Finest Hour: A Supercut of Dunkirk and Darkest Hour

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Finest Hour: A Supercut of Dunkirk and Darkest Hour
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2017
Original Running Time:
120 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
155 minutes
Available in HD:
image
Synopsis:
The year is 1940. As Hitler’s forces storm across Europe, Winston Churchill is elected the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His leadership is immediately tested when hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops become trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, with the Germans closing in. As the desperate battle for survival unfolds on land, sea and air, Churchill must fight his own battles to launch a daring rescue effort across the English Channel. This fan edit combines the intense frontline action of Dunkirk with the backroom political intrigue of Darkest Hour, to create an epic supercut that tells the full story of the Dunkirk evacuation
Intention:
Both films are excellent in their own way (they were both nominated for Best Picture) and they complement each other wonderfully because of their overlapping stories and conflicts. This is why I thought it would be a great opportunity to combine these two films into a single narrative
Additional Notes:
In addition to providing a color version of Finest Hour, I have also created a black & white version with added film grain. This is a totally different experience than the color version in my opinion, but it isn't for everyone which is why I am offering both versions. If you're into older war epics from the 50s/60s like The Longest Day, I'd highly recommend the black and white version...the cinematography is stunning in monochrome.
Special Thanks:
All of Fanedit.org!
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Blu-ray
  • Digital
Special Features:
Interactive Menus, Trailer Mashup by Joseph Vargas, Vintage Newsreel Footage of Dunkirk Evacuation, Authentic Recordings of Two Famous Churchill speeches, Black and White version of the feature.
Editing Details:
Dunkirk is around 100 minutes long and Darkest Hour is around 120 minutes long. This edit clocks in around 150 minutes, and slightly favors Dunkirk in terms of footage used. Before I get into specific cuts, the major thing I’d like to mention is that I have completely unwound the non-linear editing structure of Dunkirk. It was a very interesting way to depict three different timelines, but when combined with a completely different narrative (Darkest Hour), it just doesn’t work anymore. This presented the largest challenge for me on this project, since Dunkirk’s score and sound design are so closely intertwined with the film’s editing.

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.
Cuts and Additions:
Film begins with a credit sequence similar to Darkest Hour. Titles overtop archival WW2 footage, which then transitions to Neville Chamberlain being pushed out as PM.

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.
Ending

finesthour_disc1
finesthour_disc2
finesthour_coverart
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2017
Original Running Time:
120 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
155 minutes
Available in HD:
image
Synopsis:
The year is 1940. As Hitler’s forces storm across Europe, Winston Churchill is elected the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His leadership is immediately tested when hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops become trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, with the Germans closing in. As the desperate battle for survival unfolds on land, sea and air, Churchill must fight his own battles to launch a daring rescue effort across the English Channel. This fan edit combines the intense frontline action of Dunkirk with the backroom political intrigue of Darkest Hour, to create an epic supercut that tells the full story of the Dunkirk evacuation
Intention:
Both films are excellent in their own way (they were both nominated for Best Picture) and they complement each other wonderfully because of their overlapping stories and conflicts. This is why I thought it would be a great opportunity to combine these two films into a single narrative
Additional Notes:
In addition to providing a color version of Finest Hour, I have also created a black & white version with added film grain. This is a totally different experience than the color version in my opinion, but it isn't for everyone which is why I am offering both versions. If you're into older war epics from the 50s/60s like The Longest Day, I'd highly recommend the black and white version...the cinematography is stunning in monochrome.
Special Thanks:
All of Fanedit.org!
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Blu-ray
  • Digital
Special Features:
Interactive Menus, Trailer Mashup by Joseph Vargas, Vintage Newsreel Footage of Dunkirk Evacuation, Authentic Recordings of Two Famous Churchill speeches, Black and White version of the feature.
Editing Details:
Dunkirk is around 100 minutes long and Darkest Hour is around 120 minutes long. This edit clocks in around 150 minutes, and slightly favors Dunkirk in terms of footage used. Before I get into specific cuts, the major thing I’d like to mention is that I have completely unwound the non-linear editing structure of Dunkirk. It was a very interesting way to depict three different timelines, but when combined with a completely different narrative (Darkest Hour), it just doesn’t work anymore. This presented the largest challenge for me on this project, since Dunkirk’s score and sound design are so closely intertwined with the film’s editing.

