Excerpted from “Back in the News: Richard Burton’s Fraught Relationship with Winston Churchill,” for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project, June 2020. For the complete text, please click here.The Burton – Churchill Kerfuffle
The airwaves and Twitterverse are full of Churchill bile following recent sad events that have nothing to do with him. Surfacing again are attacks half a century old by the famed actor Richard Burton. Film critic John Beaufort first reported these in the Christian Science Monitor in 1972:
December 9th, 1972— Richard Burton has just given two of the oddest and most contradictory performances of his career.…
The Hillsdale College Churchill Project has just republished “Scaling Everest,” Robert Hardy’s recollections of playing the Wilderness Years Churchill. They are from 1987, his speech to one of our Churchill Tours, at the Reform Club, London. We are grateful to his executors, Justine Hardy and Neil Nisbet-Robertson for permission to reprint. For Part 1, click here.
I thought the occasion appropriate to republish my original review of the “Wilderness Years” from 1981, some years before we met. I thought at the time I had “laid an egg”—in Churchill’s phraseology, not RH’s.…
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.
Hillsdale’s Center for Constructive Alternatives (CCA) is the sponsor of one of the largest college lecture series in America.…
This review was first published by the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For remarks on Darkest Hour by Hillsdale President Larry Arnn, and excerpts from Gary Oldman’s appearance at the College, click here.Hour of Trial, and Triumph
Darkest Hour, a film by Focus Features, directed by Joe Wright, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, 2hrs 5 min, December 2017.
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods…”
—Thomas Babington Macaulay
I finally saw Darkest Hour on February 16th.…
Troy Bramston of The Australian newspaper had pertinent questions about the new movie Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. With the thought that Troy’s queries might be of interest, I append the text of the interview.The Australian : Of all the things Winston Churchill is purported to have said and done, the myths and misconceptions, which are the most prevalent and frustrating for scholars? None of these appear in the film, but there are three things that rankle: 1) The lies—that he was anxious to use poison gas; that he firebombed Dresden in revenge for Coventry; that he exacerbated the Bengal famine, etc.…
“The Trouble with the Movies” was published in the American Thinker, 5 August 2017.
David Franco, reviewing the film Churchill, starring Brian Cox, raises questions he says everyone should be asking. “Isn’t the ability to accept one’s mistakes part of what makes a man a good leader? …. To what extent should we rely [on] past experiences in order to minimize mistakes in the future? These are the questions that make a bad movie like Churchill worth seeing.”
Well, I won’t be seeing this bad movie. Described as “perverse fantasy” by historian Andrew Roberts, it joins a recent spate of sloppy Churchill bio-pics that favor skewed caricatures over historical fact.…