Adapted from a script for a projected 12-hour play. See more »
At the Yalta Conference, while the Big Three pose for their iconic photograph, Churchill tells Stalin that in Britain there are two parties, while in the Soviet Union there is only one. In fact, Churchill's Coalition government included three major parties, not two: Churchill's own Conservatives, Clement Atlee's Labour Party, and Sir Archibald Sinclair's Liberal Party. Both were in the Cabinet: Atlee was Lord Privy Seal and member of the War Cabinet; Sinclair was Secretary of State for Air. See more »
Joseph V. Stalin:
Experience has taught me to face up to reality, no matter how unpleasant it may be, and to tell the truth.
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It is good to see this 1994 television miniseries finally come out on DVD. Be prepared for a long evening (the running time for the two discs is three hours 23 minutes) but it is time well invested. WORLD WAR II: WHEN LIONS ROARED is a creative montage of actual film clips from the newsreels shown in theaters at that time together with contemporary filmed drama in script written by David W. Rintels and crafted and directed by Joseph Sargent. This film allows us to revisit history the way it was - with more behind the scenes activity among the great powers than most other films offer.
The roaring lions are very well portrayed by John Lithgow as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Bob Hoskins as Winston Churchill and Michael Caine as Stalin. Each actor steps wholly into his role without resorting to mimicry or simply stage makeup. It is fascinating to see how the USA was a non-intervener at first (a refreshingly different stance form the current aggressor role we have adopted) and how the needs of the planet required global cooperation in the face of Hitler et al. Ed Begley Jr. offers a lot of information about the important figure Harry Hopkins about whom we hear little as does Jan Triska as Vyacheslav Molotav, Stalin's key man.
The compilation of real footage with created footage including the split screen technique to allow the three leaders to interact from their different locations works well. This is one of those historic films that deserves repeated viewing. An excellent production. Grady Harp
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