Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink by Anthony McCartenFrom the acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of The Theory of Everything comes a revelatory look at the period immediately following Winston Churchill’s ascendancy to Prime Minister—soon to be a major motion picture starring Gary Oldman.
“He was speaking to the nation, the world, and indeed to history...”
May, 1940. Britain is at war. The horrors of blitzkrieg have seen one western European democracy after another fall in rapid succession to Nazi boot and shell. Invasion seems mere hours away.
Just days after becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must deal with this horror—as well as a skeptical King, a party plotting against him, and an unprepared public. Pen in hand and typist-secretary at the ready, how could he change the mood and shore up the will of a nervous people?
In this gripping day-by-day, often hour-by-hour account of how an often uncertain Churchill turned Britain around, the celebrated Bafta-winning writer Anthony McCarten exposes sides of the great man never seen before. He reveals how he practiced and re-wrote his key speeches, from ‘Blood, toil, tears and sweat’ to ‘We shall fight on the beaches’; his consideration of a peace treaty with Nazi Germany, and his underappreciated role in the Dunkirk evacuation; and, above all, how 25 days helped make one man an icon.
Using new archive material, McCarten reveals the crucial behind-the-scenes moments that changed the course of history. It’s a scarier—and more human—story than has ever been told.
“McCartens pulse-pounding narrative transports the reader to those springtime weeks in 1940 when the fate of the world rested on the shoulders of Winston Churchill. A true story thrillingly told. Thoroughly researched and compulsively readable.”—Michael F. Bishop, Executive Director of the International Churchill Society
Darkest Hour (2017) - We Shall Fight on the Beaches Scene (10/10) - Movieclips
Darkest Hour review – the woman behind a very great man
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The film looks terrific and has an air of authenticity. However, this is a movie that purports an authentic telling of how Churchill and his freshly formed coalition government responded to the prospect of an imminent German invasion. To its credit, Darkest Hour acknowledges that Churchill, when faced with Lord Halifax, a foreign secretary who saw negotiation via Mussolini as a necessity, did reluctantly sanction clandestine talks. Crucially, Lord Halifax did not conspire to become prime minister, as on 9 May — the day the film begins — he was given the chance to take office. In a crucial meeting with Chamberlain and Halifax, Churchill stayed silent when the then PM asked if there was any reason why a peer should not take over at No
It is a joke that just about everyone is guaranteed to get. During its long and rich history, Britain has had good, bad and mediocre leaders. Churchill occupies an elevated plinth all to himself as the prime minister who led his country through a struggle for national survival, the like of which it had never before endured and has never since experienced. The stakes were vertiginous when he replaced the discredited Neville Chamberlain at Number In play was not just the freedom of Britain but the future of an entire continent.
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The German advance leads to friction at the highest levels of government between those who would make a peace treaty with Adolf Hitler , and Churchill, who refused. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on 1 September ,  and it was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Chamberlain tells Conservative Party advisers that he wants Lord Halifax as his successor, but Halifax does not feel the time is right. Chamberlain is forced to choose the only man whom the opposition parties will accept: Winston Churchill , the First Lord of the Admiralty , who had correctly predicted the danger from Adolf Hitler before the war. Churchill tries to dismiss his new secretary Elizabeth Layton for mishearing him, which earns him a rebuke from his wife Clementine. That day, Germany invades Belgium and the Netherlands.
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