Deliberate mistake: The Messerschmitts have painted yellow fronts, this wasn't done by the Germans until after Dunkirk. Christopher Nolan has admitted doing this deliberately so the audience could tell the difference between the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt during the combat scenes.
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance
Factual error: In the scene towards the start of the film in Weymouth harbour, you can see the huge building which is Weymouth Pavilion, which was built in 1954, after the original 1909 building burnt down.
Revealing mistake: The ship set up for the capsize scene is supposedly mid channel and heading for England when it is bombed by the Heinkel, but it is at anchor.
Trivia: There are only two women with speaking parts in the whole film, with 47 words between them.
Trivia: In reality, Adolf Hitler ordered his commanders and troops to stand down and allow Allied forces to escape at Dunkirk. The German General von Blumentritt is quoted as saying "He (Hitler) then astonished us by speaking with admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilisation that Britain had brought into the world...He said that all he wanted from Britain was that she should acknowledge Germany's position on the Continent." But the exact reason for the order remains unknown.
Suggested correction: Hitler's controversial 'halt' order at Dunkirk had nothing to do with chivalry. The most widely accepted reason for the order is that the Wehrmacht Panzer units had been fighting continuously for two weeks, and badly needed some rest in preparation for Fall rot, phase two of the invasion of France. Infantry and air power continued to attack the Dunkirk pocket throughout the evacuation while the armoured units rested.
Commander Bolton: Well, we'll know in six hours' time.
Colonel Winnant: I thought the tides are every three.
Commander Bolton: Then it's a good that you're Army and I'm Navy, isn't it?
Lance-Corporal: The tide's turning now.
Colonel Winnant: How can you tell?
Lance-Corporal: The bodies are coming back.
Blind Man: Well done lads. Well done.
Alex: All we did is survive.
Blind Man: That's enough.
Question: Why did the spitfire pilot land on the beach at the end of the movie facing certain internment when he could have ditched and be taken back to Blighty?
Answer: After running out of fuel, he kept his craft aloft as long as he could so he could shoot down the enemy plane. He then landed when and where he safely could, which was on the beach but in enemy territory. Ditching a plane in water is dangerous and would have meant far less chance of survival.
Question: Why did Peter Dawson lie to the shell-shocked soldier about George and not retaliate or have him charged for George's death?
Answer: When George got injured, before he died, Peter did not understand what the soldier had been through. In fact he was honest with him when he asked if George was OK the first time. After he got to Dunkirk he saw what happens in war. What people went through. He understood why someone would be shell-shocked and empathized with the soldier more. After that he wanted to spare the soldiers feelings and not make him feel worse.
Question: A few minutes into the movie you see English troops all lined-up on the beach with no obvious means of evacuation. That leaves them very exposed to German gunfire and aerial attack. It would seem that the English soldiers would stay off the beach until actually called-up for evacuation. Not to mention the obvious requirement that some troops would have to stay off the beach to defend the evacuation area. How realistic are those scenes?
Answer: That's exactly how it was. If you search for images of the evacuation, the troops were stood in lines, waiting to be evacuated. The Germans were held at bay, and the air raids were periodic, so there was little risk on the beaches.
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