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Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years 1929 - 1939

31 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2005)
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(May 28, 2002)
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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Hardy, Siân Phillips, Nigel Havers, Tim Pigott-Smith, Peter Barkworth
  • Producers: Mark Shivas, Richard Broke
  • Format: Color, Content/Copy-Protected CD, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KOCH VISION
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 415 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TV64S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,198 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years 1929 - 1939" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Paco Calderón on May 18, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These wonderful miniseries are every Churchillian's Nirvana, and one inevitably compares them with HBO's acclaimed movie "The Gathering Storm" since they both dwell on the same topic. However there's no match between the two, and this Masterpiece Theater production clearly wins the day.
No offense to Albert Finney -Emmy Award and all- but he doesn't hold a candle to Robert Hardy's Churchill, a tough act to follow if ever there was one. The same can be said for Sian Phillips ("I, Claudius") as Clemmie, Eric Porter as Chamberlain and, for that matter, everyone else in the cast.
The movie covers the ten lonely, frustrating years of Churchill's political comeback. Sacked for his Gallipoli blunder, failed as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was long considered an embarrassing has-been. Epicurean, pigheaded, politically incorrect at the time, histrionic -even pedantic- he alone, nevertheless, had the guts to cry wolf against the rising Nazi menace and call for rearmament, only to be ignored by hesitant MPs and tremulous PMs. On top of it he suffered bouts of jealousy and depression, family and financial problems and even an automobile accident in New York City. Yet, all through his ordeals he still managed to paint, write, lecture, garden, ride, hunt, build a brickwall by himself, and deliver the finest speeches of the XXth Century!
"Never stop, never weary and never give in!"
...and never give it another thought: don't miss this!
P.S.: Although he never met Churchill personally, Hitler makes a sinister cameo early in the series. He is played by Günther Meisner, a German actor who should enter the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running Hitler bit in history. Honest to God, I've never seen this guy in a role other than Hitler ("Winds of War", "Ace of Aces") -or a Nazi ("Is Paris Burning?", "Boys from Brazil", "Under the Volcano", etc.)! Talk about typecast!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 25, 2006
Format: DVD
This British miniseries is probably one of the best reconstructions of a dramatic period in history ever put together. It's the story of Winston Churchill, from 1929, out of office with everyone, including himself but not his wife, believing his political career is finished, to 1939 when, in the face of Hitler's invasion of Poland, Neville Chamberlain reluctantly calls on Churchill to become First Lord of the Admiralty. During these ten years Churchill is ignored, feared, plotted against and often disdained by his political foes. He also, as Germany rearms, is seen by some as the only force for realism and action that Britain has. And Churchill? He is a dominating force, by turns petulant, noble, sulking, roaring, overpowering with words, a dangerous opponent in a debate, sometimes outmaneuvered, sometimes quixotic. But more than any of the others, he was right about the things that mattered.

Robert Hardy plays Churchill in a performance that is extraordinary, far better than I've seen other actors' attempts at Churchill. Like so many British productions, the acting depth gives power and nuance to the program. Sian Phillips is Clementine, who loves her husband, believes in him and who knows he at times can be a child. As two prime ministers, Peter Barkworth (Stanley Baldwin) and Eric Porter (Neville Chamberlain) give fascinating portraits of men in power and how they behave. Baldwin, Churchill said once, was the most formidable politician he'd ever met. Baldwin is avuncular, sly, gets what he wants even if it means a bit of betrayal without ruffling a feather. Chamberlain is sincere, prissy, often ineffectual and an ultimately sad failure.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is THE most compelling mini-series dealing with Winston Churchill and the period in his life that carved a political rebirth of a man who believed his time was past, and life was soon to end. Little does he realize that while he can sense the fate of his nation, and Europe under the growing shadow of Nazi Germany's potential, Winston can little determine what life has awaiting him in the 20th century's most tumultuous era. Spanning from 1929 to 1939, these 8 hour long episodes detail the amazing journey of Britain's outspoken mastiff during a time of political abuses and short sighted,ineffectual, liberal strategies. In some ways, Winston is the modern Job who loses his vitalities one piece at a time. He is shoved backwards, politically, by his own party, loses his money in the Amercian stock market crash, loses battles against his own government's abuse of priviledge, becomes crippled in a car accident, witnesses the empire carved apart as it lets free India, then helplessly barks as Britain slowly disarms and appeases the burgeoning German juggernaut. But as faithful hound who can smell evil and not be swayed by gestures he sinks his teeth in and refuses to let go of issues that are corrupting the world about him; forces luring his domain into the catastrophic World War II. After years of being forced into political wilderness, Churchill finds meek voices warning him of the dangers looming on all fronts confirming his fears of disaster. In the final moments, his stalwart determination win him the admiration of his country who recognize his merit and empower his rebirth into political control and save Britain from invasion.Read more ›
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