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The Gathering Storm (2002)

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0:35 | Trailer
Winston Churchill's wilderness years prior to World War II, when only he could see the threat that Adolf Hitler and a rearmed Germany posed to Europe.

Director:

Richard Loncraine

Writers:

Larry Ramin (story), Hugh Whitemore (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 19 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Winston Churchill
Vanessa Redgrave ... Clemmie Churchill
Jim Broadbent ... Desmond Morton
Linus Roache ... Ralph Wigram
Lena Headey ... Ava Wigram
Derek Jacobi ... Stanley Baldwin
Ronnie Barker ... David Inches
Tom Wilkinson ... Sir Robert Vansittart
Celia Imrie ... Violet Pearman
Hugh Bonneville ... Ivo Pettifer
Gottfried John ... Friedrich von Schroder
Anthony Brophy ... Brendan Bracken
Edward Hardwicke ... Mr. Wood
Tom Hiddleston ... Randolph Churchill
Tim Bentinck ... Marlborough (as Timothy Bentinck)
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Storyline

In the 1930s, Sir Winston Churchill (Albert Finney) was out of government, sitting as a backbench Member of Parliament. His was a lonely voice warning about German rearmament and the coming of a second major war on the continent. He lost a great deal of money in the Wall Street crash and now writes a biography of his ancestor the Duke of Marlborough, a newspaper column, and it's his only means of support. He has a close-knit group of supporters, not the least of whom is his wife Clementine (Vanessa Redgrave), who he loves very dearly. As he continues to press his concerns about Hitler, he is cast as a warmonger and frequently shouted down in Parliament by members on both sides of the aisle. With reliable information from a Foreign Office civil servant who feels the government is not accurately reporting on rearmament, he provides accurate figures to Parliament and the tide begins to turn. With the on-set of World War II in September 1939, Churchill returns to government as the First ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Germany was arming itself for war. But they didn't count on one man.


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2016, Mark Lawson ranked this for The Guardian as the most memorable television portrayal of Winston Churchill and praised Finney's "meticulous preparation" for the role. See more »

Goofs

When Clemmie throws the dish of brussel sprouts at Winston the first shot shows the dish up against the wall by the window, in the next shot with Winston the dish is under the drapes. See more »

Quotes

Winston Churchill: Thank you.
Clemmie Churchill: For what?
Winston Churchill: For being rash enough to marry me, foolish enough to stay with me, and... for loving me in a way... I though I'd never be loved.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Gathering Storm (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Brittania
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Lyrics by James Thomson
See more »

User Reviews

 
Every once in a while...
25 October 2002 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

Winston Churchill's life story is a hell of a tale: pampered youth, war and incarceration in Africa, enduring romance with his wife, catastrophic early political years, service in WW1, abandon in the 20s, resurgence and finest hour during WW2, then decline. Until I stumbled upon this particular film, I wondered why no biography of his had inspired a leading filmmaker, much like T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillar's of Wisdom fired up the imagination of a generation, including one Sir David Lean, leading to one of the best films of all time.

There are two great challenges in putting Churchill to film: 1) Assuming you cannot afford a half-century-spanning narrative in miniseries format, which part of his life do you focus on? 2) Who could possibly play the part without it becoming a joke?

Every once in a while, when you least expect it, you stumble into something amazing. Pure, blind luck. So I ran into this made-for-TV movie on a flight - coincidentally - mere weeks after reading a Churchill bio.

The Gathering Storm, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Richard Loncraine (the Ian McKellen Richard III) has some serious pedigree behind the camera. The playful script covers Churchill's wilderness years during Hitler's rise to power in Germany. It is rich with context but never forgets the casual viewer, focusing primarily on the electric dynamic between Winston and wide/confidant Clemmie.

In calling not for one strong central part but two - a wise move on paper - the film compounds the challenge expressed in point 2, but casting turns out to be a real coup: Albert Finney was always the man, but he simply IS Churchill, a perfect blend of imitation and incarnation (and if you want to know what happens when you get the blend wrong, look no further than the follow-up, Into The Storm). Thank god Vanessa Redgrave more than holds her own opposite him. The rest of the cast is a who's-who of venerable and up-and-coming British thesps, from Jim Broadbent, Derek Jacobi and Tom Wilkinson to Tom Hiddleston and Lena Heady, who are hopefully due great things in the future.

It is a shame that part 2 fell slightly short, and failed to bring back Finney and Redgrave, but still, as Churchill adaptations go, this is probably as good all you'll get. I truly doubt anyone could top this.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lonely War See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Filmfest Hamburg)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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