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Darkest Hour (2017) Poster

(2017)

Trivia

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Gary Oldman spent a year studying Winston Churchill and his mannerisms before starting on this movie.
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In a sad coincidence, John Hurt was ill with cancer when he was set to portray Neville Chamberlain, Britain's ousted Prime Minister, who was dying of cancer in 1940. However, in an interview, Gary Oldman said that because Hurt was so ill, he never made it to a reading and never got to film a scene. The movie was still dedicated to Hurt, as it would have been his final cinematic project.
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Gary Oldman revealed on The Graham Norton Show (2007) that he smoked thirty thousand pounds sterling worth of cigars on-set (about twelve cigars a day) while in character as Churchill, developed nicotine poisoning, and had a colonoscopy during the Christmas filming break.
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Near the end of this movie, E.F.L. Wood aka Viscount Halifax is depicted as saying that Winston Churchill "mobilized the English language and sent it into battle." Although having Halifax utter the phrase can be excused on grounds of "dramatic license", the quote actually originated with American news reporter Edward R. Murrow, who used it in 1954. It was used again by former President John F. Kennedy in 1963, on the occasion of Churchill being given honorary U.S. citizenship.
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According to Gary Oldman, twenty-six members of Churchill's family attended the London premiere of this movie, seventeen of whom had earlier visited the set.
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During his "Best Performance by an Actor" acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards ceremonies, Gary Oldman thanked his wife Gisele for putting up with his "crazy for over a year", further adding that she would tell her friends, "I go to bed with Winston Churchill, but I wake up with Gary Oldman."

This is a play on words originally spoken by Rita Hayworth. Referring to her disappointing love life and her glamorous role in Gilda (1946), she said, "Men go to bed with Gilda but they wake up with me."
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The British historical characters were almost without exception played by British actors. However, Australian Ben Mendelsohn was cast, in addition to his several acclaimed prior roles, because he has a close physical resemblance to the real King George VI, more so than Colin Firth and Jared Harris, two actors who had recently played him, and he is capable of a seamless British accent.
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The movie's end titles neglected to mention that while Winston Churchill lost the 1945 election, he later won the 1951 General Election (after having also lost the 1950 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 twenty-one years to eighteen years in 1969).
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Although he studied Winston Churchill closely to get his performance right, Gary Oldman told the BBC in an interview that he felt playing Churchill had to be more of a creation than an impersonation. He also tried not to be influenced by previous acclaimed screen versions of him, citing in particular those by Albert Finney and Robert Hardy.
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In the scene in the London Underground carriage, the verse which Winston Churchill quotes to the girl was taken from Thomas Macauley's "Lays of Ancient Rome": "Then out spake Horatius, The Captain of the Gate: To every man upon this Earth death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods."
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This movie exaggerates the Labour Party's role in Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister. Clement Attlee was prepared to serve in a coalition government led by Viscount Halifax in 1940, and even said that Halifax would make a better leader than Churchill. This movie has also been accused by critics, including American writer Adam Gopnik and Adrian Smith, emeritus professor of modern history at the University of Southampton, of downplaying the importance of Attlee in the war cabinet. They pointed out that Attlee and his Labour colleagues were completely opposed to any peace deal with Adolf Hitler in 1940 and their support for Winston Churchill's position on this was vital against Viscount Halifax. Churchill was only able to survive the May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis due to support from Labour, although it was Neville Chamberlain's support that proved to be the most crucial.
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This movie takes place over one month starting in May 1940, the first days of Winston Churchill's wartime tenure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
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This is prolific actor Benjamin Whitrow's final screen credit. He died on September 28, 2017, before this movie's general release.
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In his final interview before his death on August 3, 2017, which was published by the Daily Mail on-line, Robert Hardy, who earned widespread acclaim and a BAFTA nomination for his performance in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), predicted that Oldman's portrayal would be one of the finest. He was quoted: "From everything I've seen and heard, Oldman's portrayal of Churchill is far more convincing than some other recent portrayals. He certainly looks the part, he's undergone a remarkable transformation. But it's not just his appearance - he's managed to catch the essence of the man." Hardy said it was dangerous for an actor to simply rely on Churchill's famous props such as his cigar: "It's important to get the little details right. It's not just the look, but stance, style and speech, too."
