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World War II: When Lions Roared (1994)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | TV Movie 19 April 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.

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writer:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Caine ... Joseph V. Stalin
Bob Hoskins ... Winston Churchill
John Lithgow ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Ed Begley Jr. ... Harry Hopkins
Jan Tríska ... Vyacheslav Molotav
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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Then There Were Giants See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 6"2, Michael Caine is nine inches taller than Joseph Stalin was. See more »

Goofs

On the table at one of the conferences there are miniature flags of the three powers. The U.S. flag used is the fifty-star flag, which did not exist until 1960. 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.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Behind Closed Doors.
22 January 2014 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

This docudrama covers the period from Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939 to the end of the war in Europe in Spring, 1945, and concerns the interactions -- both personal and political -- of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin.

Kids, this war was called "World War Two". The reason it's called "World War Two" is that it came after "World War One." Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was short, fat, bald, and smoked cigars. He was a good guy though, even though he smoked. Stalin smoked a pipe and combed his hair straight back and had a vicious mustache. But he always smiled, even when he was murdering friends. He was a "communist" but was on our side at the time. Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the presidents of the United States. He smoked too -- cigarettes in a holder. He would never be elected a president today because he smoked. He couldn't walk either. They'd tear him apart in the press; he wouldn't have a prayer. The moral to this is that if somebody offers you a cigarette, don't take it, unless it has no label and is wrapped at both ends. Then it's okay. Thank you for your attention.

The miniseries is necessarily sketchy but not hard to follow. Most of the dialog must have been taken from formal speeches or personal memoirs because that's exactly what it sounds like. The director uses a split screen to suggest some of the communications between the three leaders. And while some of the meetings are skipped (Quebec, Casablanca) others are covered in more detail (Teheran, Yalta). At the meetings, everyone sits around a table and speaks very diplomatically, sometimes making small jokes that break the tension. It could be shown in a class on communications. "We agree with you, though we are of course concerned about the Baltics" means, "Keep your Commie nose out of Yugoslavia." It quickly becomes clear that, although Churchill and Stalin are both fighting a common enemy, neither trusts the other. Roosevelt is in the middle, always the worried optimist.

Considering the limitations both of the material and the medium, you have to give this an extra point or two. It's not only a lesson in geopolitics but it gives us a glimpse into the personalities of the three eponymous lions, and each has a chance to present his point of view. Stalin was a terrible thug, of course, but that has nothing to do with the subject matter dealt with here.


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