Villains: The Last Englishman (1995)
Jim Broadbent plays Colonel Alfred D Wintle
Plot Summery: The title of this hour long film aptly describes the way Colonel Wintle saw himself and lived his eccentric and highly individual life. He had no patience for bureaucracy and red tape and did not even respect orders from his senior officers. He refused to stay in hospital or to be sent home when injured. "Has it escaped your notice? There is no fighting to be done in England." He is famed for single-handedly capturing a French Village during World War I only to later wind up in the Tower of London after attempting to shoot his commanding officer.
This true story begins with Wintle's funeral in the early 60's and is told via flashbacks, narrated by an elderly gentleman holding a solitary wake in a country pub. This old gentleman was Wintle's batman who made a seemingly miraculous recovery from mortal wounds sustained on The Somme, his recovery being solely due to Wintle marching to his death bed and specifically ordering him not to die!
Great insights into the mind of the character are also revealed by Wintle's interview on BBC radio's Desert Island Discs.
Patrick's comments: This is one of those typically eccentric English roles that Broadbent is so finely tuned to play to great comic effect. This film is part of a trilogy focusing on eccentric characters from history. The others star Rowan Atkinson and Jennifer Saunders.
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