark on a heart-wrenching journey to discover the fate of their loved one. Needless to say, the film comes to a sad conclusion as Rudyard still tries to convince himself of the value of his son's death.

ITV have a page dedicated to the film which even shows the film in its entirety (at least for a while): My Boy Jack


Media | Silver Screen

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe