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DCA Archive

The Guns of Loos

Centenary screening with live score

As part of the national commemorations to mark the centenary of the Battle of Loos (known as Dundee’s Flodden), we present an exclusive screening of The Guns of Loos, with a specially commissioned live score, ahead of a tour across Scotland. This long-forgotten feature was made in 1927, just twelve years after the terrible events it depicts, and it has not been screened in Scotland since the ‘30s. 

The Guns of Loos marked a bold new approach to depicting the war on screen. Previous British war film concentrated on highly detailed, documentary-style reconstructions of particular battles, with little attempt at drama or character. For this film, the striking recreations of the conflict at Loos provide the backdrop to an intense psychological drama about a factory owner, John Grimlaw (Henry Victor), whose dictatorial manner and apparent nerves of steel quickly unravel when faced with the horrors of war. Grimlaw’s subsequent mental breakdown threatens to lose him the love of Diana (the wonderful Madeleine Carroll in her film debut), while his absence leads to industrial unrest at the factory. Combining strong performances with outstanding cinematography, the film received rave reviews on its release in 1928, with many critics declaring it the best war film ever made. However, along with many other great films of its era, it was quickly forgotten during the talkie revolution which followed in 1929.

The Great War Dundee partnership in association with DCA have commissioned a new live musical score for the film by one of the UK’s leading silent film composers and performers, Stephen Horne. Unseen in this country since its initial release, this is a unique event and is definitely not to be missed.

Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network.