Glorious 39 (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Glorious 392009

Glorious 39 (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Glorious 39 Photos

Movie Info

A woman makes a surprising discovery with dangerous consequences in this period suspense thriller, set in 1939. Anne Keyes (Romola Garai) is an attractive young woman who is enjoying modest success as a film actress; she's also the adopted daughter of Alexander Keyes (Bill Nighy), a career politician and member of Parliament. Anne still lives in the family home with her father, mother Maud (Jenny Agutter), budding diplomat brother Ralph (Eddie Redmayne) and socialite sister Celia (Juno Temple). One night, Hector (David Tennant), one of Alexander's friends, stops by for dinner and during a heated conversation makes no secret of his disapproval of prime minister Neville Chamberlain and his efforts to appease Adolph Hitler's Nazi regime. Another dinner guest, Balcombe (Jeremy Northam) doesn't care for what Hector has to say, and later that evening, Hector is found dead, an apparent suicide. Anne, however, begins to suspect foul play when she finds a set of phonograph records that document conversations of men discussing state intelligence secrets. When Anne ties to share this discovery with others, they're soon found dead, and she's no longer certain what she should do with these deadly secrets. Glorious 39 was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Romola Garai
as Anne Keyes
Bill Nighy
as Sir Alexander Keyes
Julie Christie
as Aunt Elizabeth
Eddie Redmayne
as Ralph Keyes
Juno Temple
as Celia Keyes
Charlie Cox
as Lawrence
Christopher Lee
as Walter Page
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Critic Reviews for Glorious 39

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7)

A political yarn - sometimes creepy, sometimes daft - in the Hitchcockian vein.

November 20, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

For all its sumptuous production design, Steven Poliakoff's tale of glamorous toffs and treason is so laboured and slow that it's practically pensionable.

November 20, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A ripping, old-school conspiracy thriller.

November 20, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A bizarrely tasteless pet-euthanasia subplot -- clumsy parallels with the Holocaust abound -- is merely the wackiest turn the wildly unconvincing script takes: it's well below Poliakoff's more intelligent TV work.

November 20, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

There's much to admire in the film, such as sequences of the often forgotten panic when family pets were systematically put down as war became inevitable, but there's quite a lot to argue about too.

November 20, 2009 | Rating: 3/5

Stephen Poliakoff performs his usual routine of conjuring an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue for the first hour and failing to fulfil it in the second.

November 20, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Glorious 39


Odd movie. I didn't really understand what the point of it all was..

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

A woman uncovers a conspiracy involving her adopting family during the start of the Second World War. It's always fun to watch Bill Nighy do anything; I'd probably pay to see a film of him reading the phone book, but even Nighy can't save this film. The plot is quite predictable, and some of the conflicts remind me of my complaints about A Room with a View - banal, upperclass issues made into plot points. Also, Romola Garai does not make for a convincing thriller protagonist. She doesn't seem clever enough to figure out the film's plot, and the moments when the film forces her to "be suspenseful" fail because she doesn't seem to raise the stakes of her performance. Overall, a bad performance by the lead combines to create a film that makes no sense as a thriller.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


This movie demonstrates the lengths some will go in the name of "what's best" for the country (whatever that country may be). Well acted but the pace is way too slow! The end was such a large dose of cheese, I feel to could constipate many!

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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