The Winslow Boy (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Winslow Boy (1999)



Critic Consensus: Smart and engaging, The Winslow Boy finds David Mamet bringing his talents to bear on period drama, with easily commendable results.

Movie Info

England, 1912. The Winslow family arrives home from church in time for a carefully orchestrated meeting between Arthur Winslow, the proud patriarch, and John Watherstone, the young man set to marry Arthur's daughter Catherine, an ardent suffragette. As plans are made for their lives together, Arthur, his wife Grace, Catherine, her eldest brother Dickie, John, and Desmond Curry, the family lawyer and Catherine's admirer, drink Madeira in celebration of the union. Just after the family toasts, Arthur discovers that his youngest son, Ronnie, is back early from the Naval College at Osbourne--dismissed for stealing a five shilling postal note. Arthur asks his son if he is guilty, explaining "If you tell me a lie, I shall know it, because a lie between you and me can't be hidden." Ronnie swears that he is innocent. Arthur dedicates himself to clearing his son of the charges. After obtaining no satisfaction from the school, he decides to retain the well known attorney, Sir Robert Morton. Since he is a conservative opposed to women's suffrage, Catherine is opposed to hiring Morton. In Sir Robert's chambers Desmond explains their predicament: the legal assumption is that the Admiralty and the Crown can do no wrong and cannot be sued. However, by a matter of grace, such a petition can be granted by the Attorney General, allowing the case to come to court.

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Nigel Hawthorne
as Arthur Winslow
Jeremy Northam
as Sir Robert Morton
Rebecca Pidgeon
as Catherine Winslow
Gemma Jones
as Grace Winslow
Matthew Pidgeon
as Dickie Winslow
Guy Edwards
as Ronnie Winslow
Colin Stinton
as Desmond Curry
Aden Gillett
as John Watherstone
Eve Bland
as Suffragette
Sara Stewart
as Miss Barnes
Alan Polonsky
as Mr. Michaels
Alan Polanski
as Mr. Michaels
Neil North
as First Lord of the Admiralty
Jim Dunk
as Colleague
Duncan Gould
as Commons Reporter
Ian Soundy
as Local Reporter
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Critic Reviews for The Winslow Boy

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9)

What began as a transformation of borrowed material by adroit stagecraft has lately become a demonstration of a movie maker's finesse in adaptation.

November 30, 2017 | Full Review…

The real drama isn't about poor little Ronnie, but about the passions he has unleashed in his household -- between his parents, and between his sister and her suitors, declared and undeclared.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

An intelligent and very satisfying work of art.

November 15, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Arthur Winslow and Sir Robert Morton are as ruthless in their way as the real estate salesmen in Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross are in theirs...

March 23, 2009 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

The filmmaking seems to be stuck in 1912.

July 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The Winslow Boy might be triumph of style over substance, but sometimes, like in this case, style is what separates good from bad films.

March 2, 2005 | Rating: 6/10

Audience Reviews for The Winslow Boy

In general, I shun the period pieces but this one needs to be viewed. Here we have a case of a boy from an upper crust family who denies stealing a five shilling postal note and the attempt by his out of touch family to take the matter to trial. While the rest of society sees the coming of war with chills, here we have active lobbying for the poor "Winslow Boy".

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer



Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

Good period drama if a bit studied. The performances couldn't be better though.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The Winslow Boy Quotes

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