The Great War is in its final year. The Germans are preparing one last great offensive. In the trenches a war-weary company, under their reserve commanding officer, Captain Stanhope, wait to take the brunt of the fierce attack. Jeremy played Captain Stanhope in this film of the R C Sheriff play.
Set in the trenches at Saint-Quentin, France, in 1918 towards the end of the First World War, Journey’s End gives a glimpse into the experiences of the officers of a British Army infantry company in World War I. The entire story plays out in the officers’ dugout over four days from 18 March 1918 to 21 March 1918.
Sheriff considered calling it “Suspense” and “Waiting”, but eventually found a title in the closing line of a chapter of an unmentioned book: “It was late in the evening when we came at last to our journey’s end.”
Adapted for television in 1988, starring Jeremy Northam as Stanhope, Edward Petherbridge as Osborne and Timothy Spall as Trotter, it held close to the original script although there were changes, the most obvious being the inclusion of the raid on camera (which was done off-stage in the theatre production), and is frequently still shown in conjunction with study of the written play at an academic level.
Did you know? Music for this adaptation was composed by Carl Davis, who later went on to pen the score for the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which featured Jeremy’s Possession co-star, Jennifer Ehle, as Elizabeth Bennet.