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Glorious 39 (2009)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 2,058

My Rating

Movie Info

A woman makes a surprising discovery with dangerous consequences in this period suspense thriller, set in 1939. Anne Keyes (Romola Garai) is an attractive young woman who is enjoying modest success as a film actress; she's also the adopted daughter of Alexander Keyes (Bill Nighy), a career politician and member of Parliament. Anne still lives in the family home with her father, mother Maud (Jenny Agutter), budding diplomat brother Ralph (Eddie Redmayne) and socialite sister Celia (Juno Temple).


Drama, Horror, Romance, Mystery & Suspense

Feb 15, 2011

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (12)

A political yarn - sometimes creepy, sometimes daft - in the Hitchcockian vein.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite a few convincing turns, the feature is disappointingly winded, eventually going off on a few needless tangents that derail the whole production.

February 14, 2011 Full Review Source:

An enjoyable conspiracy thriller in the manner of John Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May.

November 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Not glorious. Not good. Just plain old-fashioned duff.

November 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Prestigious and serious-minded, but it's still nonsense.

November 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent on Sunday
Independent on Sunday

Stupendous turn from Romola Garai in the lead role but, while this sets up intrigue and atmosphere well, the plot devices creak audibly towards the end.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Poliakoff's flaccid script and indulgent cut undermines a beautifully shot thriller with an excellent cast and original central idea.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

For all its sumptuous production design, Steven Poliakoff's tale of glamorous toffs and treason is so laboured and slow that it's practically pensionable.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A ripping, old-school conspiracy thriller.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian

A bizarrely tasteless pet-euthanasia subplot -- clumsy parallels with the Holocaust abound -- is merely the wackiest turn the wildly unconvincing script takes: it's well below Poliakoff's more intelligent TV work.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Trapped in a perilous zone between TV and cinema, this wartime conspiracy thriller ploughs through an improbable plot with all the urgency of a snail going through wet concrete.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Unfortunately, Stephen Poliakoff's tale of wartime skulduggery should have stayed on paper. The sort you can flush. Tedious, overlong and laughably unconvincing, the only remarkable thing about it is Bill Nighy's performance. Specifically, how bad it is.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Poliakoff's conspiracy thriller about Hitler-pleasers and appalling aristos comes with all the bucolic loveliness you'd expect. But its biggest boost comes from Garai, whose fragile, hypnotic turn should make the actress a gong contender.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

There's much to admire in the film, such as sequences of the often forgotten panic when family pets were systematically put down as war became inevitable, but there's quite a lot to argue about too.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Poliakoff cleverly translates the mood of fear and uncertainty in Britain into a dark psychological maze that leads Anne to the edge of insanity.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

As a director of child actors, Poliakoff is hopeless. Worst of all, he seems not to have seen many movie thrillers in the past 20 years, for the pacing is pedestrian and the camerawork static, more redolent of bad episodes of Midsomer Murders.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Stephen Poliakoff performs his usual routine of conjuring an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue for the first hour and failing to fulfil it in the second.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

The cast is impressive - Julie Christie, Jenny Agutter, David Tennant, Hugh Bonneville, Christopher Lee - though more astonishing is why any of them were tempted into such tosh.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent

Romola Garai is extremely good but the film is an elegant disappointment.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Poliakoff gives the finale a feverish intensity that's genuinely shocking and works surprisingly well.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for Glorious 39

Odd movie. I didn't really understand what the point of it all was..
May 6, 2013

Super Reviewer

A woman uncovers a conspiracy involving her adopting family during the start of the Second World War.
It's always fun to watch Bill Nighy do anything; I'd probably pay to see a film of him reading the phone book, but even Nighy can't save this film. The plot is quite predictable, and some of the conflicts remind me of my complaints about A Room with a View - banal, upperclass issues made into plot points. Also, Romola Garai does not make for a convincing thriller protagonist. She doesn't seem clever enough to figure out the film's plot, and the moments when the film forces her to "be suspenseful" fail because she doesn't seem to raise the stakes of her performance.
Overall, a bad performance by the lead combines to create a film that makes no sense as a thriller.
August 5, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

This movie demonstrates the lengths some will go in the name of "what's best" for the country (whatever that country may be). Well acted but the pace is way too slow! The end was such a large dose of cheese, I feel to could constipate many!
February 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

Set in beautiful surroundings this conspiracy thriller has many fine moments but is a little long winded which lessens the considerable tension it manages to build at points. All the performances are good the two standouts being Romola Garai in the lead and Julie Christie who plays an atypical role with silky malevolence.
February 17, 2011
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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