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This movie deals with the political background around the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk in mid 1940. This operation was also the subject of Dunkirk (2017). Both movies were Best Picture nominees for the Academy Awards.
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Set during a sweltering hot spring in 1940 England, this movie was shot during the winter. For that reason, exterior shots were kept to a minimum and the interior scenes emphasize simulated sunlight through the windows to suggest the oppressive heat.
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Ivana Primorac and her team won the BAFTA for Best Make-up on Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in this movie. Coincidentally, she had earlier overseen John Lithgow's spectacular facial transformation for his role as Churchill in the acclaimed television series The Crown (2016).
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Contrary to the events in an early scene in this movie, Winston Churchill spoke fluent French. He wrote volumes in the french language. Apart from an accent, he could articulate his thoughts quite well in french.
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During the scene when Winston Churchill is talking on the phone with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Roosevelt tells him that the United States cannot deliver planes that the United Kingdom has already paid for because of the arms embargo due to the Neutrality Act. Instead, he suggests that the planes be flown to just a mile south of the Canadian border and pulled by horse into Canada for "legal" delivery. One of the main themes of A Yank in the RAF (1941) is a flier who "gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and letting it be towed across as the law demands." Roosevelt's Destroyers for Bases deal in September 1940 violated the Neutrality Acts, and in March 1941 the US dropped all pretense of neutrality with Lend-Lease. In December 1940 Admiral Ernest J. King said the United States was already at war with Germany.
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According to Gary Oldman, director Joe Wright opted for a generous four weeks of rehearsal.
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Winston Churchill jokingly says that E.F.L. Wood aka Edward Halifax is the fourth son of an Earl, and that fourth sons do not turn anything down. In fact, Halifax's father was merely a Viscount. It was Edward Halifax who later became the first Earl of Halifax, and his three older brothers had all died by the time Halifax was nine-years-old, thereby making him his father's heir from an early stage.
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Extensive make-up was used to transform Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill, but to call this "aging" make-up would not be entirely accurate. In May 1940, Churchill was sixty-five years and six months old. Oldman turned fifty-nine during filming.
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This was the second British movie about Winston Churchill in 2017, with the first being Churchill (2017) starring Brian Cox. However, this movie completely overshadowed the other movie in terms of box-office success, critical acclaim and awards nominations.
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In the scene on the Tube (London Underground) where Churchill meets several everyday Londoners, one man introduces himself as a bricklayer. Famously, Winston Churchill was an amateur bricklayer.
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It is unknown what Adolf Hitler's peace terms would have been in 1940. However, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons they would involve "surrendering to Germany" and handing over the Royal Navy. Churchill deliberately prevented the House of Commons from debating Hitler's peace offers in May 1940, and ignored a further offer to end the war on July 19, 1940. The terms of Hitler's July 1940 peace offer reportedly closely mirrored his proposed May 1941 peace offer, including granting nominal independence to Poland as a German protectorate along with a full German military withdrawal from France (except for Alsace-Lorraine), Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Norway.
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Although E.F.L. Wood (Lord Halifax) has been described as an "appeaser", he was, in fact, instrumental in getting the U.K. to form a military pact with Poland in 1939. Some historians have even called the pact a deliberate ploy by Halifax to cause war with Germany. Halifax had begun to take a more hardline stance towards Germany following the Anschluss, and dropped his support for appeasement after Kristallnacht and the proclamation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
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This was the third movie theatrically released in 2017 that dealt with "Operation Dynamo", the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, France, between May and June 1940. The first was Their Finest (2016) and the second was Dunkirk (2017). Oddly enough, while Their Finest, Dunkirk, and this movie were released theatrically in that order, the events depicted in Their Finest took place after the events depicted in this movie, and some of the events depicted in this movie took place before Dunkirk. The three movies could also be said to each show a different aspect of the operation. Their Finest was an insight into the cultural, social, and political impact of the evacuation on Britain and the war effort. Dunkirk portrayed the evacuation from the eyes of a British soldier, pilot, and civilian sailor involved in the operation, while, lastly, this movie showed Winston Churchill's role during the evacuation and the "behind-the-scenes" political maneuvering surrounding the early period of the war.