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.
Cuts and Additions:
Film begins with a credit sequence similar to Darkest Hour. Titles overtop archival WW2 footage, which then transitions to Neville Chamberlain being pushed out as PM.

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.
Cover art by eldusto84 (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

Ending

Trusted Reviewer reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(4)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(4)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(4)
Narrative
 
10.0(4)
Enjoyment
 
9.8(4)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I enjoyed the original The Darkest Hour a bit more than I enjoyed Dunkirk, but in this edit the balance actually works very well between them.
One of the highlights here is the impressive perfection of all the audio and video edits.

The narrative becomes a different beast, shifting between London (the political, rhetoric and moral battle) to Dunkirk (the real, messy and desperate fight for survival). Some reviewers here said the this change in tone doesn’t work, but for me it worked very well. The film now alternates between intense tension and suspense (war council) with terror, fear and suffering (on the beach). For me (who liked the original The Darkest Hour more than Dunkirk) this works very well in contrasting the reality of what’s happening on the front line against the political battle, improving an already perfect drama following Churchill’s struggles.

Yes, the tone shifts are there but I’d argue that’s what makes it work; the 2 realities shown are completely different experiences of the same war, so the different cinematography, color palette and directing techniques are simply reflecting that. The final narrative, the flow of the story and the pacing are all impressively refined and polished.

The change of the Dunkirk part no longer being non-linear also improve things a lot. The whole story is now full linear and I found the characters and events feel a lot more grounded and real because of it.

Thank you for this masterfully done narrative building and editing. It keeps the best of both films and the final result is a masterpiece of filmmaking.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Tremendously effective; whatever is lost by abandoning the ingenious formal experiments of Dunkirk is more than made up by giving what was otherwise a fine but unexpectional biopic (Darkest Hour) a keen sense of the battlefield consequences of risky and human political choices. Can't wait to watch this again, I look forward to checking out the black-and-white version, which I suspect will combine the two sources even more seamlessly.
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is a brilliant edit. It moves so smoothly between films and tells a complete story. It never feels like two movies mashed together, but a well though out storyline. One of my favorite edits I've seen in a long time.
Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I hate seeing a review with perfect 10s because I always think "that can't possibly be a PERFECT film", however, I just can't justify taking a star rating off anywhere. I could quibble about how effective this narrative is, but the fact is it's a masterful piece of editing that brings both films to an emotional climax that neither fully managed on its own. I could nitpick about wanting the films to be intercut more, but where is there actually an organic place to do that early in Dunkirk? I could say that this isn't my most enjoyed movie ever, so no "10", but I DID enjoy it more than either of the original films. In the end, this is simply the only way I'll rewatch either of these, so despite any slight complaints, I have to give this full marks all around.

So what is lost compared to the original films? Well, for the most part, not much that you'll miss. (Some SPOILERS for each film necessary from here on...) The beginning of this film is heavier with scenes from Darkest Hour, setting up the mess that Churchill inherited, and the pressure he faced to surrender and give up on the lives of Britain's soldiery. That film is thematically focused on his efforts to find just the right words to persuade people and inspire them in...ahem...their darkest hour. To this end, it goes to great pains to show how he relied on both his wife and personal secretary to keep grounded and hopeful. While it is unfortunate that many of those scenes are lost (along with the questionable 'Churchill take the Tube' scene), honestly they just flesh out the film and are not the strongest elements. The theme of the power of Churchill's exact words is kind of sublimated in this cut, but really the speeches stand on their own so it works in the time given.

As this film goes on, it relies more and more on Dunkirk footage, focusing on the struggles to get the soldiers evacuated and off the beach. The contributions of both the citizen Navy and the British air support play out linearly here, which works better imho. Not a whole lot feels lost from Dunkirk actually, excepting for the subplot of the French soldier. I did rather miss the reveal that he was not simply an astonishingly quiet lad, as all the hints are still present, but it's understandable that it would distract from the new, joined narrative. To me, Dunkirk's theme was actually in how all of Britain rallied and did their part, a sort of tribute to the stoic, modest, head-down courageousness of the average citizenry. But whereas in a film like The Hobbit series, that theme is beat to death with swelling music and incessant speeches, it got rather lost in all the tense drama of Dunkirk. Here, it's actually improved and brought out more strongly through being intercut with Churchill's speeches and a linearly-building narrative.

