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The novel Private Peaceful is told in the 'first person', narrated by one of the characters, Tommo, who plays a central role in the story. We have a strong affinity with Tommo's point-of-view on events. What happens on screen, in terms of action and dialogue, is the main way in which a story is told on film. The way in which film can show us different characters' viewpoints, and encourage us to have sympathy for certain characters, is the focus of this activity.


  1. Watch the trailer then discuss the extent to which Tommo's perspective is central to this filmic portrayal of the story. How has his viewpoint been conveyed in this trailer? Is Tommo's perspective as central in the trailer as it is in the novel?
  2. The way each shot is created will impact on how the audience views the characters and mood of the story. For example, a low angle shot looking up at a character might make them appear powerful whilst a high angle shot looking down upon them might make them seem more vulnerable. Describe what you see in the shots opposite, including what type of shot it is, and then explain how the shot type and camera angle encourages the audience to react to the characters portrayed at that moment.
  3. To what extent do you think the images prioritise Tommo's view of the world? Can you match some of these stills with specific moments from the novel? What information from the image helped you do this?

2012 © Eagle Media Group. All Rights Reserved.

Trailer transcript


[Artillery bombardment and explosions]

Charlie: Tommo

[Tommo coughs]


Charlie: I’m going to get you home, Tommo.

Title: From the best-selling novel by Michael Morpurgo

Colonel: The Peaceful family have been employed by my family for five generations.

Tommo:  Afternoon Molly

Grandma Wolf:  Your pinch of snuff, Colonel

Colonel:  I’d like to pinch you, Miss Farr

Grandma Wolf:  Colonel!

Title:  Award-winning writer of War Horse

Tommo: That’s it right [laughs]

Charlie: Ah ha ha

[Charlie whistles]

Tommo:  I think I’m in love.

Charlie:  Pardon?

Tommo:  I think I’m in love.

Charlie:  What, which one? Her?

Title: Comes the epic story of two brothers.

Tommo:  Do you think Molly might meet us later?

Charlie: Work, Tommo.

[Molly and Charlie laughing]

Charlie:  I didn’t want to hide it from you.

Tommo: You did hide it from me.

Charlie:  I didn’t want to hurt you.

Colonel:  The army need fit, able bodied young men ready to fulfil their patriotic duty.

Hazel:  My little boy, what have you done?


Tommo: Private Tommo Peaceful

[Artillery fire]

Charlie:  What’s it for?  So a few little rich men can hang on to power a little while longer while they bleed us dry?

Tommo: Well it’s better than breaking your back all your life working someone else’s land.

Hazel: Tommo

Tommo:  I don’t want to be stuck here forever.

Charlie: Here’s home, Tommo!

Tommo:  You’re a coward, Charlie Peaceful.

[Battle sounds: cries and artillery fire]


Charlie:  Do you think I should just stay here and let them fight without me?

Title:  The bond between brothers

Charlie:  Alright, Tommo, lad?

[Inaudible shouting]

Charlie: Thought we lost you, lad. He can’t walk sergeant.

Hanley:  Are you disobeying my orders Private Peaceful?

Title: Will never be broken

Tommo:  Charlie, I have to tell you.

Charlie:  You still have feelings for Molly?

Tommo:  I’ll love her till the day I die.

Charlie:  Oh, Tommo.

Charlie:  The world’s changing.  When you lot stop ruling our lives, England will change too.  There will be no more empire.  And there’ll be no more war.

Voiceover:  CHARGE!

Title:  Private Peaceful