Starring John Hurt, this ITV film tells the secret story of First World War poets Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves. Told in their own words - using their diaries, letters and poems.
The three young men are gay budding poets, thrown together in battle. They soon lose their boyish innocence in the trenches. On the front line an officer’s life expectancy is barely six weeks. They all struggle to cope with the magnitude of the slaughter around them and forge deep, intense friendships. Together they give a voice to the rage of a generation.
At the heart of the film is the story of Sassoon and Owen’s forbidden love affair, told through their passionate correspondence.
John Hurt plays Sassoon in the 1960s, in the twilight years of his life. He is haunted by his experiences in the trenches and cannot overcome the grief of losing the love of his life. He provides the backbone to the film as we flash back with him to his younger self – played by Morgan Watkins (The Hour). Wilfred Owen is played by Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game, One Day and An Education) and Robert Graves is played by Joe Claflin (Game of Thrones).
The Pity of War: ITV’s poignant dramatised account of war poets’ Sassoon and Owen's relationship. Playing the aged Sassoon, his eyes clouding with traumatic reminiscence, Hurt delivered the poetry in a manner that can only be described as poetic, his cadence and timbre so clotted-cream-rich it should have come with a health warning. - The Telegraph