Finest Hour: A Supercut of Dunkirk and Darkest HourFeatured
- NTSC DVD-5
- Blu-Ray (BD-50)
For example, Tom Hardy’s first aerial battle over Mark Rylance’s boat is spread across Dunkirk’s middle runtime and contains several different music cues depending on what other scenes it is intercut with. For my edit, I wanted it to be a single, continuous scene that showed the fight from the air and sea perspective. To do that, I had to piece together the separate shots and determine when they took place chronologically. This made the accompanying music unusable since it jumped all over, but thankfully the center channel of the 5.1 retained the dialogue and SFX by themselves. This allowed me to insert one of Hans Zimmer’s cues from the score and basically lay it over this newly edited scene. I had to take this approach to the entirety of Dunkirk, and it made for a unique but fun challenge.
Many of Darkest Hour's opening scenes have been shuffled around or removed entirely, including the scenes with Churchill at home or anything with his wife and family. They are nice subplots but for the sake of pacing and structure, they don't serve much purpose in Finest Hour.
The opening sequence from Dunkirk is introduced around the 20-minute mark, after Churchill is first briefed on the dire situation in Europe. Dunkirk's opening text screens have been removed.
We cut back and forth between Churchill's war cabinet scenes and the ongoing beach scenes from Dunkirk. Remember, this edit removes the non-linear timeline from Dunkirk, so the "Sea" and "Air" portions don't come into play until later.
A few scenes from Darkest Hour now have Hans Zimmer's score from Dunkirk laid over them, which helps the two films feel more connected.
We are introduced to Mark Rylance and the "Sea" portion of Dunkirk around the 70-minute mark, after Churchill issues the order to requisition civilian boats for the Dunkirk evacuation.
The subplot with Halifax and Chamberlain trying to oust Churchill remains in the edit. Makes for very interesting backroom drama!
Tom Hardy and the "Air" portion of Dunkirk comes into play around the 90-minute mark.
From this point, it's mostly all Dunkirk except in chronological order now. A totally different experience! Even after watching the original film 3-4 times, I still couldn't make sense of some of the changing timeline strands. This edit simplifies that without really losing much dramatic impact, in my opinion.
I edited George's death scene on the boat to a music track by Dario Marianelli from Darkest Hour. It really makes his character stand out more, just having some softer music playing while he talks about wanting to be in the local paper.
King George visits Churchill to encourage him to fight. This scene is more than enough motivation for when he goes before his outer cabinet and rallies his supporters. The London Underground/subway scene has been completely removed.
Several action sequences from Dunkirk have been re-edited and scored due to the original film's non-linear structure.
The film concludes with Churchill giving his "we shall fight on" speech intercut with Dunkirk's ending. I even cut back and forth between Churchill delivering lines alongside Fionn Whitehead's character reading his speech in the paper.
Okay I have to take a moment and ask @eldusto84 HOW DID YOU DO THIS? It's absolutely incredible. I loved Dunkirk and Darkest Hour as their own films, but I'm stunned how much better they worked as a merged up movie. Cutting out the outside-of-politics Churchill scenes were a little tough given their purpose and great acting in Darkest Hour... but the decision totally works in the context of this WWII focused film. The quality of acting is seamlessly top notch from the direction Joe Wright (Darkest Hour) and Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), working hand in hand with the movies merged up. The editing is sleek with no apparent visual or audio issues. And as noted in a previous review this is now my go-to edit for the Dunkirk story, rather than watch two different movies covering the event. Great job!!
I love both Dunkirk and The Darkest Hour separately, but this fanedit has been my go-to version of this story on film ever since I first encountered it on Maple Film's site around two years ago. It is an incredible technical achievement and a film that I consider to be a benchmark in how to successfully combine two films into one. 10/10, hard recommend.