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Young Winston (1972)

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Complex family relationships, as well as a combat experience, form the personality of the future world-famous politician.


Winston Churchill (based upon "My Early Life: A Roving Commission") (as The Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill K.G. O.M. C.H. M.P.), Carl Foreman (written for the screen by)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Shaw ... Lord Randolph Churchill
Anne Bancroft ... Lady Jennie Churchill / Lady Randolph Churchill
Simon Ward ... Young Winston / Sir Winston Churchill's Voice (voice)
Jack Hawkins ... Mr. Welldon
Patrick Magee ... General Bindon Blood
Edward Woodward ... Aylmer Haldane
John Mills ... General Kitchener
Peter Cellier ... Captain
Ronald Hines Ronald Hines ... Adjutant
Dino Shafeek ... Sikh Soldier
Russell Lewis ... Winston (aged 7)
Pat Heywood Pat Heywood ... Mrs. Everest
Laurence Naismith ... Lord Salisbury
William Dexter William Dexter ... Arthur Balfour
Basil Dignam ... Joseph Chamberlain


This historical drama is an account of the early life of the future British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (Simon Ward), including his childhood, his time as a war correspondent in South Africa during the Second Boer War, and culminating in his first election to Parliament. Written by Matt <matt@measham.force9.net>

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Rebel Soldier Hustler Prisoner Fugitive Firebrand [Australia Theatrical]


Biography | Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

21 July 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Churchill Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Morlais Colliery, Dyfed, Wales. See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Open Road Films (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | 6-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System) (uncredited)


Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The locomotive featured in the railway scenes was artist David Shepard's BR Standard Class 9 "Black Prince". See more »


As the 'last ever cavalry charge' reached the enemy lines, a white flare, used as a signal for the hordes of extras, can be seen dropping from the sky. See more »


[first lines]
Captain: Who's that bloody fool on the gray?
Adjutant: Someone who wants to be noticed, I should imagine.
Captain: He'll be noticed. He'll get his head blown off.
See more »


Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »


March of the Victors
from The Victors (1963)
Written by Sol Kaplan and Freddy Douglass
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User Reviews

There's Worse Role Models Than This Guy
28 July 2013 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

What can one say about Winston Spencer Churchill ? Lots of things and almost as many of them as bad as good but what ever disasters he may have responsible for he made up for them in the years 1940-45 . Of course as Orwell said " he who controls the past controls the future . He who controls the present controls the past " . What Orwell meant by this was people paint themselves in glowing colours and have always sang from the same hymn sheet even if this has no basis in reality . This was never truer than between the wars when Winston Churchill was a lone voice warning against fascist expansionism and the need for rearmament . Of course once war broke out everyone in the political classes said all along that Hitler must be defeated but this wasn't actually the case . More than a few people in the ruling class were quite happy to appease the Nazis and Churchill seen as a dangerous maverick became Prime Minster through default more than anything else but it was a happy accident in Britain's finest hour

With a title of YOUNG WINSTON the film doesn't concern itself with Churchill's role as PM during Britain's finest hour but on his early life . It's somewhat ambiguous to say the least . Churchill is portrayed as a rabid ego maniac who joined the army solely to make a name for himself . After all who's going to vote for someone from a privileged background who has seen the square root of nothing except a University class room ? Oh hold on ? Isn't that every PM we've had since I can't remember when . Fair goes to someone who loves the swashbuckling side of life and who has actually fought in bloody battles . You can see the likes of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown watching this film feeling bitter resentment at their own inadequacy as both men and politicians

There is an element of poor little rich boy to Attenborough's film . Churchill was brought up as an unloved child whose parents didn't really care for him , whose father died of syphilis , who only felt close to his nanny as a child and who suffered cruel physical abuse at school . There is a strong element of manipulation to this but Attenborough could really have gone overboard but has resisted the temptation though not totally successfully . From a technical point of view the film is well made especially in the fields of cinematography and editing , though at some points it does seem slightly over long . The print I've seen is also missing a scene at the end when Winston , an old man is visited by the spirit of his father which has been stated the American print of the film

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