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Countdown to War
Ian McKellen, Peter Vaughan. An engrossing docudrama taking an inside look at Hitler's Chancellery, Chamberlain's Cabinet, Stalin's Kremlin and Mussolini's study as the leaders struggle to outmaneuver their rivals and allies on the brink of war. 1989/color/78 min/NR/fullscreen.
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Top customer reviews
One final criticism: I have great admiration for Sir Ian McKellen's acting prowess and have seen him playing characters as diverse as Richard III and Gandalf quite superbly. However, I'm sorry to say that his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in this film just didn't seem credible to me.
Probably the most intriguing part of this film is that many of the causes for this war are portrayed as being either miscalculations on the part of the major players, errors of judgment, or failures of character. This rings partially true. However, the failure to put these errors into a somewhat broader context weakened the overall show.
Lastly the fact that all of the movie were shot on sets and that sometimes the shadow of the sound boom appeared on the top of the screen also reduced the overall impact of the film. However, as an intro to the critical events of the period it was acceptable.