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Gary Oldman is the sixth actor from the "Harry Potter" film franchise to portray Winston Churchill after Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) in Churchill's Secret (2016), Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) in The King's Speech (2010), Brendan Gleeson (Mad Eye Moody) in Into the Storm (2009), David Ryall (Elphias Doge) in Bertie and Elizabeth (2002), Two Men Went to War (2002) and De Gaulle (2006), and Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge) several times, beginning with Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981) and including War and Remembrance (1988) and Bomber Harris (1989).
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Lord Halifax wanted to use the still-neutral Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to broker a negotiated end to the war in May 1940. Winston Churchill had highly praised Mussolini when they met in January 1927, and he continued to highly praise the fascist leader throughout the 1930s. Churchill told the Anti-Socialist Union that Mussolini was "the greatest lawgiver among living men". He also wrote in The Sunday Chronicle that Mussolini was "a really great man". When the Italian invasion of Ethiopia began in October 1935 Churchill told the House of Commons that Abyssinia was a "wild land of tyranny, slavery, and tribal war. ... No-one can keep up the pretense that Abyssinia is a fit, worthy and equal member of a league of civilized nations". Slavery was legal in Ethiopia until April 1936, when the Italians abolished the practice. As a result, Mussolini freed nearly half a million slaves in the country.
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Adrian Smith, emeritus professor of modern history at the University of Southampton, described this movie as "deeply flawed" in terms of its historical accuracy. BBC movie critic Mark Kermode also gave it a negative review for The Film Review (2007), while acknowledging that it had "a very good cast" and Gary Oldman's performance was worthy of an award and likely to win the Oscar for Best Actor.
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Ronald Pickup (Neville Chamberlain) previously played Winston Churchill's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, in Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974).
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In an interview to promote this movie, Gary Oldman said that he considered Winston Churchill to be "arguably the greatest Briton who ever lived". Like Churchill, the right-wing political leader he portrayed in this movie, Oldman is known to have right-wing sympathies, having revealed in an interview in 2014 that he was a libertarian, hated political correctness, and believed Hollywood to have a liberal political bias by denying conservatives a podium. Amongst his controversial statements, he claimed that people were considered to be racist if they didn't vote for the anti-slavery movie 12 Years a Slave (2013) at the Oscars. He was also forced to apologize after defending antisemitic comments by fellow actor Mel Gibson.
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Gary Oldman's performance as Winston Churchill in this movie was the twenty-second time the Best Actor Academy Award has been won for playing a real-life character. In his review of this movie, critic Brian Tallerico even suggested that this movie was made purely to get Oldman, one of Britain's most acclaimed actors for thirty years, a long overdue Oscar.
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The Royal Air Force (RAF) was already bombing cities and towns in Germany by this time. Monchengladbach was bombed on 11 May 1940, the day after Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain. Contrary to popular belief, Churchill did publicly acknowledge the fact the RAF was bombing Germany during the Battle of Britain.
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This was a passion project for screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten.
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After Winston Churchill had survived the May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis he received another cheque from Sir Henry Strakosch for £5,000. In 2016 values that amount would have been the equivalent of over £250,000.
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Churchill had taken a more hardline stance in calling for war with Germany after having his vast debts paid by Sir Henry Strakosch in 1938. The money from Strakosch enabled Churchill to retain his Kent home Chartwell, and saved his finances. He received further money from Strakosch in June 1940, and was bequeathed another large amount when Strakosch died in 1943.
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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 Mohandas K. 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 handicapped, 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 gypsies and 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 Gary 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."
