In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
During World War II, as Adolf Hitler's awesomely powerful Wehrmacht rampages across Europe, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Neville Chamberlain, is forced to resign, recommending Winston Churchill as his replacement. But even in his early days as the country's leader, Churchill is under pressure to commence peace negotiations with the German dictator or to fight head-on the seemingly invincible Nazi regime, whatever the cost. However difficult and dangerous his decision may be, Churchill has no choice but to shine in the country's darkest hour.Written by
Although Winston Churchill is usually celebrated as a British icon and a national hero, he is also a controversial figure on the British Left and the film's release led to many people posting articles on social media feeling that it offered a fictional and romanticized version of him. They pointed out issues such as Churchill's support for the usage of tear gas and poison gas, his use of chemical weapons on villages in Russia, his support for eugenics such as the forced sterilization of the mentally ill, his role in the sinking of RMS Lusitania and the Bengal Famine of 1943. For example, the popular left-wing actor and Labour supporter Ian Reddington even re-tweeted an article which described Churchill as "a vile racist, fanatical about violence and fiercely supportive of imperialism," while historian Louise Raw wrote an article for The Independent urging people not to forget "his problematic past." Other areas of contention left-wingers and liberals have against Churchill include his opposition to votes for women before World War I (he was famously quoted "the women's suffrage movement is only the small edge of the wedge, if we allow women to vote it will mean the loss of social structure and the rise of every liberal cause under the sun... women are well represented by their fathers, brothers, and husbands"), sending the Black and Tans to Ireland, his support for concentration camps in colonial Africa and his 1950s government's stepping-up of prosecutions against gay men, which of course included Alan Turing, who was famously celebrated in the film The Imitation Game (2014) and posthumously pardoned. After Oldman said at the Academy Awards "I would just like to salute Sir Winston Churchill," Shree Paradkar wrote for the Toronto Star online that the actor "might as well have danced on three million dead bodies" and questioned when there would be "a film on Winston Churchill, the barbaric monster with the blood of millions on his hands." See more »
The conversation between Churchill and the public while riding the Underground continues for more than 5 minutes, but the journey from St James' Park to Westminster takes less than 2 minutes. However, during a war, there are many reasons why the train could run slower. See more »
Disclaimer in closing credits: "The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption. The Surgeon General has determined that there are serious health risks associated with smoking and with secondhand smoke." See more »