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In the 1930s, Winston Churchill was out of government, sitting as a backbench MP. His was a lonely voice warning about German rearmament and the coming of a second major war on the Continent. He lost a great deal of money in the Wall Street crash and now writes - a biography of his ancestor the Duke of Marlborough, a newspaper column - and it's his only means of support. He has a close-knit group of supporter not the least of whom is his wife Clemmie, who he loves very dearly. As he continues to press his concerns about Hitler, he is cast as a warmonger and frequently shouted down in Parliament by members on both sides of the aisle. With reliable information from a Foreign Office civil servant who feels the government is not accurately reporting on rearmament, he provides accurate figures to Parliament and the tide begins to turn. With the onset of World War II in September 1939, Churchill returns to government as First Lord of Admiralty. Written by
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The infamous speech Churchill wants to revise (and later delivers in the House of Commons) in the beginning of the film ("To see Mr Gandhi, a seductive Mid-Temple Lawyer ... posing as a half-naked fakir in a manner quite well known in the East, striding up the steps of the Vice-Regal palace to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King Emperor") was actually delivered in 1930, whereas the film starts some years later. See more »
This is Albert Finney's defining film role. I have never seen Churchill portrayed in a movie so I cannot compare what I have seen here to anyone else's attempts. However, Churchill is now, in my mind, as portrayed in this excellent made-for-TV-film. HBO have hit the nail on the head with this one and the historical accuracy shows how incredible the events leading up to WW2 actually were. We enter the personal life of arguably the most famous Briton ever. By the end, we find out why the country loved this man so much.
He is brash, he was clever, and he was right. Annoying to give in to such a arrogant man but he fully deserved it. Albert Finney brings a performance to the screen as equally compelling as De Niro's la Motta, or Pacino's Scarface. Finney is masterful in his performance and I can find no flaws. Clemmie, Vanessa Redgrave, provides a brilliant portrayal of a equally engrossing suffering wife and pleasant cameos by Ronnie Barker, Jim Broadbent and Derek Jacobi add superb pedigree to an already perfect film. There I said it, this film is flawless, magnificent and a joy to watch over and over.
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