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Director Joe Wright, who is British, but has a deep affection for the United States and spends a lot of his time there, suggested that this movie is directly relevant to the country's political turmoil under the leadership of maverick business billionaire Donald Trump and the concern this was causing for the rest of the world. He said, "There's a big question in America at the moment: what does good leadership look like? Churchill resisted when it mattered most, and as I travel around America I am really impressed and optimistic at the level of resistance happening in the U.S. at the moment. After George W. Bush was elected, it wasn't the same level. There was more apathy then. Now people are very vocal and that's really positive."
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The couplet Kristin Scott Thomas recites about tiredness at her dressing table was a favourite of Clementine Churchill. It is a version of the opening lines of an anonymous verse sometimes called "The Tired Woman's Epitaph", and was purportedly written in 1744 on the long-disappeared wooden marker for one Sarah Dewster, in the churchyard at Bushey, Hertfordshire, UK.
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While pondering the process, it was clear to director Joe Wright that the success of the character of Winston Churchill was going to weigh heavily on overcoming the physical demands. As a result, Gary Oldman decided that if he were to undertake this metamorphosis, he would need the best man for the job ('the only man on the planet who could do it'). Kazuhiro Tsuji, a hyperrealist sculptor and fine artist who, less than a decade prior had spent 25 years working successfully as a special effects makeup artist in Hollywood. In 2012, he retired from the film industry to pursue other creative desires and retreat from a career that had drained him of his mental health and wellbeing. So the last thing he expected was an email from Gary Oldman, enticing him back with a project he couldn't ignore. Oldman was adamant that he wouldn't move forward without the artist by his side. Tsuji then had to choose between continuing his quiet, creative life in peace or saying yes to being thrust back into the industry for the opportunity of a lifetime. He decided he couldn't say no. 'This was the kind of the film I had wanted to work on my whole career. Character make up on an amazing actor, in a great film with a great story', he told SWSCA. The first issue Tsuji had to overcome was the fact that there were little to no similarities between Oldman and the icon himself. Because of this, most of the face was going to require prosthetics. However, Tsuji's genius combined with six months of makeup tests and preparation resulted in a flawless makeup, offering Oldman all the freedom he would need to carry out his role in the dialogue-heavy drama. The fluidity of the makeup design is because of his detailed understanding of human anatomy. He explains, 'It's very important to understand the anatomy of the face and the mechanism of the makeup. To know what to cover and what not to cover by an appliance, along with what cannot be done by makeup is also important as well. Human skin is very complex, and because we are trying to mimic it with fake skin on top, a lot of experiences and tests are necessary. Everyone's face is different. The result, which complements his features rather than smothers them, took approximately four hours every day. Vanity Fair explains, "A prosthetic cast mold made of silicone rubber was applied to Oldman's entire face except for his forehead and lips so that he could convey facial expressions. A foam bodysuit was specially constructed for Oldman to add extra weight to his slight frame. Also, Oldman had his head completely shaved so that a wig and hairpieces could be easily applied." Agreeing to sit in the makeup chair for 200+ hours over the course of the shoot was the price he had to pay to evolve into Churchill without adversely affecting his health. However, Oldman found the process liberating to watch, and it ultimately helped him disappear into the character each day. Of course, this feat was no one-person show. Taking care of the on-set application was David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick, who applied the makeup as directed by Tsuji and did a flawless job of it. Utilising 'DDT Effects Especiales' and 'Super Suit Factory' for manufacturing, much of the lab work happened at 'Vincent Van Dyke Effects' in Los Angeles. For the lab work and casting, many familiar names arise including Carl Lyon, Rob Freitas, Manny Lemus and Will Thornton. Kazuhiro's team was made up of skilled artists and technicians who would be able to carry out his ideas while he worked on the finer details back at his studio.
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Gary Oldman claims to have personally selected Kazu Hiro to be the head makeup artist, persuading him to come out of retirement to transform him into Winston Churchill. Oldman declined gaining weight to physically change his appearance, and was determined to achieve likeness through makeup.
