In 1927, Winston Churchill wrote to his wife Clementine, “I am becoming a film fan.” He had projection equipment installed at Chequers, the country home of British prime ministers, in 1943, and at his family home Chartwell in 1946. “Churchill and the Movies” is the fourth and final event of the Center for Constructive Alternatives in the 2018-19 academic year. We will view and discuss two films widely regarded as Churchill’s favorites, and two Churchill biographic movies in their historical context.
Anyone reading this knows where they were on 9/11/01. A diminishing number remember where they were on 1/30/65—the day we said farewell to Winston Churchill.
For me it was a life-changing experience. Suddenly, unforgettably, on my flickering black and white TV screen in Staten Island, N.Y., the huge void of England’s grandest cathedral filled with The Battle Hymn of the Republic. He was, we were reminded, half-American, an honorary citizen by Act of Congress.
That day was the start of my 50-year career in search of Churchill—of what his greatest biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, describes as “labouring in the vineyard.”
After the funeral I picked up The Gathering Storm, the first volume of his World War II memoirs, and was snared by what Robert Pilpel called his “roast beef and pewter phrases.” It’s biased, as Churchill admitted—“This is not history; this is my case.” But it is ordered so as to put you at his side for the “great climacterics” that made us what we are today.…
Great website! I am a psychologist writing a book manuscript on the biological basis of self-confidence. I am an admirer of Churchill, I would like to use a quote from The Gathering Storm movie to demonstrate Churchill’s tremendous confidence. Can you help me find the film comment, to Ralph Wigram? In conversation with a schoolmate [Murland Evans] he says he had a strange feeling. One day, he said, Britain would be in great danger, and it will fall to him to save London. —B.J.S.
Thanks for the kind words. Privately the Churchill of early World War II was not so confident as his speeches proclaimed.…