Winston Churchill's wilderness years prior to World War II, when only he could see the threat that Adolf Hitler and a rearmed Germany posed to Europe.

Director:

Richard Loncraine

Writers:

Larry Ramin (story), Hugh Whitemore (story) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 19 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Winston Churchill
Vanessa Redgrave ... Clemmie Churchill
Jim Broadbent ... Desmond Morton
Linus Roache ... Ralph Wigram
Lena Headey ... Ava Wigram
Derek Jacobi ... Stanley Baldwin
Ronnie Barker ... David Inches
Tom Wilkinson ... Sir Robert Vansittart
Celia Imrie ... Violet Pearman
Hugh Bonneville ... Ivo Pettifer
Gottfried John ... Friedrich von Schroder
Anthony Brophy ... Brendan Bracken
Edward Hardwicke ... Mr. Wood
Tom Hiddleston ... Randolph Churchill
Tim Bentinck ... Marlborough (as Timothy Bentinck)
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Germany was arming itself for war. But they didn't count on one man.


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Hardy, who played Churchill in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), and who was critical of many other actors' portrayals of the leader, including Timothy Spall in The King's Speech (2010), acknowledged that Finney did "a fine job" in this production because he was "a thorough actor". See more »

Goofs

When Clemmie throws the dish of brussel sprouts at Winston the first shot shows the dish up against the wall by the window, in the next shot with Winston the dish is under the drapes. See more »

Quotes

[the sound of Sarah tap-dancing can be heard through the ceiling]
Clemmie Churchill: I think she wants to do it professionally.
Winston Churchill: Annoy people?
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Connections

Followed by Into the Storm (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Lena Headey
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User Reviews

Churchill is brought back to life.
3 March 2003 | by mduzairSee all my reviews

This is a movie that captures the life of Sir Winston Churchill before he became Prime Minister of England in 1940. The period the movie covers is approximately from 1936-1939. The story is of a private and complex man trying desperately to fight for what he believes in.

Albert Finney delivers a gem of a performance as Winston Churchill and steals the show. His role is central to the story and he is equal to the task in every way. Finney does an excellent job of portraying Churchill as a hard-nosed politician, an admirable statesman and England patriot who was also a kind hearted, sensitive man in his fifties who just wanted to "Keep Buggering On". Finney succeeds in bringing intense humanity and intimacy to the character of an immensely public figure.

This is a must see for those interested in Winston Churchill and WWII; it is an excellent prequel to the war itself since it lays the groundwork for many of the struggles within British society itself over the prospect of war with Germany. Excellent movie.

Rating: 7.7/10


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lonely War See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Filmfest Hamburg)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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