When you put these films together, it's plain that the stronger elements are in Dunkirk. I quite like Joe Wright and composer Dario Marianelli, but Nolan and Zimmer are just operating on a-whole-nother level. However, their work in Dunkirk could actually get overwhelming. The combination of the four artists here alternates between tension and pressure, physical and psychological, so that the end result is more keenly felt. The whole affair looks and sounds stunning, with much of Zimmer's score being used, but toned down a bit so as to not drown out dialogue. There is both a color and black & white version of this available, and I think I have to give the slight edge to the B&W. The two films have significantly different color grades, and while the regrading work on this edit is great, the B&W just ties it together perfectly and the lighting looks so crisp and impressive that way.

All in all, I was very impressed with this edit. At the beginning, it feels like we're watching a little too much of each film without cutting back to the other, really feeling like two separate movies. However, the intercutting picks up and is more artfully done as the story goes on, leading to one of the most impressive endings of a fan-edit I've ever seen. I do miss the character exploration of Darkest Hour, and the unending tension of Dunkirk, but I wasn't keen to rewatch either. This combination keeps the best of both, and has become my preferred way to rewatch. I highly recommend seeking it out.

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13 reviews
 
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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(13)
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9.9(13)
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9.9(13)
Narrative
 
9.2(13)
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9.3(13)
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Awesome edit! The edits here are basically perfect, and the difference in style between Dunkirk and Darkest Hour add a unique dynamic between how the two parts of the story feel in relation to each other. Every cut or edit or rescore looks and sounds great. I watched the monochrome version and it looks amazing and helps keep this edit distinct from its two sources. It won't replace either movie for me, but it instead will act as a standalone experience going forward.

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This is truly a perfect fan-edit; a brilliant and creative concept executed flawlessly. Every edit was cinema-quality, which is not easy to pull off with a Zimmer score! Although I enjoyed both original films, I would recommend this edit over either one in isolation.

The question, then, is not whether to watch this edit, but how best to watch it. The two original films have drastically different color grading, which remains jarring despite the editor's immense efforts to remedy the issue. For that reason, I prefer the black-and-white version. However, for the sake of completeness, I should mention the two scenes which do not work as well in grayscale. First, there are a few brief (3-5 seconds) underwater shots from "Dunkirk" which the black-and-white version blurs into incomprehensible gray. This is a nitpick. Second, the striking visual of black oil creeping across crystal-blue waters in "Dunkirk" is almost entirely lost in grayscale, as the oil and the sea are largely indistinguishable from one another. However, the presence of oil in the water is still made abundantly clear through dialogue, and it can also be seen on the soldiers' faces and clothing. In terms of narrative, absolutely no clarity is lost in the black-and-white version.
Personally, I will gladly sacrifice a few cool visuals for a more uniform color grade, but those who don't find the color differences jarring may disagree with me.

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What a brilliant Movie this is.
Yes, this is the Movie, not an Edit or anything, because both Movies compliment each other now.
The missing background from Dunkirk is here now and the emotions thru that, are even higher now.

Flawless cutting and editing.
As you can see, my second rewiev on the same Movie because this is my go to Version now.

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Loved both these movies but after watching this definitely believe that it's an improvement to both. Darkest Hour improved with the pace and Dunkirk originally lacked background. A brilliant edit and the picture/sound quality was exceptional.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
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Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
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All this effort and for what ??
For a very good watch !!!

This is a very good and very enjoyable edit. It moves very good between the movies, cuts here and there and still you see the whole picture without as much as a crack. Very smoothly.
I like both Originals very much, and bringin them together is as Bold as it clever.

The Storyline makes sense, and you see the Political side as well as the "felt" side, beeing the Soldiers that had to live with each and every decision made for them.
I agree with one of my fellow reviewers: It never feels like two movies mashed together, but a well though out storyline.

I will watch both films as individuals again at some point and i will revisit this one too.
Brilliant achievement !

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