Search - Churchill on DVD

Actor: Ian McKellen
Genres: Documentary
NR     2004     3hr 0min


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Movie Details

Actor: Ian McKellen
Creator: David Marsh
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Pbs Paramount
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/11/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Announcement: The voice of Churchill is played by John Badde
tendays komyathy | U.S.A. & elsewhere traveling | 06/01/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

""This is the story of Winston Churchill, the man behind the legend, told by those who knew him." And 'those' appearing in interviews in this production include the following: Mary Soames (Churchill's Daughter), Winston Churchill (his grandson), Celia Sandys (his granddaughter), & John Thurso (Liberal leader Archibald Sinclair's grandson); as well as 3 personal secretaries of Churchill, a private secretary, an interpreter, a telephone censor, a security officer, and a former duty officer of the White House map room. But unlike what you might expect herein we don't see a lot of Churchill himself & even less of Churchill on film actually speaking (not much more than 5 minutes of him speaking on film is shown). Instead, the director has utilized a Churchill look-a-like to walk the grounds of Churchill's actual country estate, dabble with paint canvases, gaze out of windows, and labor over a desk while a voice-over tells us what was going on in Churchill's life at the time. Some footage of Churchill is employed, but only in a ancillary role. We also hear a voice-over read the contents of letters handled by the director's Churchill stand-in. Unfortunately, at times this voice isn't even Churchill's either, but another actor's. (In the credits under "Voice of Churchill" is listed the name of John Baddeley.) Back to the substance of this production (by British Carlton TV---PBS being only involved in distributing it). Part One, concerning Churchill prior to the 1930s, entitled "Destiny," ends with this quote: "Churchill was 56 years old, his political career seemed to be over, his destiny unfulfilled." Then Part 2 ("The Lion's Roar") skims over most of the 30s in approximately 10 minutes, explaining nothing of how Churchill survived being in "the wilderness" for upwards of a decade; mentioning only, as a bridge, that Churchill, "stubborn as ever [ ] continued to speak out about a much greater threat---Nazi Germany." 6 minutes later he is back in power as First Lord of the Admiralty. So, the focus of this program is rather diverse you could say. Less than a sixth of this progam addresses the era of World War Two and no mention of religion is ever mentioned and, as I've already indicated, we see a lot more of the actor stand-in portraying Churchill pace rooms, smoke cigars, and cast serious gazes then we see of Churchill himself herein. In other words, do try to listen to some of Churchill's actual speeches, see more film footage of him, the fine film "The Gathering Storm" (starring Albert Finney), & perhaps read Jon Meacham's "Franklin & Winston," to gain more of a feel for what made Churchill such a significant historical individual as well as a fascinating larger-than-life man. (06May) Cheers!"
The Young Winston Churchill
Mr. M.Dunsky | Montreal Canada | 04/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of all of the Films, which I have had the pleasure of viewing,this is one of the best. The superb acting, the attention to historical detail, the droll humor of Churchill which was present throughout his life, and Churchill's painful relationship with his father; all combine to make this a most memorable Film. A must see!"
Interesting even to a nonhistorian
Mr. M.Dunsky | 12/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I caught this on PBS, intending to tape it for someone else, and ended up watching it myself and enjoying it! I am not a history/politics person, and I still found it good. At times the Churchill actor sitting at his desk and smoking annoyed me, but there was still lots of original footage to keep it visually interesting."
A story of a multi-faceted man
Ken Friedman | Cupertino, CA USA | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the most complete view of this complex man and his impact on world history I have yet seen. You get to understand him from many perspectives -- political, personal, emotional, and see his intimate relationships with his contemporaries and family members. The film is moving and a touching treatment of this man who, IMHO, saved western civilization."