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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 January 2014
I don't understand why this hasn't been given an official UK DVD release like it's partner production "The Gathering Storm" but, fear not - apart from the external packaging and disc label, this IS an English version of "Into the Storm". No need to switch off subtitles or negotiate a foreign language menu screen. Pop the disc in the player and enjoy this fabulous production... in English!
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on 26 April 2010
Its a travesty that this excellent production hasn't been released on DVD in the UK. It was a fantastic alternative to the trashy, car crash television shows like X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and the rest of the shows that are allowed to air on British television these days.
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on 8 March 2013
I have been fascinated by Churchill's life and his extraordinary career for as long as I can remember. For many people he was the greatest Englisman who ever lived and who represents everything that was good about the British and Britain. I first came upon his career many years ago when I watched "The valiant years" and this was a milestone documentary of his life, even if it was a rose coloured view of him and did not mention the mistakes he made and the odd ideas he came up with during the last war.

I wish I could get a DVD Region 2 of the series or even an old VHS of "The valiant years" but I have never seen it advertised. Can any kind sole help me in my quest to get my hands on it?

Brendan Gleasan does an excellent job of portraying the great man and he compares well with Robert Hardy and Albert Finney who also had stabs at recreating him in two other outstanding films of Churchill's wilderness years. Janet McTeer is superb as his long suffering wife, Clemmie and if the film is anywhere near the truth Churchill was a hard man to live with. Gleasan portrays him as someone who could be rude, selfish, inconsiderate, controlling and self centred. Clemmie bore the brunt of his tiresome behaviour for decades but she was loyal and in Churchill's wilderness years in the 1930's she believed that he was meant for great things and encouraged him to make his mark on history which he surely did.

Churchill was unquestionably a great leader in the second world war and it hard to believe that any of his contemporaries could have lead the country as well as he did. However, he could hardly be described as a great statesman prior to that time and after the war. To his credit, he was one of the few in the 1930's who saw the danger of the Nazi's long before most others and he has to be admired for that. His persistance in trying to bring the menace of the Nazis to public attention at a time when they were in denial because the scars of the first world war were still fresh in the minds of many people. Nobody wanted to face the fact that Germany was rapidly rearming, Hitler wanted to expand Germany's frontiers and sieze the land and resources of other countries and he wanted to reverse the affects of Germany's defeat and humiliation in 1918.

First Churchill warned the politicians in the government about the German re-occupation of the Rhineland but his fears were dismissed as it was regarded as only a case of the Germans going into their own back yard, then his warnings about the German occupation of Austria were discounted as many Austrians seem to want the Germans in their country and then he railed about the betrayal of the Munich agreement that sealed the fate of Czechslovakia but he was told that he was a warmonger and Czechslovakia after all was only an insignificant little country at the other end of Europe that we knew nothing about. It was only when Poland was invaded that lead to the start of the second world war that Churchill was at last called upon to lead the nation.

The film does not always run in chronological order and the director, Thadddeus O'Sullivan sometimes uses flashbacks as Churchill looks back on events in his earlier life. Flasbacks are frequently used in films these days and they can be irritating and distracting but in this instance it works and puts certain events into their historical context. Churchill was at his best in 1940 and 1941, he was at the height of his powers but after America came into the war at the end of 1941 his role and importance and that of Britain gradually diminished and the vast human and material resources of America put them in a position where they could dominate the alliance and they largely had their own way after that. The views of Churchill and the British military leaders often clashed with that of Roosevelt and the American miltary leaders but it has to be said that sometimes the views of the Americans made more sense. In the film the Americans placed prime importance on the allies returning to northern France whereas Churchill after witnessing the poor performance of the French and British armies against the German army in 1940 was very hesitant about taking this course of action. Churchill was keen on taking action in the Mediterannean but this was never likely to lead to the decisive outcome that was necessary to defeat the Germans.

Churchill was seen by many people, both British and Americans as an anachronism, yesterday's man who wanted to hang onto the British empire and British influence at a time when millions of people in India, Malaya, Burma and Singapore were longing for independence and when they saw how easily the Japanese kicked the British out of its empire in the far east they took heart and learnt the lesson that the British public and politicians would eventually lose patience and pull out if the cost of ruling these countries became too high.

Don't be put off by this imported DVD but why on earth could it not have been produced in Britain. It is a fine film with great performances by Gleason, McTeer and Ian Glenn and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who, like me, loves history and the portrayal of remarkable and fascinating events that took place in the momentous years of the 20th century.
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on 12 March 2014
I enjoyed this when it was shown on TV a few years ago and as has been mentioned, I don't understand why this DVD isn't available in the UK. Like its predecessor The Gathering Storm, a lot of it is an abridged dramatisation of Churchill's own multiple-volume memoirs 'The Second World War'. It's a very well produced overview of Churchill's wartime premiership and Brendan Gleeson's performance of the man himself is very convincing.
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on 3 July 2010
An outstanding costume drama, and a sequel to The Gathering Storm. The lead actors do a sterling job, but it must have been very difficult to follow Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave in the same roles. The special effects sometimes shine (Churchill on the roof during the Blitz), but are sometimes painful (the digital back-projection used in the famous balcony of Buckingham Palace scene). For some reason (copyright?) the original voices of the newsreel announcers are not used, yet the footage is. The costuming, lighting and sound design are all excellent. The script is by the same author as The Gathering Storm. He solves the difficult problem of not wanting to end on the downbeat disaster of a socialist election victory at home after the end of the war in Europe - but he does so by mixing up the timeline so that viewers hop rapidly back and forwards in time. Personally I think I might have preferred a simple linear story.
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on 4 March 2015
A worthy successor to its sister production 'The Gathering Storm,' with Churchill portrayed splendidly by Albert Finney. Don't be confused or put-off by the Spanish language appearing on the outer case of this dvd, as it is definitely in English and it works seamlessly and perfectly in Region 2. Brendan Gleeson is absolutely convincing as Churchill and, dare I suggest it, his obvious charisma adds a certain extra satisfaction to your enjoyment of once again watching Churchill lead an unprepared Britain into the teeth of WWII's tempest, and seeing us safely through it. Gleeson's talents are authentically ubiquitous in this challenging role and he remains an actor who I'd like to see a lot more of. I loved it.
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on 5 December 2010
Brendan Gleeson plays an incredible Churchill, well done. Out of the two 'Storm' films regards Churchill this is by far the better. I had goosebumps & tears in my eyes at times, swollen with pride at some of the historical speeches made by Winston, our greatest Brit by a mile. An age gone by, when we stood alone defending freedom etc. this is believable, well acted and accurate, not Hollywood-ified.
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on 20 August 2013
Missed it when it was briefly in the cinema, it deserved to do better.

Ideal for fans of docu-drama, highly recommended.
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on 7 February 2014
An excellent film. Gleeson did a good job on Churchill. The film portrays well the powerful tyranny faced by Britain and the Allies in the Second World War and the dilemmas facing Churchill. The heroism and patriotism of the British forces by air, land and sea and those who "kept the home fires burning" were quite revealing. The pace of the film was good, as were the characterisations. An entertaining film, along with being educational, particularly with the drama behind the scenes.
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on 7 March 2015
Bought for my husband, who finds it most inspirational and keeps watching his favourite bits. Why it looks like an Italian version I don't know. It is a perfect English version not dependent on sub titles. Excellent acting.
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