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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Never in the field of human acting

Last night I caught up with HBO's Churchill film, "Into The Storm", on the iPlayer. I'm a sucker for Churchill TV films. I've seen all sorts of people play him - Patrick Wymark, Robert Hardy, Timothy West, Nigel Stock, Albert Finney, any British actor with jowls and a growl, in fact - and I've heard Richard Burton recite his speeches so often I confuse them with the real thing. (There's no such thing as the real thing with Churchill's speeches because they were generally re-recorded after the event, a bit like a Kiss live album.) I thought it was rather good. It contained the odd wrinkle that isn't in the authorised version. A heart attack while on a visit to Washington that has to be kept from everyone, including his wife, for instance. He's seen giving Bomber Harris every encouragement to attack German cities while Attlee (played by a Scot!) looks conscience-stricken. But the essentials of the myth remain in place. The weather of summer 1940 remains bathed in golden sunshine. He spends a lot of time in the bath. The gimmick this time was that the star and director were both Irish. Funny that England's sustaining myth should be kept alive by a couple of Irishmen working for an American TV network. I note that Timothy Spall is next up to play the bulldog, this time in a satire called "Jackboots On Whitehall". I'll be there.

7 comments:

  1. I could have done without the swelling, not to say lachrymose, strings under the "fight them on the beaches" speech.

    Still think Schama's History of Britain episode "The Two Winstons" was the best single TV hour on Churchill.

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  2. Brendan Gleeson is a seriously underrated actor.

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  3. You missed Simon Russell Beale in "Dunkirk" which is another good Winny!
    We went to the re-done government war rooms last year and they are worth a trip if anyone has not been.

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  4. Of course Churchill was half American so the Yanks do have some sort of a claim on him too.

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  5. I saw the picture and wondered what Patrick Moore was doing in a '40s war room.

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  6. Jeff Williams11:53 pm

    ....and David Jason on the right !!!

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  7. Anonymous2:42 am

    Is it just me, or are those telephones just too big?

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