26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first zephyrs of war amid the doldrums
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...
Published on 14 Jan 2006 by Joseph Haschka
1.0 out of 5 stars A very true historical represetation.
An excellent BBC production covering the time in the 1930's leading up to the second world war.with Albert Finney
playing Winston Churchill over this period. This could be very useful to history students to learn about the struggle
Churchill had to convince the country about German rearmament.
Published 1 month ago by Donald Walker
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first zephyrs of war amid the doldrums,
This review is from: Gathering Storm [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)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!
This isn't a riveting drama by any means, but it's an extremely competent portrayal of the man and his times. For one already acquainted with Churchill's career, it offers nothing new. For one who knows nothing of Churchill or that period of Britain's history between the wars, it's perhaps a must-see. Much of it was filmed at Churchill's home of the time, Chartwell, now a National Trust property.
The very best thing about Finney's portrayal is his voice. I could close my eyes and easily imagine that it was Winston himself speaking. However, this aspect of the production also leads to its greatest failing, which is that not enough of Churchill's great oratory was heard. As I watched the ending credits roll, I thought how they needed a voice-over of Winston's greatest speech - the one that even now brings chills to me (a non-Brit), and which includes:
"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'."
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winston Is Back! By Bloody Hell He Is!,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)"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. His drinking, his financial issues, his 'black dog' or depression, and the wonderous man who works 20 hours out of 24.
I learned a great deal about Winston Churchill I did not know. This movie opened the door into his personal life, and he became a real flesh and blood man. 'The Gathering Storm' was the title of one of his books and it fits this movie well. Clemmie, his wife is the epitome of the woman behind the man. She gave up much, but it was returned in spades via her husband and her children. The stories entwined that of Winston, his public life and that of Winston, his private life. I want more of this calibre. My best friend told me this movie was a favorite. It has become a favorite of mine, and I only finished the viewing.
Heartily Recommended. prisrob 4-22-07
The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)***
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY SUPERB,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)It just goes to show what you can achieve with inspired casting, skilful acting performances and first class writing, not to mention the beauty of Chartwell and all the other ingredients that went into making this supremely excellent film....superb. It knocks all the Hollywood films into a cocked hat and leaves them extremely wanting.
Smashing...we've watched it over and over. A great testimony to a truly wonderful leader and a very great man.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winstons back!,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)To play Winston Churchill well is an almost impossible task for an actor because he is such a charismatic and instantly recognisable figure.As well as that he is still so loved and revered by our Nation it is almost sacrilege to try. Many have attempted the role but none have succeeded until now. Albert Finney is superb and deserves the all plaudits he has received. He captures Churchill wonderfully and shows us a gentle and emotional side of the man that few were aware of. This is much more than just a war story and gives a real insight into the great mans character. It also re-emphasises that Churchill stood alone in the face of political ridicule to warn of the dangers of Nazism. His home Chartwell is used for much of the filming and Churchills real love for his home and country is beautifully illustrated. This film is a classic and anyone interested in Churchill should not hesitate to buy it. You will not be dissapointed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely magnificent,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)Joining in with other recent depictions of great politicians and monarchs, this film describes in an exceptional manner the man Winston Churchill. Backed by such extraordinary talents as Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Finney brings Churchill to life in a most excellent way, giving us a thoroughly realistic image of his speeches, his beliefs, his narcissism - his strengths and his weaknesses. Along with his personal life, the troubling times are the centre of the plot. Churchill's particular manner made him the perfect opposite to Hitler, and one of the few men in British politics to stand up to German aggression in an era of appeasement. Churchill is one of the great men of history, for better or worse. This film should be viewed by young and old, and its message burned into the minds of all.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering Storm,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)Having initialy watched this film at home, I found it to be as one of those few "I must have this in my collection" type of film.
Totally engrossing, powerful and dynamic, it shows the layout of Winston Churchill's hand-me-down destiny from the days of the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, telling him of his destiny.
Totally gripping and exciting, it is a dynamic film that shows the many mistakes the Party in power made whilst not listening to him, and Churchill's determination to protect the land, i.e. Britain, that he loved.
The secondary part of this film reveals the personal life between He and Clementine his wife, and his family. How she was his mainstay and support. Yet also reveals his eccentric and down-to-earth lifestyle at the same time.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Winston Churchill - The Greatest Briton Ever!,
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)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. This film also gives an excellent insight into Churchill's private life, and his very close and endearing relationship with his wife Clementine, his beloved 'Clemmie'
Albert Finney is superbly cast as Churchill, so much in fact, that when his youngest daughter (now in her late 70's) saw the preview of 'The Gathering Storm' last year before its general release, she was moved to tears at the end of the film, and kept repeating 'That's my papa, that's my papa'
Vanessa Redgrave is superbly cast as Clementine Churchill, with a very strong supporting cast which includes Jim Broadbent, Linus Roache (son of William Roache - Ken Barlow in Coronation Street), Derek Jacobi as the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, and Ronnie Barker (who came specially out of retirement for this film) is brilliantly cast as Winston Churchills irascible butler 'Inches'
If your British, or have connections with Britain, believe you me, you'll be moved to tears at times, and smiling at other times, but at the end, when you see him walking into the Admiralty building, to take up his position of First Sea Lord, you'll be standing, cheering, clapping or punching the air, and shouting 'YES!!' at this stage, I had tears in my eyes too, and a lump in my throat, as did my wife.
Watch this film, you will not be disappointed, and you will understand why the British people voted Sir Winston Churchill as the Greatest Briton Ever!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go for it, you will get wiser about things you probably did not know!,
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This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)All performances in this film are remarkable, but especially Linus Roache stands out with a superb performance, as the man with a conscience, who made it possible for Winston Churchill to expose Chamberlains aid to Nazi Germany.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of a film portraying the greatest Briton!!!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Gathering Storm [DVD]  (DVD)This film shows the difficulties that stood in Winston Churchills way in the years before the WW2. He fought desperately to persuade the British Government that Britain was in grave danger from the Hitler and his army in Europe. The Government and the people of Britain refused to listen to him because they refused to believe that there may be another World War only 20 years after the War to end all wars had ended. Churchill continued on his pursuit even though many politicians now and then would have stopped in fear of losing support. This film has everything, love, humour and drama. This a great film about one of Britains greatest and bravest patriots. Because of what Churchill did we will be constantly reminded of him by politicians world wide in times of conflict who wish to use inspirational words to inspire their people. Because of this his name will remain in the books of history to inspire the rest of us to "Never give in!"
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The Gathering Storm [DVD]  by Richard Loncraine (DVD - 2003)