Henri Verneuil – Week-end à Zuydcoote AKA Weekend at Dunkirk (1964)



June 1940. English and French troops fighting against the Germans in Northern France are forced to retreat to the coastal town of Dunkirk. Their only hope of escape is to cross the channel to England – but there are few boats and all the time they are attacked from the air by German fighter planes. Whilst waiting for his chance to escape, one French sergeant, Julien Maillat, befriends a young woman, Jeanne, who resolutely refuses to leave her home in Dunkirk.

In this WW II drama set during a weekend in June of 1940, German invaders force British troops to flee Dunkirk. The French soldiers stationed on a nearby beach also want to withdraw so they too can battle the Germans, but they have been ordered to stay in place and the British are to use the boats first. Though it is a bloody conflict and many innocent residents are killed, one young woman, Jeanne (Catherine Spaak) refuses to evacuate her home. She becomes friends with one of the French soldiers, Julien (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who later saves her from being raped. The situation on the beach grows increasingly tense as the waiting soldiers