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The Gathering Storm (2002)

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Sir Winston Churchill's (Albert Finney's) 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 »
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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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralph Wigram, C.M.G. (the Foreign Office secretary who provided information on clandestine German rearmament) was one of four leading individuals amongst a group of around twenty who assisted Sir Winston Churchill in this manner. It is agreed that he provided this information with the tacit consent of his supervisor, Robert Vansittart, who was also alarmed by the rearmament. While this movie seems to indicate that Wigram's efforts were illegal, Churchill was a Member of Parliament and Privy Counselor, which would grant him access to such information. Wigram had been thwarted by the Baldwin regime and he took things as far as holding a press conference in 1936, but this garnered little attention. This sharing of secret documents with Churchill began in late 1934 and lasted for two years, when he apparently committed suicide in December 1936. Wigram's wife Ava made several trips to Germany before the outbreak of the war and shared her observations in her correspondence with Churchill. In 1941, nearly five years after Robert's death, Ava married Sir John Anderson, a member of the War Cabinet who became Chancellor of the Exchequer. She died in 1974 at the age of eighty-seven. As for his temperament and character, Wigram's secretary referred to him as "the authentic local deity" and "the departmental volcano". He was also described by others as having a visionary understanding of what was secretly unfolding in Germany. In Churchill's multi-volume history of World War II, he referred to Wigram as one of the great unsung heroes. 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: I like pigs. Dogs look up to you; cats look down on you; pigs treat you as equals.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Many Faces of...: Ronnie Barker (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Lena Headey
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User Reviews

 
Far, Far too Short
28 November 2006 | by wisewebwomanSee all my reviews

Albert Finney's portrayal of Winston Churchill is up there with the best characterizations of all time. He could have easily slipped into caricature (that voice, that famous voice!)but he doesn't. I read somewhere that it was an extremely painful undertaking for him as he had to draw in his chin and get rid of his neck and he did it all without prosthetics which is an extraordinary accomplishment.

Churchill is portrayed warts and all, we get a very complete picture, his crankiness, his ego, his art, and most of all his relationship with Clemmie, his wife, here played, and beautifully, by Vanessa Redgrave.

That the director, Richard Loncraine, assembled such an astonishing and talented supporting cast is to his credit. Jim Broadbent, Linus Roach, Tom Wilkinson, the brilliant and capable Ronnie Barker as Inches the Butler, Hugh Bonneville et al.

The story is historically and chronologically inaccurate but is forgiven in the light of the dramatization of the life of Winston. It is four years on, as I write this, and there is yet to be a sequel and this cries for it. We get the build-up to the war (and where on earth was Neville Chamberlain) but it would be interesting to see the life of Winston behind the actual war.

Wonderful location shots, the actual Churchill house in Chartwell, Kent was used. A must see. 8 out of 10. Pity it didn't run to 3 hours.


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