During World War II, as Adolf Hitler's powerful Wehrmacht rampages across Europe, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup), is forced to resign, recommending Sir Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as his replacement. But even in his early days as the country's leader, Churchill is under pressure to commence peace negotiations with Hitler 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 Sir Winston Churchill has traditionally been celebrated as a British icon and a national hero, he is also a highly controversial figure and this movie'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 hatred of Gandhi, his opposition to Home Rule for India in the 1930s, the violent suppression of the "Quit India" movement, his use of chemical weapons on villages in Russia, his support for eugenics including the forced sterilization of the mentally ill, his role in the sinking of R.M.S. Lusitania and the Bengal Famine of 1943 to 1945. 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 people 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, the suppression of the Mau Mau Uprising, his support for concentration camps in colonial Africa, his support for forced labor camps for the mentally ill, and his 1950s government's stepping-up of prosecutions against gay men, which of course included Alan Turing, who was famously celebrated in the movie 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 exterior of Downing Street 10 is shown, as can be seen from the joints, painted black. Only during the renovation of the 1950s it was found that the black colour was the result of pollution. The bricks were, in fact, yellow. They were painted black in subsequent renovations. See more »
Do I have your, uh, permission, uh, to send, uh, an aircraft carrier to pick up the P-40 fighter planes we purchased from you? Mr. President?
Well, you-you've got me there again. New law preventing transshipment of military equipment.
Uh, but we paid for them. We-we paid for them with the money that we... that we borrowed from you.
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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 »
It's a one man show about one of the towering figures of the 20th Century and what a show it is. Gary Oldman has been able to be Sid Vicious in "Sid And Nancy" with the same outstanding commitment and extraordinary results. Joe Wright, the gifted director of "Atonement" presents us with an irresistible version of Churchill through the magic powers of Oldman but sometimes he doesn't seem to trust the power of what he has in his hand. Eccentric cuts in the middle of a famous speech for instance and other stylistic distractions arrive with irritating frequency but that doesn't spoil. too much, the joy and fun of seeing Gary Olman in action. Also interesting to notice, Dunkirk provides a very moving moment for the second time this year.
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