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
The movie's end titles neglected to mention that while Winston Churchill lost the 1945 election, he later won the 1951 General Election. The Labour Party won the popular vote in 1951, although the collapse of the Liberals enabled the Conservative Party to win the most seats. In 1951 Labour won the most votes that the party has ever won and won the most votes of any political party in any election in British political history, a record not surpassed until the Conservative Party's victory in 1992 (by which time there was a much larger population and far more people had been allowed to vote since the voting age had been reduced from 21 years to 18 years in 1969). See more »
At some point of the movie, you can see a Quartz clock (It being Quartz can be understood by the movement of the seconds hand. In mechanical clocks the movement of the seconds hand is smooth with step sizes as small as 1/6th or 1/8th of a second, while in Quartz clocks usually the seconds hand jumps for a step size of 1 second, and then pauses until it makes its next 1-second step jump for the next second).
The Quartz clocks were of course invented before the time of the movie. But as late as 1960s that the development of cheap semiconductor digital logic made their public and domestic use possible, their use was just limited to some specific applications (like some scientific laboratories and so on). 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 »
Well worth seeing just to watch Oldman's performance.
At this point, "Darkest Hour" has an overall rating of 5.3. I do not understand this at all, but the film has not actually been released yet and has only been seen in film festivals. I assume the overall score will increase considerably--especially since the two reviews for it were quite positive.
Now I must point out that I am a retired history teacher and I consider Winston Churchill to be perhaps the greatest politician of the century. So, I clearly have a bias and predisposition towards liking the movie...especially if it's done well. Is it a crowd pleaser? Maybe not, as the average movie-goer (especially teens) might not enjoy this or care a lick about the film.
The story covers only a portion of the month of May, 1940...just before the fall of France during WWII. Prime Minster Chamberlain is about to be tossed out of office, as his appeasement strategy with Hitler has turned out to be completely stupid. In his place, some hope for Churchill to be the next Prime Minister...though some forces are working to depose him as soon as he comes to power. At the same time, the war is going as badly as it possibly can. Can Churchill survive this? Well, of course...duh, it's HISTORY!
The reasons to see this are two big ones....the film has achieved the look of 1940 beautifully and Gary Oldman provides an Oscar- winning performance in the lead. If he is not at least nominated for this top award, I will be completely shocked...and he really managed (along with ample prosthetics) to LOOK and SOUND like the great man. Great job all around...and a perfect film.
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