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The Gathering Storm (2002)
Albert Finney in a defining role
This film, made for the small screen by Home Box Office, defines how TV movies should be made. The film is an absorbing look at one of the true visionary and inspiring leaders of the twentieth century, Sir Winston Churchill. Mr. Churchill is portrayed by Sir Albert Finney in a role certain to further define his distinguished career in film. Mr. Finney brings humor, strength, rascality, and an amazing resemblance of the character's figure, form and facial features to the role. Aside from this great performance, the film accurately depicts and captures the dark and indecisive years preceding the war in Britain with a strong cast, a splendid adaptation from Mr. Churchill's own writings and the sense of the personal strength and integrity that served England so well in this, Her finest hour.
The Music Man (1962)
Meredith Wilson's Masterpiece comes to life!
This film version of Meredith Wilson's masterpiece is one of the great film classics of its or any other era. With Rodgers and Hammerstein's great run of musicals set to film completed, The Music Man revived the American Musical in film with a brilliant insight into a piece of Americana. Combining a fun and romantic storyline with delicious music and lyrics that have become classics in a timeless love story, The Music Man delivers the viewer back into a turn-of-the-century small Iowan town where a smooth traveling sales and con artist (Robert Preston) charms the citizens into his version of a marching band. His attempt to win over the admiration and affections of the town's piano teacher (Shirley Jones) backfires when he falls in love with her and for the first time in his life becomes the victim of ensnarement. With delightful characters, big dance numbers, and a wonderful melding of song and story, The Music Man stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of this film genre.