Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Biography, Drama, History
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The story of Winston Churchill's life between 1929, when he lost his cabinet position, and 1939, when he joined Great Britain's War Cabinet - a period he described as the most difficult in his life.

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Title: Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981– )

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Series cast summary:
 Winston Churchill (8 episodes, 1981)
 Clementine Churchill (8 episodes, 1981)
 Randolph Churchill (8 episodes, 1981)
 Brendan Bracken (8 episodes, 1981)
 Stanley Baldwin (8 episodes, 1981)
Eric Porter ...
 Neville Chamberlain (8 episodes, 1981)
 Sir Samuel Hoare (8 episodes, 1981)
David Swift ...
 Professor Lindemann (6 episodes, 1981)
Sherrie Hewson ...
 Mrs. Pearman (6 episodes, 1981)
Robert James ...
 Ramsay McDonald (5 episodes, 1981)
Marcella Markham ...
 Nancy Astor (5 episodes, 1981)
Chloe Salaman ...
 Sarah Churchill (4 episodes, 1981)
Derek Ensor ...
 Speaker of the House (4 episodes, 1981)
Paul McDowell ...
 Butler at Chartwell (4 episodes, 1981)


The story of Winston Churchill's life between 1929, when he lost his cabinet position, and 1939, when he joined Great Britain's War Cabinet - a period he described as the most difficult in his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

16 January 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Winston Churchill  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(8 episodes)


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Did You Know?


Robert Hardy and Günter Meisner have both played their respective roles of Churchill and Hitler in other films as well. Notably, Meisner played Hitler in The Winds of War (1983) while Hardy played Churchill in the sequel, War and Remembrance (1988). See more »


In the first episode, "Down and Out," Churchill is seen giving a speech in the USA in 1929. A US flag is visible to his right, and the field (with the stars) is visible. The stars are in staggered rows, meaning it is a 50 star US flag. A 48-star flag, as in use in 1929, would have even rows of stars (six rows of eight). See more »


Referenced in 28 Up (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful Story Regrettably Cut Short
6 April 2004 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

Robert Hardy is the most convincing imitator of Churchill I've seen. He is wisely depicted here with his foibles - his rashness and ineptitude in areas beyond his ken, such as the stock market and raising offspring - as well as strengths. And it's a treat to see Siân Phillips and Tim Pigott-Smith supporting.

Here's a story well-told, with interesting locations, too, from Churchill's home at Chartwell, in UK, to the Arizona desert. For anyone with an appreciation of the titanic events that shaped World War II, "The Wilderness Years" provides invaluable background, not only for Churchill as a major player, but for the others - Baldwin, Beaverbrook, Chamberlain, as well as movers and shakers with unfamiliar names, like the oily Sir Samuel Hoare, who manipulated and connived on behalf of appeasement.

Despite the vandalism of the print by Lance Entertainment, who distribute the DVD, on which most viewers will see it, I highly recommend "The Wilderness Years" as an enriching docudrama that deserves repeated viewing. My only regret is, that Robert Hardy did not continue the Churchill saga through the war years. What a smashing tale that would have been!

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