• Short Summary

    Biopic tracing the life of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

  • Description

    01:00:00 Retrospective film tracing the life and achievements of Sir Winston Churchill. Reel 1. Film begins with a solemn elegy as the camera moves through a wood. "A man there was amongst us who was bold as mountains or tides, who spoke his mind not only as himself but for mankind..." etc. Zoom in to a grand house - Chartwell. Interior of Churchill's library. Pan across books ending on "My Early Life" by Churchill and a collection of his war speeches. Zoom in to a still of Churchill with film title superimposed. Hand takes the book "My Early Life" off the shelf and opens pages to show a photograph of Churchill with his mother - the famous American beauty Miss Jerome. A photograph of his father Lord Randolph Churchill, is placed on top of the photograph of his mother. Voiceover quotes from Churchill's writing about his family and childhood. Photograph of Churchill wearing "the hard hat necessary for the expensive first school" and a still of his form at Harrow - most boys sit in rows as is traditional for a school photograph, but Churchill stands high above them on a staircase. M/S of Churchill in University robes making a humorous speech upon receiving an honorary degree. Stills of Churchill as a youth in uniform with the Cavalry in India.
    01:02:13 Boer War footage - men on horseback. Some men dismount. C/U of a newspaper article written by Churchill about the fighting at Thabanchu. Pan across a drawing of the ambush of a railway train. "Young Winston Churchill helped to get the wounded away on the engine and stayed behind to go on with the fighting." Photograph of Churchill as a prisoner of war. Artists impression of Churchill escaping by railway - C/U of a notice announcing a £25 reward for his recapture. Photograph of Churchill in mufti on his return to England. L/Ss of various demonstrations including suffragettes "militantly demanding votes for women" - good montage (women wearing strange pointed hats and masks marching with sandwich boards, women on decorated floats etc.) "Churchill had made himself a target of feminine fury." Police break up crowds and arrest demonstrators (men). 1911 - newspaper article about the Sydney Street Siege "Battle with the Houndsditch Murderers - Scots Guards in Action." Photograph of the police and military ready to face the anarchists. Churchill is with them. M/S of Churchill alighting from a taxi and paying his fare. Artists impression of Churchill in Lord Fisher's office.

    1:04:24 Various L/Ss of battleships "Men-of-War" at sea. L/S of crowds on outbreak of war - backs of heads. C/U headline "War Declared on Germany." L/S surging crowds. C/U Winston Churchill walking up some steps. C/U still Churchill in army uniform on horseback. M/S of Churchill with King George V, David Lloyd George and the 1914 war cabinet. M/S of unidentifiable rickety aircraft. C/U Churchill standing by a plane in a pilot's outfit. L/S of Churchill visiting Cranwell and inspecting planes and pilots. Still of Churchill in munitions factory. L/S of Churchill attending a tank demonstration. Tank in action. M/S Churchill with Earl Haig and General Daiz on railway station platform. Short shot of crowds celebrating victory. C/U Churchill leaves Downing Street with Lloyd George. High angle shot of vast crowd celebrating war victory in London. L/S of open carriages driving through London streets for Locarno meeting. The Locarno Treaty group pose on a staircase in the garden of 10 Downing Street - Churchill halfway up the stairs, Stanley Baldwin is there. 1922 election - Churchill being carried to the poll on a chair because he was ill. L/S of Churchill being carried on students' shoulders - young men crowd around him cheering and throwing things in the air. Students in strange garb present Churchill with a bizarre hat - this is in Ireland. Churchill carried aloft on a chair by other students - he is in University robes. M/S Adolf Hitler of a train and shaking hands with Benito Mussolini in Italy. Various dignitaries shake hands and perform Nazi salute.

    01:07:54 1938 - montage - C/U of man holding an advertising board for the Evening News which reads: "Keep Calm - And Dig", men digging trenches, children gathered for evacuation, C/U of children, evacuees walking along railway platform, Churchill entering Admiralty, Chamberlain leaving 10 Downing Street - Churchill entering it, French refugees walking along a road with British troops moving in the opposite direction, M/S of refugees moving their belongings with prams and bicycles, horse and cart etc. Speech about the "new dark age.." Dunkirk May 1940. M/Ss of wounded men walking up a gangplank to board a boat. Churchill voiceover "...this was their finest hour" speech.

    01:09:00 Montage of Winston Churchill attempting to present arms, balancing on a sloping log and laying bricks - smoking cigar throughout. The Battle of Britain - August 1940. "Never in the field of human conflict" speech on soundtrack. R.A.F. scramble, planes taking off, air to air shots, bombed buildings, dogfights etc. - very short shots in montage. M/S of Churchill in RAF (Royal Air Force)uniform with group of R.A.F. officers. The Bombing of London - December 1940. Burning buildings in L/S, firemen attempting to put out the blaze, nurses scrambling through wreckage of bomb damage - quintessential blitz shots. Churchill speech about the spirit of the British nation on the soundtrack.

    01:10:29 White cliffs of Dover - L/S. Convoy being bombed in the Channel. L/S of ships being bombed. Churchill walking amongst waving cheering crowd, inspecting the Home Guard, C/U of woman in a crowd, young women cadets, war workers etc. Children in the foreground hold up their fingers in the "V for Victory" sign. Churchill climbs into an open topped car and takes his hat off as he is driven away. Churchill visits bomb damage in Coventry. He walks through the bombed cathedral with Mayor and vicar (or bishop). Various panning shots of the cathedral. Churchill with Field Marshal Jan Smuts of South Africa and European leaders including De Gaulle at army manoeuvres. Tanks, large coastal gun with the name "Winnie" on the side. Guns are fired. Western Desert - bombs are dropped, aerial shots of bombs exploding. Churchill arrives in the Middle East and has lunch with officers in a tent. We see Churchill smoking and drinking what looks like beer. He lights a cigar in C/U.

    01:12:58 The burning of Pearl Harbour. Sunk ships on fire. L/S of the Capitol Building in Washington DC, United States of America (USA). President Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill sitting in car. High angle shot of Churchill speaking to Congress. M/S of Churchill with NBC microphones. He speaks of the fact that: "if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own." The men listening to the speech laugh and applaud. Churchill climbs out of car in Western Desert and is greeted by Montgomery. C/U of the two talking. Churchill walks away from the camera along a long road lined with soldiers. He puts his fingers up in the "V for Victory" sign (as he is facing the soldier whom he signals, it looks rather like the other two fingered sign!)

    01:14:25 Churchill walks along in the desert holding a white umbrella to shield himself from the sun. El Alamein (Al Alamain) battle - gunfire at night, artillery fired during the day, tanks, soldiers running and diving under fire, armed soldiers march with prisoners of war, long shot of large number of prisoners of war being marched along in desert, soldiers marching past camera with pyramid in the background, Churchill salutes a passing convoy of tanks. "A bright gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers.." speech. C/U of Churchill at the controls of a plane. M/S of Churchill in Russia with Stalin - they shake hands - photographers and cameraman in the background. Churchill and Stalin inspect troops. C/U Pom-pom guns firing aboard ship, C/U of Churchill at the controls. M/S young sailors looking on. Churchill walks on deck and stands with Lord Beaverbrook. Yalta conference. Churchill sits with President Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. C/U of Churchill speaking to General Eisenhower on railway station platform.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1950 - 1959
    hd format:
    HD at Filmfinity
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:00:00 / 01:16:29:00

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment