The trials of the Henry and Jastrow families in the early years of World War II.
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Series cast summary:
Robert Mitchum ...  Victor 'Pug' Henry 7 episodes, 1983
Ali MacGraw ...  Natalie Jastrow 7 episodes, 1983
Jan-Michael Vincent ...  Byron Henry 7 episodes, 1983
John Houseman ...  Aaron Jastrow 7 episodes, 1983
Polly Bergen ...  Rhoda Henry 7 episodes, 1983
Lisa Eilbacher ...  Madeline Henry 7 episodes, 1983
David Dukes ...  Leslie Slote 7 episodes, 1983
Topol ...  Berel Jastrow 7 episodes, 1983
Ben Murphy ...  Warren Henry 7 episodes, 1983
Peter Graves ...  Palmer 'Fred' Kirby 7 episodes, 1983
Jeremy Kemp ...  Brigadier General Armin von Roon 7 episodes, 1983
Ralph Bellamy ...  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 7 episodes, 1983
Victoria Tennant ...  Pamela Tudsbury 7 episodes, 1983
Wolfgang Preiss ...  Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch 7 episodes, 1983
William Woodson William Woodson ...  Narrator 7 episodes, 1983
Günter Meisner ...  Adolf Hitler 6 episodes, 1983
Reinhard Kolldehoff ...  Hermann Goering 6 episodes, 1983
Werner Kreindl Werner Kreindl ...  Colonel General Franz Halder 6 episodes, 1983
Rainer Penkert Rainer Penkert ...  Grand Admiral Erich Raeder 6 episodes, 1983
Alexander Kerst Alexander Kerst ...  Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel 6 episodes, 1983
Joachim Hansen ...  Field Marshal Alfred Jodl 6 episodes, 1983
Dragomir Stanojevic Dragomir Stanojevic 5 episodes, 1983
Howard Lang ...  Winston Churchill 4 episodes, 1983
Anton Diffring ...  Joachim von Ribbentrop 4 episodes, 1983
Timothy Stack ...  Yeoman Ryan 4 episodes, 1983
Barry Morse ...  Wolf Stoller 3 episodes, 1983
Michael Logan Michael Logan ...  Alistair Tudsbury 3 episodes, 1983
John Carter John Carter ...  Colonel William Forrest 3 episodes, 1983
Tom McFadden Tom McFadden ...  Hugh Cleveland 3 episodes, 1983
Roy Poole ...  Harry Hopkins 3 episodes, 1983
Deborah Winters ...  Janice Lacouture Henry 3 episodes, 1983
Joseph Hacker ...  Lt. Carter 'Lady' Aster 3 episodes, 1983
Allan Cuthbertson ...  Major General Tillet 2 episodes, 1983
Scott Brady ...  Captain Red Tully 2 episodes, 1983
Edmund Purdom ...  Luigi Gianelli 2 episodes, 1983
Lawrence Pressman ...  Bunky Thurston 2 episodes, 1983
Lin McCarthy ...  Blinker Vance 2 episodes, 1983
Enzo G. Castellari ...  Benito Mussolini 2 episodes, 1983
Edmund Pegge ...  Air Commodore Burne-Wilke 2 episodes, 1983
Leo Gordon ...  General 'Train' Anderson 2 episodes, 1983
Elizabeth Hoffman ...  Eleanor Roosevelt 2 episodes, 1983
Michael McGuire ...  Fred Fearing 2 episodes, 1983
Ferdy Mayne ...  Ludwig Rosenthal 2 episodes, 1983
Sky du Mont ...  Count Ciano 2 episodes, 1983
Judith Atwell Judith Atwell ...  Sally Forrest 2 episodes, 1983
James Ray James Ray ...  Chargé Reese Claremont 2 episodes, 1983
Stelio Candelli Stelio Candelli ...  Scarfaced Gestapo / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Karl-Otto Alberty ...  White-Haired Gestapo / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Dick Armstrong Dick Armstrong ...  Franz the Butler 2 episodes, 1983
Eloise Hardt Eloise Hardt ...  Mrs. Lacouture 2 episodes, 1983
Felix Nelson Felix Nelson ...  F.D.R. Valet 2 episodes, 1983
Henryk Rajfer 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 | italy | germany | epic | 1940s | See All (37) »


The first theatrical motion picture made for television


Drama | Romance | War


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Release Date:

6 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herman Wouk's The Winds of War See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Barry Morse, Michael McGuire, Sky du Mont, actress/producer Barbara Steele, Heinz Weiss, Leo Gordon, and Karl-Otto Alberty would all return for the sequel mini-series, War and Remembrance (1988), but in different roles. See more »


When Pug speaks with Churchill, the shadow of a boom mic is visible below the picture on the wall behind Churchill. [Part 4, Scene 6, time index 49:06] 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 »


Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Impressive Achievement
29 December 2005 | by jimconnell-2See 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.

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