Category: Reviews

Book, media, audio and video reviews by Richard M. Langworth

Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

Orwell on Churchill: "It is rumoured that after promising to fight in the streets he turned from the microphone and said: 'We'll throw bottles at the bastards; it's about all we've got left!' One may assume that this story is untrue, but at the time it was felt that it ought to be true. It was a fitting tribute from ordinary people to the tough and humorous old man whom they would not accept as a peacetime leader [in 1945] but whom in the moment of disaster they felt to be representative of themselves."

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“Leaders: Churchill,” with Robert Hardy (1986)

“Leaders: Churchill,” with Robert Hardy (1986)

With all its flaws and inaccuracies, the performance brings out Churchill's greatest characteristic. That was his essential humanity, which made him so different from other leaders past and present. James Humes noted another quality. "Churchill told his audiences what he wanted them to hear." And Sir John Gielgud closes with words to remember. "Churchill was as ordinary as any of us—and as extraordinary as any of us can hope to be."

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Winston Churchill in “Peaky Blinders” and On the Art of Sleep

Winston Churchill in “Peaky Blinders” and On the Art of Sleep

Given the differences in ages, Maskell's makeup and mannerisms are excellent. Close-ups are better than full figure shots. Unfortunately the scriptwriter didn't consult the right experts. For example, Churchill wouldn't have lorded over Tommy Shelby for being lesser born than he. That simply was not Churchill's style. Nor did he regard Oswald Mosley as a serious a threat as "Peaky Blinders" makes him.

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