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The Gathering Storm [DVD] [2002]

Albert Finney , Vanessa Redgrave , Richard Loncraine    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Price: 3.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Gathering Storm [DVD] [2002] + Into The Storm - La Guerra Di Churchill + Winston Churchill The Wilderness Years [2005] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent, Linus Roache, Lena Headey
  • Directors: Richard Loncraine
  • Writers: Hugh Whitemore, Larry Ramin
  • Producers: C. Cory M. McCrum-Abdo, David M. Thompson, Frank Doelger, Julie Payne, Lisa Ellzey
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AZVHL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,695 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The Gathering Storm is a fictionalised portrayal of Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine during their wilderness years of the 1930s. It deservedly won numerous awards, including an Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe in recognition of Albert Finney's wonderful central performance. Equally deserving were those for all aspects of the production design: period wardrobe, set dressing and use of location are equally impressive, apparently ensuring that this production has everything going for it in its depiction of pre-War Britain. The snag is that its restriction to TV movie format, a mere 90 minutes, excludes a lot of historical context that ought not to have been left out.

Seeing Churchill's adoration of his wife (Vanessa Redgrave) or the family woes troubling Ralph Wigram (Linus Roache) is all very emotionally dramatic, but it uses precious screen time that might have been better devoted to highlighting the political situation abroad, or indeed the monarchy's situation at home. The enterprise smacks a little too much of sentimental contrivance, lionising Churchill in rose-tinted retrospect. True, some attempt is made to acknowledge the personality traits that excluded him both from office and popularity prior to Germany's re-building, but like so much else pertinent to the machinations of anticipating the war, these are glossed over for familial feel-goodery and button-pushing poignancy. This is a film that's easy to admire, but ought not to be mistaken for well-rounded history.

On the DVD: The Gathering Storm doesn't look or sound quite as crisp and clear as you'd hope for a recent TV-movie transfer. That's down to some obvious grain in the picture, and the 2.0 surround audio that tends to lose quieter dialogue moments. There are extensive cast and crew biographies that will no doubt help international viewers place the naggingly familiar British faces. There's also the accumulatively enthusiastic commentary from director Richard Loncraine and producer Frank Doelger, which happily points many of them out. --Paul Tonks

Product Description

Albert Finney stars as Sir Winston Churchill in the years leading up to the Second World War, as he tries to warn Britain of the threat posed by Hitler and Nazi Germany. The film looks at his comeback from political obscurity and the personal sacrifices he made for his country.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winston Is Back! By Bloody Hell He Is! 23 April 2007
"This is a hugely entertaining movie that gives us a personal glimpse of Churchhill's life at the prelude of his illustrious career. The movie works as well as it does because of Albert Finney's brilliant performance as Churchhill. Finney won an Emmy for this performance and it's not hard to see why. His portrayal of the former Prime Mister of England is the greatest acting performance I've seen in years. The way Finney so effortlessly molded himself into the character is simply astonishing." David Blair

The opening scene of this epic shows Winston Churchill getting up out of bed, buck naked, we see his buttocks as he goes to take a 'piss' while reciting a speech he was about to make. We know without a doubt that this is a movie without compromise, and Albert Finney has become Churchill. I doubt I will see acting as fine as this again. I am enmeshed in his character, and I believe he was more Churchill than Churchill.

