Six Minutes to Midnight: what is the Sky Cinema film starring Eddie Izzard and Judi Dench about - and how to watch it

Six Minutes to Midnight stars award-winning actress Judi Dench, alongside Eddie Izzard (Picture: Sky Cinema)Six Minutes to Midnight stars award-winning actress Judi Dench, alongside Eddie Izzard (Picture: Sky Cinema)
Six Minutes to Midnight stars award-winning actress Judi Dench, alongside Eddie Izzard (Picture: Sky Cinema)
The movie is a period thriller, inspired by real events which unfolded during the rising tensions between Nazi Germany and the UK in 1939

Sky Cinema is to premier it’s latest wartime drama movie, Six Minutes to Midnight on26 March.

With a star-studded lineup and directed by critically acclaimed Andy Goddard (Downton Abbey, Carnival Row), the movie has already received rave reviews by film critics.

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Based on true events, the story unfolds in the summer of 1939 in a finishing school on the English south coast.

So, what is it about, who is in the cast and where will it be available to watch? This is what you need to know.

What is Six Seconds to Midnight about?

Goddard’s latest film is based on a screenplay he wrote alongside Celyn Jones and one of the movie’s leading actors, Eddie Izzard.

The film tells the story of newly-hired English teacher Thomas Miller at The Augusta Victoria College, a finishing school for daughters and goddaughters of the Nazi elite on the south coast of England.

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He is recruited by the school governess, following the mysterious disappearance of his predecessor, Mr Wheatley. Miller soon becomes suspicious about the goings on at the school, as tensions between Nazi Germany and Britain rise.

Thomas raises concerns over Ilse Keller, the girls’ German tutor, but instead finds himself framed for murder and goes on the run to clear his name and uncover Ilse’s true plan for the girls.

Is it a true story?

While it is unclear exactly what parts of Izzard’s role are biographical, the school and the questionable goings on at it are true.

The school was founded in 1934 in Bexhill-on-Sea and was inhabited by daughters and young women linked to Nazi leaders.

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The headmistress, Frau Helene Rocholl, was closely linked to the Nazi regime and the finishing school was attended by the god-daughter of Heinrich Himmler and Bettina von Ribbentrop, the daughter of the German foreign minister.

The school badge was equally alarming, with a Swastika on one side, a German imperial flag on the other, and a Union Jack in the middle.

Classes sought to teach the young women, who were of marrying age, about English language and customs.

Some historians believe the idea was to marry them into English aristocracy and high-profile families, so as to create links between Nazi and British leaders.

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This was prior to the beginning of WWII, when Hitler is thought to have believed he could take over Europe by striking a deal with Britain and infiltrating the British Empire.

Who is in the cast?

The all-star cast is led by Izzard, as Thomas Miller, alongside BAFTA and Academy-Award winning actress Judi Dench who plays the role of school governess, Miss Rocholl.

Ilse Keller is played by Carla Juri (Bladerunner), who is joined by BAFTA winner Jim Broadbent (The Young Victoria, Longford) as well as David Schofield (Gladiator, Pirates of the Carribean) and James D’Arcy (Made in Italy, Avengers: Endgame).

Where can I watch it?

Six Minutes to Midnight was originally supposed to be released in 2020, but was postponed due to coronavirus.

It is now available to watch on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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