Winslow Boy, The

2005. THE WINSLOW BOY (1948-England). With ROBERT DONAT, CEDRIC HARD- WICKE, BASIL RADFORD, KATHLEEN HARRISON, FRANCIS L. SL/LLIVAN, STANLEY HOLLOWAY, FRANK LAWTON, MARGARET LEICHTON. Adapted from the play by TERENCE RATTICAN. Directed by ANTHONY ASQUITH. This masterly adaptation Of Rattigan’s smash-hit stage play tells the story Of Ronnie Winslow, a twelve-year-old English lad who has been accepted at the Royal Naval College at Osborne. Everything seems to be going well for Ronnie at the school. It is most unusual when Ronnie arrives home two days early for vacation after the end Of his first semester. He reluctantly reveals that he has been expelled for stealing a postal order worth the paltry sum Of five shillings He proclaimed his innocence to the powers at Osborne and repeats this to his family. However, Ronnie has not just been expelled from a school. He has been booted out Of the Navy, which is an altogether different matter. Still, the boy has been condemned without being afforded an opportunity to establish his innocence. Despite his father’s pleading for a review Of the case, the British government is determined to do nothing because Of the long-established custom that the admiralty, as the King, can do no wrong. Onto the scene comes Sir Robert Morton, a barrister who is at once brilliant and eloÂquent, controversial and self-sacrificing. Here is where the film evolves into a crackling courtroom drama. The point Of it all, as eloquently expressed by Ronnie’s older sister Kate, is that “a government department has ignored a fundamental human right and they should be forced to acknowledge it.” The performances are collectively impeccable. Most impressive is Margaret Leighton in the role Of Kate, a staunch feminist who tangles with Sir Robert intellectually and is suspect Of his motives for supporting her brother. Cedric Hardwicke is fine as Ronnie’s stern and Often emotionless father who nonetheless remains determined to stick by his son. Kathleen Harrison calls attention to herself as the Winslows’ likable Cockney maid. Finally, Robert Donat is simply superb as Sir Robert, a man who will sacrifice his all in his quest for the truth. As played by Donat, Sir Robert truly is a commanding and memorable presence. 99 minutes. Drama