6.6/10
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World War II: When Lions Roared (1994)

This TV Movie is about the Tehran Conference between FDR, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. It shows the interaction between the three leaders at the close of the Second World War.

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(as David Rintels)
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Storyline

This TV Movie is about the Tehran Conference between FDR, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. It shows the interaction between the three leaders at the close of the Second World War.

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Drama | History | War

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19 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Then There Were Giants  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Lithgow, who plays Franklin D. Roosevelt in this film, would later go on to play Winston Churchill in The Crown (2016). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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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User Reviews

 
Original Staging, medium casting
16 June 2014 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This everlasting subject of the relations between the three major leaders in charge of defeating the Nazis and settling a lasting peace in the world benefits here of an original staging.

All along the movie the director gives us the impression that a dialog was set between the three leaders, while in reality we know it was a dialog between deaf guys.

Churchill knew from the beginning that Stalin was a liar, deceitful rascal, FDR was already too ill to oppose the cynical Stalin and had to sustain the eternal isolationism of the American people (we must really thank Japan for Pearl Harbor because otherwise Europe would be one of the Nazi provinces), Stalin was in Russia murdering his opponents, fighting against Germany and would have probably concluded a separate peace treaty with the Nazis if Churchill and FDR had not fallen into the trap he presented them at Yalta.

As far as the casting of the three head of states, the poorest choice was Bob Hoskins impersonating Churchill. He did not have the looks, he did not master the speech. Michael Caine makes a splendid impersonation of Stalin although his face is still far from the dictator's one. John Lithgow is a very credible FDR. As for Harry Hopkins there is no resemblance but this is not important in itself. Molotov aka Jan Tríska was not a bad choice.

There are of course errors in the staging. Stalin used always an interpreter. I'm not even sure he could speak English.

As for the historical facts they are accurate as you can't change such important events which shaped the world history and the fate of millions of people.

The merit of the movie is it emphasizes the blindness of the USA President as regards USSR and the sinister cynicism with which poor Poland and many other eastern countries were treated and still are.

Nothing has changed since, the USA are always the poorest international diplomats abroad because of their stubbornness to impose their language to the rest of the world forgetting that to understand a foreign country's culture and mentality it is mandatory to speak its language. We've seen the result in Irak, in Vietnam, in Egypt, in Lybia and in Afghanistan now. Force is not the sole solution, it generates humiliation and anger. That was the case with Germany which lead to WWII and the Nazis.

Will the lesson be understood one day? I doubt, splendid isolationism which was before the attribute of England, is now anchored in the USA's people mentality whatever their leaders' declarations may be....


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