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Gary Oldman's work in this movie earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. At the 71st British Academy Film Awards, this movie received nine nominations, including Best Film and Best British Film, Best Actor in a Leading Role (for Oldman), and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for Dame Kristin Scott Thomas).
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The fate of brigadier Claude Nicholson, who is seen in the film organizing the resistance at Calais and who is ordered to draw the German attention is left unclear in the film, implying than he died defending his position. In reality, Nicholson did survive the German attack. Taken as a POW, he was sent to prisoner camp in Salzburg where he was asked to serve as witness for Soviet atrocities in Poland, but he refused, not wanting to assist the Germans in any capacity. After being transferred to the city of Rotenburh, Nicholson became chronically depressed, and he committed suicide in 1943.
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In the 1920s, Churchill approved of Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism because he had been prepared to do much the same in Britain, if it had been necessary. He opposed Adolf Hitler as part of the same anti-German struggle that he had helped launch in 1914. It was only later that mainstream opinion chose to re-define World War II as anti-Fascist, at a time when Germans were needed as Cold War allies.
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Winston Churchill was a major advocate of eugenics, including the forced sterilization of the mentally handicapped. In October 1910 a deputation to the government called for the implementation of the Royal Commission's recommendations on eugenics without delay. Churchill, in his reply, recalled the fact that there were at least 120,000 "feeble-minded" persons "at large in our midst" who deserved "all that could be done for them by a Christian and scientific civilization now that they are in the world," but who should, if possible, be "segregated under proper conditions so that their curse died with them and was not transmitted to future generations.". In February 1911, Churchill spoke in the House of Commons about the need to introduce compulsory labor camps for "mental defectives." As for "tramps and wastrels," he said, "there ought to be proper labour colonies where they could be sent for considerable periods and made to realize their duty to the State.".
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This movie had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2017, and also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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This movie is the third portrayal of a British Prime Minister to earn the lead actor or actress an Academy Award, following George Arliss' win for Disraeli (1929) and Meryl Streep's win for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011).
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At one point in this movie, Winston Churchill goes rampaging about the house looking for a book, asking, "Where's Cicero?", who was the great orator of ancient Rome. Soon afterwards, he calls for Admiral Ramsay (David Bamber). Bamber played Cicero on Rome (2005).
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With regard to eugenics, Winston Churchill wrote, "The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate. I am convinced that the multiplication of the feeble-minded, which is proceeding now at an artificial rate, unchecked by any of the old restraints of nature, and actually fostered by civilized conditions, is a terrible danger to the race." He added, "I propose that 100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilized and others put in labour camps to halt the decline of the British race."
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Although British-born, Gary Oldman has played more American than British characters in his career. In one respect, the role of Winston Churchill keeps to that tradition, as his mother Jennie Spencer-Churchill was American, born in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, New York.
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The role of Winston Churchill was played earlier that year by Brian Cox, making Gary Oldman the second actor to win an Oscar for taking over a role from Cox. Cox had previously played Hannibal Lecter/Lecktor in Manhunter (1986), a role for which Anthony Hopkins won the Oscar in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Hopkins and Oldman appeared in Hannibal (2001).
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Objecting to the way in which Winston Churchill was portrayed in this movie, a group of anti-racist protesters demonstrated at the Churchill-themed "Blighty Café" in London in late January 2018. Ironically, this protest and the resulting media coverage led to the previously obscure café becoming far more popular.
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This movie was the only Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year to also be nominated for Best Make-up and Hairstyling.
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In Spain the title was translated as "El Instante más Oscuro" (The Darkest Instant) to avoid confusion with the previous The Darkest Hour (2011).
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Ben Mendelsohn is an Australian actor who played King George VI. In The King's Speech (2010), George's older brother, who was Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, before his abdication, was played by Guy Pearce, another Australian actor. Two brothers who became head of the British Royal Family in two different movies were played by Australians.
