The Winds of War (1983)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Romance | War
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The trials of the Henry and Jastrow families in the early years of World War II.

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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Victor 'Pug' Henry (7 episodes, 1983)
 Natalie Jastrow (7 episodes, 1983)
 Byron Henry (7 episodes, 1983)
 Aaron Jastrow (7 episodes, 1983)
 Rhoda Henry (7 episodes, 1983)
 Madeline Henry (7 episodes, 1983)
 Leslie Slote (7 episodes, 1983)
 Berel Jastrow (7 episodes, 1983)
 Warren Henry (7 episodes, 1983)
 Palmer 'Fred' Kirby (7 episodes, 1983)
 Brigadier General Armin Von Roon / ... (7 episodes, 1983)
 Pamela Tudsbury (7 episodes, 1983)
William Woodson ...
 Narrator (7 episodes, 1983)
Dragomir Stanojevic
(7 episodes, 1983)
Günter Meisner ...
 Adolf Hitler (6 episodes, 1983)
Reinhard Kolldehoff ...
 Hermann Goering (6 episodes, 1983)
Werner Kreindl ...
 Colonel General Franz Halder / ... (6 episodes, 1983)
Rainer Penkert ...
 Grand Admiral Erich Raeder / ... (6 episodes, 1983)
Alexander Kerst ...
 Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (6 episodes, 1983)
Joachim Hansen ...
 Field Marshal Alfred Jodl (6 episodes, 1983)
Howard Lang ...
 Winston Churchill (4 episodes, 1983)
Anton Diffring ...
 Joachim von Ribbentrop (4 episodes, 1983)
 Yeoman Ryan (4 episodes, 1983)
Barry Morse ...
 Wolf Stoller (3 episodes, 1983)
Michael Logan ...
 Alistair Tudsbury (3 episodes, 1983)
 Colonel William Forrest (3 episodes, 1983)
Tom McFadden ...
 Hugh Cleveland (3 episodes, 1983)
Roy Poole ...
 Harry Hopkins (3 episodes, 1983)
Deborah Winters ...
 Janice Lacouture Henry (3 episodes, 1983)
 Lt. Carter 'Lady' Aster (3 episodes, 1983)
Allan Cuthbertson ...
 Maj. Gen. Tillet / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Scott Brady ...
 Capt. Red Tully (2 episodes, 1983)
Edmund Purdom ...
 Luigi Gianelli (2 episodes, 1983)
 Bunky Thurston (2 episodes, 1983)
 Blinker Vance (2 episodes, 1983)
 Benito Mussolini (2 episodes, 1983)
Edmund Pegge ...
 Air Commodore Burne-Wilke (2 episodes, 1983)
Leo Gordon ...
 General 'Train' Anderson (2 episodes, 1983)
 Eleanor Roosevelt (2 episodes, 1983)
Michael McGuire ...
 Fred Fearing (2 episodes, 1983)
Ferdy Mayne ...
 Ludwig Rosenthal (2 episodes, 1983)
 Count Galeazzo Ciano (2 episodes, 1983)
Judith Atwell ...
 Sally Forrest (2 episodes, 1983)
James Ray ...
 Chargé Reese Claremont (2 episodes, 1983)
 Scarfaced Gestapo Agent (2 episodes, 1983)
Karl-Otto Alberty ...
 White-haired Gestapo Agent (2 episodes, 1983)
Eloise Hardt ...
 Mrs. Lacouture (2 episodes, 1983)
Henryk Rajfer ...
 Groom at Wedding / ... (2 episodes, 1983)


In the late 1930s, world politics begin to head in a dangerous direction. In Europe, Germany expands and rearms and proceeds to annex several border countries into the Reich. Meanwhile, Italy attempts to establish a Facist Colonial Empire under Mussolini while the Empire of Japan stands ready for a major war with China. Enter the Henry family, headed by career naval officer Victor "Pug" Henry. "Winds of War" thus follows the exploits of Pug and his children, all of which are set against the backdrop of world events leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Written by Anthony Hughes <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1930s | japan | italy | germany | 1940s | See more »


Drama | Romance | War




Release Date:

6 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herman Wouk's The Winds of War  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Television acting debut for 'Ali Macgraw'. See more »


When Slote examines Jastrow's immigration papers, the papers jump from his left to right hands between shots. [Part 4, Scene 2, time index 8:38] See more »


Wolf Stoller: There are certain conversations that have to be forgotten. And in Germany we have a phrase for such delicate matters. We say, "under four eyes."
Victor 'Pug' Henry: I believe I've heard that phrase.
Wolf Stoller: What transpires next is under four eyes. You and Armin had a conversation about this lend-lease bill. Did he make sense to you? You prefer not to say, eh? Of course. You are a diplomat.
Victor 'Pug' Henry: I'm a gunnery expert, misplaced in diplomacy, and hoping to get the hell out of it.
Wolf Stoller: A man of honor wants to serve on the field.
See more »


Followed by War and Remembrance (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Impressive Achievement
29 December 2005 | by (South Shore, MA USA) – See all my reviews

There are a few things to love about this ambitious World War II epic, many things to like and one thing to loath.

In terms of production values, scale, scope and sweep, "Winds of War" and it's sequel "War and Remembrance" are unparalleled. WoW consists of two compelling narratives: The larger back story of WWII itself (propelled by the leaders of the era, Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, et al), and the smaller, personal stories of the Henry family and friends. The former far more interesting than the latter.

These two story threads are seamlessly woven together by the Henry Patriarch, Victor 'Pug' Henry (Robert Michum) who conveniently Forrest Gumps his way into a half dozen major policy meetings of both the Allies and Axis powers. Believing that a Navy captain could (in the span of 2 years) befriend Roosevelt, chat up Churchill, negotiate with Hitler & Mussolini and toast a bit of a stretch, but here, it works. This is due in no small part to the credibility Robert Michum brings to the role, carrying himself with the kind of dignity and charisma that could indeed curry the respect of these world leaders.

Scenes set within the upper echelons of power (White House, 10 Downing, Wolf's Lair, etc) are far and away the best of the series. While Roosevelt, Churchill and Mussolini all receive effective portrayals, the interpretation of Adolf Hitler by Gunter Meisner tops them all. Balancing the cagey, political brilliance of Hitler with the twisted, maniacal evil has always been a challenge for actors, but Meisner pulls it off nicely. Yes, we see screaming, red faced rants, but they are usually accompanied by creepily engrossing soliloquies (outlining his rational for invading France, and later the USSR) that add depth and dimension to the madness.

The story of the Henry family is only interesting in so far as it connects to the larger WWII narrative. Seeing the direct, human impact that Hitler's aggression and tyranny has on the Henry circle is effective and instructive. However, almost every other aspect of their family story is inconsequential and trite.

Which brings me to the loathsome of WoW: Ali MacGraw. As Natalie Jastrow, the love interest for Pug's son Byron (Jan-Michal Vincent), Ali delivers quite possibly the worst acting performance ever filmed opposite Jan-Michael (and yes, I am including the Airwolf helicopter). Her performance manages to be both bland and shrill, sucking the life out of every minute she's on screen (which, when added up, sadly accounts for about 1/3 of the 15 hour running time). Watching her slack-jawed, one-note performance, I felt pity for the other actors dragooned into her orbit and mourned for the movie that could have existed in her absence. For a glimpse of that movie, you need only rent "War & Remembrance" where her character was thankfully recast with Jane Seymore.

However, one long, grating, bad note cannot spoil what is still an impressive achievement and worth the investment in time.

25 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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