Rate this biopic of Winston Churchill’s early years as both a brilliant artistic achievement and a fascinating, highly enjoyable film – a combination not always obtained.
It’s a richly multi-faced scrapbook [from Churchill’s book My Early Life] which is unfolded, touching on his lonely childhood and only occasional contact with his politician father and a socially much-involved American mother, early school experience, first combat and war correspondent stints in India and the Sudan and on to first political defeat and ultimate vindication as – after a headline-grabbing Boer War exploit – he makes an early political mark in an impassioned House of Commons speech.
Far from a sycophantic paean to a great man in the bud, pic manages a believable portrait of an ambitious and sometimes arrogant young man.
1972: Nominations: Best Original Story & Screenplay, Costume Design, Art Direction
Columbia/Open Road. Director Richard Attenborough; Producer Carl Foreman; Screenplay Carl Foreman; Camera Gerry Turpin; Editor Kevin Connor; Music Alfred Ralston; Art Director Geoffrey Drake, Don Ashton
(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 157 MIN.
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