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The last film to feature both Winston Churchill and King George VI as characters was The King's Speech (2010), which won an Oscar for Colin Firth. Gary Oldman and Firth appeared together in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), which earned Oldman his first Oscar nomination. Both previous films also featured several of Oldman's Harry Potter cast mates: John Hurt, Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, and Helena Bonham Carter.
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As Churchill is portrayed consulting about a speech, he provides a fragmented quote from Cicero, stating "'If fortune is adverse' something" The full quote is " Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts."
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Stephen Dillane appeared in this film as E.F.L. Wood aka Viscount Halifax and in The Crown (2016) as Graham Sutherland. Both men in real life were connected to (then Prime Minister) Winston Churchill.
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Some historians have argued that Winston Churchill's decision to reject Adolf Hitler's peace offers in May-July 1940 led to the Holocaust, as the Royal Navy's blockade prevented the Madagascar Plan from being enacted. Until late 1941 the Nazis only wanted to deport Jews from Europe. The Final Solution was devised after Churchill had refused to end the war.
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E.F.L. Wood aka Lord Halifax previously appeared as a character in Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi (1982), in which he was.played by Sir John Gielgud. Attenborough also directed his own biopic about Winston Churchill, entitled Young Winston (1972), which featured Jane Seymour, Robert Hardy (himself a future Churchill), and Anthony Hopkins in supporting roles. Gary Oldman appeared with Hopkins in Hannibal (2001), Hardy in the Harry Potter films, and with Gielgud and Seymour in Quest for Camelot (1998).
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Bronte Carmichael's debut.
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Brontë Carmichael and Joshua James both appeared in Raised By Wolves S1e1.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Winston Churchill often disappeared from Downing Street or the Cabinet War Rooms and appeared somewhere in London, where he would talk to the public and find out what they were thinking. However, there is no record of him ever doing this on an underground train.
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The producers had tried to locate a genuine pre-World War II Tube train to film the Underground scene. However, none could be obtained. Instead, a 1959 Tube Stock carriage, which was very similar in style to 1938 stock, was hired from the Mangapps Railway Museum and cosmetically restored to resemble a wartime train.
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The scene where Churchill travels on a London underground train and consults ordinary members of the public on whether to negotiate peace with Adolf Hitler was entirely fictional. It was added as the producers felt that this movie was (by obvious historical necessity) dominated by white, middle-class male characters and lacked the wider diversity felt needed for a modern audience, and also to suggest that Churchill was sometimes beset by doubts and uncertainty over his decisions. Many historians have criticized this interpretation, saying the historical evidence shows Winston Churchill was always resolute in his opposition to making peace with Nazi Germany. However, Andrew Roberts has written that Churchill did consider ending the war on May 26, 1940. After E.F.L. Wood aka Halifax suggested using the still-neutral Benito Mussolini to broker a negotiated end to the war, Churchill replied, "I would be grateful to get out of our present difficulties on such terms, provided we retained the essentials and the elements of our vital strength, even at the cost of some territory." He said that "if we could get out of this jam by giving up Malta and Gibraltar and some African colonies he would jump at it. But the only safe way was to convince Hitler that he couldn't beat us."
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The train scene, in which Churchill meets a black man and his white girlfriend and approves of their wish to get married, was criticized by many as fanciful. Winston Churchill was a self-described white supremacist who defended European settlers stealing North America from the native Indians. He also defended the actions of white settlers against the Aborigines in Australia. He continued to export food from India throughout the Bengal Famine of 1943-45, and even complained that Mohandas K. Gandhi had not starved to death. He strongly opposed the British Nationality Act 1948 which allowed black Commonwealth citizens to freely enter the UK without special documentation, and pushed heavily for amendments to the act. In 1954, Churchill's Cabinet invited the Home Secretary Gwilym Lloyd George and the Colonial Secretary Alan Lennox-Boyd to prepare a draft bill restricting immigration, and the Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden seriously considered placing it before Parliament. On 10 December 1954, Churchill told Michael Blundell, a prominent white settler in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising, at 10 Downing Street that he did not regard black people as equal to white people. He suggested using "Keep England White" as a campaign slogan for the 1955 General Election.
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