Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful

Pat O'Connor (2012)

12A Certificate


Our Score
A less lavish affair than Steven Spielberg's take on Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, this adaptation of another Morpurgo Great War saga avoids any hint of nostalgia in contrasting life in rustic England with war-scarred Flanders. Initially, director Pat O'Connor and screenwriter Simon Reade evoke Thomas Hardy in depicting the everyday experience of the ordinary folk working the Devon estate of colonel Richard Griffiths. But the mood turns more melodramatic when brothers Tommo (George MacKay) and Charlie Peaceful (Jack O'Connell) become rivals for a local beauty (Alexandra Roach) and then feud with a gruff sergeant (John Lynch) on the battlefield. The grime and the grind of the period is expertly re-created, but this potentially harrowing tale of military injustice is undermined by khaki cliché and the mawkish insistence of Rachel Portman's score. Nonetheless, the performances are admirable and the intentions unimpeachable.


Premiere. Two brothers living in the Devon countryside have always had a competitive relationship, especially when they fall in love with the same woman. When the younger signs up to fight in the First World War, his protective older sibling joins him, and the experience changes their relationship for ever. Drama based on Michael Morpurgo's novel, with Jack O'Connell, George MacKay and Richard Griffiths in his final film role.

Cast & Crew

Tommo Peaceful George MacKay
Charlie Peaceful Jack O'Connell (2)
Molly Monks Alexandra Roach
Grandma Wolf Frances de la Tour
The Colonel Richard Griffiths
Sergeant Hanley John Lynch
Hazel Peaceful Maxine Peake
Young Tommo Samuel Bottomley
Young Charlie Hero Fiennes-Tiffin
Young Molly Izzy Meikle-Small
Director Pat O'Connor
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Exile Media GroupGuidance: Some violence, swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 12 Oct 2012