Movie: Darkest Hour (2017) #Oscars #BestPicture

My Thoughts While Watching:

  • Winston having to kiss the hand of the king… that just blows me away and grosses me out somewhat.
  • “Here’s to not buggering it up.”
  • Why was this movie not nominated for Best Score?  My pick for that category might have changed.
  • Those who never change their minds, never change anything.
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

I find it interesting that this movie and Dunkirk came out at the same time.  I almost wish that I had watched this one first.  I feel that I need to read so much more on English history after this Oscar season.  Gary Oldman being transformed into Churchill was amazing.  It is no surprise that their makeup/hair department would also be nominated for an Oscar.

This was a great movie, I would recommend it.

Some Interviews and Extra Video:

IMDB Synopsis: During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 86% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 83% liking it.  Average Rating: 4/5 with a number of User Ratings: 11,663.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 22 December 2017 (USA) / Runtime: 125 minutes / Budget: $30M

IMDB Trivia:

  • Churchill often disappeared from Downing Street or the Cabinet War Rooms and appeared somewhere in London, where he would talk to the public and find out what they were thinking. However, there is no record of him ever doing this on an underground train.
  • By a sad irony, John Hurt was ill with cancer when he was set to portray Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s ousted Prime Minister who was dying of cancer in 1940. However, in an interview Gary Oldman said that because Hurt was so ill, he never made it to a reading and never got to film a scene. The movie was still dedicated to Hurt, as it would have been his final cinematic project.
  • The movie’s end titles neglected to mention that while Churchill lost the 1945 election, he later won the 1951 General Election. The Labour Party won the popular vote in 1951, although the collapse of the Liberals enabled the Conservative Party to win the most seats.
  • The film takes place in May of 1940. In real life, Elizabeth Layton did not become Churchill’s secretary until 1941.
  • According to Gary Oldman, 26 members of Churchill’s family attended the London premiere of the film, 17 of whom had earlier visited the set.
  • Gary Oldman revealed on The Graham Norton Show (2007) that he smoked £30,000 worth of cigars on set (about 12 cigars a day) while in character as Churchill, developed nicotine poisoning and had a colonoscopy during the Christmas filming break.
  • The film deals with the events that led up to the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk. This so-called ‘Operation Dynamo’ was the subject of Dunkirk (2017). Both movies were Best Picture nominees for the 2018 Academy Awards.
  • Churchill’s ‘We will fight on the beaches’ speech was never recorded. The famous recording is him reciting it in his home 4 years after the war.
  • In the scene in the London Underground carriage, the verse which Churchill quotes to the girl is taken from Thomas Macauley’s Lays Of Ancient Rome: “Then out spake 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.”
  • During the scene when Winston Churchill is talking on the phone to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President tells him that the United States cannot deliver planes that the United Kingdom has already paid for because of the arms embargo due to the Neutrality Act. Instead, Roosevelt suggests that the planes be flown to just a mile south of the Canadian border and pulled by horse into Canada for “legal” delivery. One of the main themes of the movie A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941) is a flier who “gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and letting it be towed across as the law demands.”

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