In the 1930s, Sir Winston Churchill (Albert Finney) was out of government, sitting as a backbench Member of Parliament. 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 supporters, not the least of whom is his wife Clementine (Vanessa Redgrave), 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 on-set of World War II in September 1939, Churchill returns to government as the First ...Written by
Ralph Wigram, C.M.G. (the Foreign Office secretary who provided information on clandestine German rearmament) was one of four leading individuals amongst a group of around twenty who assisted Sir Winston Churchill in this manner. It is agreed that he provided this information with the tacit consent of his supervisor, Robert Vansittart, who was also alarmed by the rearmament. While this movie seems to indicate that Wigram's efforts were illegal, Churchill was a Member of Parliament and Privy Counselor, which would grant him access to such information. Wigram had been thwarted by the Baldwin regime and he took things as far as holding a press conference in 1936, but this garnered little attention. This sharing of secret documents with Churchill began in late 1934 and lasted for two years, when he apparently committed suicide in December 1936. Wigram's wife Ava made several trips to Germany before the outbreak of the war and shared her observations in her correspondence with Churchill. In 1941, nearly five years after Robert's death, Ava married Sir John Anderson, a member of the War Cabinet who became Chancellor of the Exchequer. She died in 1974 at the age of eighty-seven. As for his temperament and character, Wigram's secretary referred to him as "the authentic local deity" and "the departmental volcano". He was also described by others as having a visionary understanding of what was secretly unfolding in Germany. In Churchill's multi-volume history of World War II, he referred to Wigram as one of the great unsung heroes. See more »
During the 'Battle of Blenheim' scene, the Union Jack is shown as one of the colors of the English army. The Union Jack was only used as a battle-standard after the Act Of Union in 1707, three years after the Battle of Blenheim. See more »
I've lived too long, I'm in the ruck, I've drunk too deeply of the cup, I cannot spend, I cannot fuck, I'm down and out! I'm buggered up!
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A superb film with a very good cast. Albert Finney is a brilliant Churchill and Vanessa Redgrave makes a very good Clemmie. The storyline is excellent but historically inaccurate. For instance, the year given is 1934 and we see Churchill making his infamous speech about Gandhi in the House of Commons but that speech was made in 1931. Stanley Baldwin, played superbly by Derek Jacobi, was not Prime Minister in 1934, Ramsay McDonald was until Baldwin took over in 1935. More importantly where was Neville Chamberlain, the true appeasement supporter? However, overall it was still a superb production and seeing Churchill or Finney strutting the steps of Admiralty House with the stirring music was brilliant and uplifting. A great film , shame about the slight inaccuracies
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