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The Gathering Storm

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Old 05-05-2002, 11:23 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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The Gathering Storm

As a relatively apolitical American, my knowledge of Winston Churchill is limited to a few soundbites and anecdotes. As such, I have no way of knowing how true The Gathering Storm is...but I hope it's very true.

The movie, a made for HBO film (but should be available to rent soon), opens with Churchill already a doddering old man, on the outs with most of his political cronies, bemoaning that his days of influence are behind him. It follows him as he first learns of the Nazi threat, and ends right before he becomes Prime Minister.

While the facts are all very interesting, the fascinating part is that it is told mostly through the eyes of his friends, family, and servants. The love they all share for him is never explained. In fact, it is occasionally marveled at by onlookers.

Probably the most endearing part of this movie was its description of his relationship with his wife, Clementine. While it is hard for me to reconcile the bulldog image with this lovestruck retiree, in retrospect I can see it makes perfect sense.

Albert Finney's transformation into the famous visage of Churchill is so immersive as to be scary. He even has that lopsided stare down pat. Vanessa Redgrave as Clementine is wonderful, the perfect supportive wife with a mind of her own. The rest of the cast is sprinkled with excellent performances from British actors we know well, but (as an American) perhaps can't quite remember from where.

I don't know if HBO is available in Britain, but I would certainly like to hear some reactions if it is.
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Old 05-07-2002, 02:15 PM
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chris h chris h is offline
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I havent seen this film but will look out for it. Churchill was a born survivor avoiding death at the hands of the Boers, surviving military disasters like Gallipolli which he had instigated and in the political wasteland of the twenties. I only hope it hasn't been 'embroidered' I still haven't recovered from Kevin Costners interpretation of Robin Hood !

Last edited by chris h; 05-09-2002 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 06-06-2002, 12:38 AM
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fugitive fugitive is offline
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From what I've seen in my life it was accurate. Powerful intelligent men like Churchhill, Rosevelt, Kennedy, Patton, Johnson are hard to relate to. They are mortal, no doubt, but some know their destiny and can see it and accomplish it if people just get out of the way and let them.

Want a good read, get Winstons History of WWII, might take a while though, as it's something like six large volumes.
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Old 07-13-2002, 12:14 PM
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Finally saw it on TV over here last night and was very impressed especially with Albert Finney who I didn't recognise at first ! Derek Jacobi (Cladius ?) as Stanley Baldwin played a background role very well as did Ronnie Barker as the butler. Barker was a hugely popular comedy actor over here in the eighties and came out of retirement to take the part, dont know if any of his stuff either solo or with Ronnie Corbett reached the New World ?
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