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.
Kristin Scott Thomas
In early-1953 Moscow, under the Great Terror's heavy cloak of state paranoia, the ever-watchful Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, collapses unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage. Inevitably, when his body is discovered the following morning, a frenetic surge of raw panic spreads like a virus among the senior members of the Council of Ministers as they scramble to maintain order, weed out the competition, and, ultimately, take power. But in the middle of a gut-wrenching roller-coaster of incessant plotting, tireless machinations, and frail allegiances, absolutely no one is safe; not even the feared chief of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. In the end, who will prevail after the death of Stalin?Written by
When Nikita Khrushchev comforts Svetlana Stalin, she buries her head in her hands and says "I'd might as well just shoot myself like mother." On November 9, 1932, Svetlana's mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, had a public spat with her husband, Josef Stalin, during a dinner party over the effects of the government's collectivization program on various peasants in the USSR. She went up to the bedroom and shot herself. See more »
In the concert scene, at least one cello appears to be using a modern combination of Larsen A and D and Thomastik Spirocore G and C strings. Larsen strings were not manufactured until about the 1980s and it is doubtful that Thomastik strings (of Viennese origin) would have been available in Soviet Russia. See more »
Black-and-white photographs of the main characters appear over the end credits, but various figures are airbrushed out, have their faces defaced, or have other people superimposed over them, as per Soviet photos of Trotsky and purge victims. See more »