As fabulous as the acting is the story holds you spellbound. The story of Churchill without power and out of office as it were and floundering. Then he is given information about Germany and his life begins anew. The story of Clementine, his wife, as played by Vanessa Redgrave. Their love story, and as Winston says at one point near the end of the movie. "Thank you for loving me as I never thought I would be loved". How wonderful to have a love as deep and as long and to be as thankful for someone else in your life. Their family and their personal life comes alive. The travails and the daily life become up close. The friends and foes are put to test, and Winston's true personality shines. He is a great man, and as he has said, he knows it! We see the warts and all.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 9 Sep 2005
Gathering Storm is truly a top drawer dramatisation and Albert Finney's portrayal is flawless.
My only gripe is that it was too short, much too short - a program such as this and of this quality with this cast should either have gone the whole hog and encompassed Churchill's finest hours ( ie, post WWII ) or have spawned a sequel for this purpose.
However, what wasn't or might have been doesn't detract from what was, or what is, and Gathering Storm is a classic of the highest order.
As this is written, it is priced at less than 8 - I paid full whack and it was still a bargain.
And as for the rating, well, 5 stars is not enough.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first zephyrs of war amid the doldrums 14 Jan 2006
It's part of the Churchill legend that, after having served in high government posts in the first third of the 20th century, Winston was a has-been by the mid-1930s, ridiculed and avoided by fellow members of Parliament - caught in the political doldrums. THE GATHERING STORM depicts the period from 1934 to 1939. It's no exaggeration to say that Churchill owes the resurgence of his political career to Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich.
Albert Finney was an inspired choice in the title roll. We watch as Winston, despondent over his fall from influence, becomes the lone voice in the wilderness speaking out against the government's policy of appeasement of Nazi Germany. This is all the more remarkable because it was Churchill's own party, the Conservatives, which held power under Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (Derek Jacobi), who, as pointedly put by Winston, was but an "epileptic corpse". However, this film does not slavishly idolize. We see Churchill for what he also was: inept at money handling, domineering, occasionally incredibly selfish, and perhaps too envious of the military accomplishments of his ancestor, the 1st Duke of Marlborough. And, as comic relief, the viewer is led to believe that Winston composed and rehearsed his greatest speeches in the loo, especially while in the bathtub.
THE GATHERING STORM is also a tribute to Clementine Churchill (Vanessa Redgrave), who scores major points for staying married to a difficult man. In one instance, after twenty-some years of selfless devotion to her marriage and family, Clementine defies her husband's self-centeredness and goes off on a Pacific jolly to chase Komodo Dragons, a large lizard. You go, girl!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This made for TV film about Churchills wilderness years as a politician, is completely gripping from beginning right through to the highly charged and very emotional ending.
To British people like myself, who, approaching forty, have grown up with the knowledge of Winston Churchill, as our parents, grandparents grew up and lived through the second world war.
This is a film that stirred no end of emotions within myself, and my wife. The main one being the fierce sense of patriotism, and frustration in the way that Winston Churchill was treated within the British Government in the 5 years preceding the second world war.
He was ridiculed when he tried to warn the government that Hitler and Nazi Germany were rearming at a phenomenal rate.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent film...
Published 1 day ago by Brian Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by keith241
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering Storm
Brilliant docu-story and excellent performances by all actors. I would think the research of the event is pretty close to actual.
Published 2 months ago by Beryl Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Finney is superb as Churchill
Albert Finney is spot on right from the first shot of him as Churchill when he steps out of the Car to ascend the Hill to relive the Battle of Blenheim led by his ancestor The Duke... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pearsy1952
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film.
Missed this when it wa around so after a mention on TV re Ronnie Barkers role decided to buy it. Excellent film and interesting know another side of Churchill.
Published 5 months ago by Ruth Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Churchill
This DVD conveys the pre war feeling exactly as I remember it .Finney is excellent as Churchill and and gives a first class performance.
Published 5 months ago by Pedro
5.0 out of 5 stars Larger than life
Generally,I do not like watching films in which the protagonists are people who have really existed and are still present in our memory,such as the Kennedys,Princess Diana,Albert... Read more
Published 5 months ago by supernova
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Very goof film well worth buying I would buy from these people again I cannot praise it high enough 10 out of 10
Published 7 months ago by Crispin
5.0 out of 5 stars The gathering storm
This is a great film. Albert Finney played Mr Churchill extremely well. And the other actors were also
excellent. It's a film you can watch over and over again. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cassie
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering Storm
Bought this DVD after reading the book. The film is a much shortened story of complex events leading up to 1939. Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. E. Hudson
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