Major new Churchill biopic is slammed by historians for its inaccuracy


Blackleaf
#1
He is Britain’s most celebrated wartime leader, revered for guiding the country through the darkest days of the Second World War and on to victory.

But a controversial new biopic of Winston Churchill has been condemned as a vicious character assassination – and a ‘hatchet job’ worthy of Hitler’s propaganda machine.

The film, Churchill, stars Brian Cox as the PM and Miranda Richardson as his wife Clemmie and charts events leading up to D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe that began on 6 June 1944.

Movie's two fingers to Winston: Major new Churchill biopic is slammed by historians who say never in the field of film-making has the great hero been so grotesquely misrepresented


New biopic of Churchill condemned as a vicious character assassination

The film, Churchill, stars Brian Cox as the PM and Miranda Richardson as his wife

Historian Andrew Roberts said: ‘The movie is a catalogue of errors'

Tory MP Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s grandson, also dismissed the film


By Chris Hastings Arts Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday
9 April 2017
The Mail on Sunday


The film is released on 2 June

He is Britain’s most celebrated wartime leader, revered for guiding the country through the darkest days of the Second World War and on to victory.

But a controversial new biopic of Winston Churchill has been condemned as a vicious character assassination – and a ‘hatchet job’ worthy of Hitler’s propaganda machine.

The film, Churchill, stars Brian Cox as the PM and Miranda Richardson as his wife Clemmie and charts events leading up to D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe that began on 6 June 1944.


A controversial new biopic of Winston Churchill has been condemned as a vicious character assassination. Movie version: Actor Brian Cox flicks Churchill’s V-sign in the film

It has sparked uproar by suggesting that a petulant, rude, ill-tempered Churchill opposed the landings that led ultimately to the liberation of Europe.

Historian Andrew Roberts, who is writing a new biography of Churchill, said: ‘The movie is a catalogue of errors which paints an entirely false picture of Churchill.

‘I can’t recall another occasion where a single film has got so much wrong. It’s a hatchet job of the kind the Nazi propaganda machine would have been proud.’

And the visiting professor at the War Studies Department at King’s College, London, quipped: ‘Never in the course of movie-making have so many specious errors been made in so long a film by so few writers.’

Tory MP Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s grandson, also dismissed the film, saying: ‘It’s not something one would take seriously.’

The criticism may prove embarrassing for the film’s scriptwriter Alex von Tunzelmann.


Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP for Mid Sussex and Churchill's grandson, said of the film: ‘It’s not something one would take seriously.’


The London-based Oxford-educated historian writes an occasional column for The Guardian newspaper called Reel History, in which she highlights the way Hollywood distorts historical fact. She was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for film distributors Lionsgate UK said: ‘It has been made with a sympathetic view to intrigue audiences into finding out who Churchill is and to explore more into his life behind closed doors.’

Here, after seeing a preview, Roberts lists a series of basic and serious errors in the film…

THE FIVE WOUNDING INSULTS TO HEROIC WARTIME LEADER


INSULT 1: DITHERING OVER D-DAY


Churchill is portrayed as becoming increasingly ill-tempered and petulant as plans for the D-Day landings progress, even attempting at the last minute to include attacks on Italy and Bordeaux to broaden the operation.

In the movie, the PM does not even see the detailed plans until June 3, 1944, just two days before the operation.

THE TRUTH


Andrew Roberts says: ‘The film’s most erroneous claim is that Churchill was opposed to the D-Day landings in 1944. This is absurd and contradicts all of the available historical evidence.

‘It’s true, he had concerns about an invasion in 1942 and 1943 but these had vanished by the time of Operation Overlord.’

He added that Churchill had been briefed on the plans months in advance.

INSULT 2: SLAPPED BY HIS WIFE CLEMMIE

Churchill's wife Clemmie is seen slapping him and at one point, the PM tells his wife: ‘I would understand if you left me. I’d leave me if I could.’

THE TRUTH

Roberts says the scene flies in the face of evidence in Clemmie’s letters, which were full of admiration and affection.

She wrote on June 5: ‘I feel so much for you at this agonising moment – so full of suspense.’


Rows: The Churchills in the film (pictured left) and in real life (pictured right)

INSULT 3: VOLCANIC RAGE AT SECRETARY

The PM is shown shouting and swearing at his staff and military commanders. While dining with his wife, he sweeps plates and cups from a table on to the floor.

In another scene, on June 3 1944, he is shown shouting at his secretary.

THE TRUTH

On that day, despite the pressure of looming Operation Overlord, Churchill’s actual secretary Marian Holmes wrote in her diary: ‘He looked anxious, but was amiable.’


Fury: Cox’s Churchill loses his temper (left) and Churchill’s actual secretary Marian Holmes (right)


INSULT 4: PRAYED FOR RAIN TO HALT INVASION


A day before D-Day, Churchill implores: ‘Let it pour tomorrow. Let the heavens open and a deluge burst forth such as has never been seen in the Channel.’

THE TRUTH


Roberts says: ‘The scene showing Churchill praying for bad weather so the operation can’t go ahead is a lie which is puerile and offensive.’


A day before D-Day, Churchill implores: ‘Let it pour tomorrow. Let the heavens open and a deluge burst forth such as has never been seen in the Channel'

INSULT 5: FOUL-MOUTHED INSULT FROM MONTGOMERY

We see Monty calling Churchill a ‘bastard’ to his face and accusing him of ‘doubt, dithering and treachery’. The PM says disparagingly of his leading general: ‘Puffed-up little s**t; the men won’t follow him.’

THE TRUTH

Montgomery was noted for his lack of tact but it is inconceivable he would so insult the PM. Monty was known for vanity and egotism, but was popular with ordinary soldiers under his command.


Comrades: Churchill with Monty in 1944 (left) and Julian Wadham as Montgomery (right)


...AND FILM'S SHAMEFUL CATALOGUE OF OTHER BIG BLOOPERS

  • In the film, Churchill claims he tried to stop the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of the First World War. In fact, it was his brainchild.
  • Churchill is shown wearing white tie and tail coat in the afternoon. In reality, the fastidious leader would never have turned out in his evening dress at this time of day.
  • In other scenes, he is shown wearing workman’s overalls rather than his famous velvet siren suits.
  • The film’s King George VI salutes a man who opens his car door as he arrives for a meeting. The King would not have saluted a man of such standing in this situation.
  • In the film, King George recalls flying aeroplanes in the Great War. Historian Andrew Roberts is adamant that this didn’t happen.
  • The film is so low-budget that the American top brass don’t appear to have any airmen advising them. In reality, all three services – army, air force and navy – would have taken part in deliberations.
  • Churchill is shown as a reluctant figure sitting at the back of meetings which, in reality, he chaired. As well as PM, he was Minister of Defence and would have made his voice heard in any strategy talks.
  • The Prime Minister is depicted listening to reports on the D-Day battles on the radio… as if he had nothing better to do.
  • British troops are shown going ashore in Normandy in the thick of battle, yet messages to loved ones are seen being sent and received on the same day. All efforts would have focused on establishing beachheads and getting supplies ashore, a process that took days.



Wardrobe error: The movie’s Churchill in white tie evening suit… in the afternoon


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Dixie Cup
+1
#2
It's an effort to re-write history or, someone who did little to no research.


JMHO
 
Blackleaf
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Dixie CupView Post

It's an effort to re-write history or, someone who did little to no research.


JMHO

Even Churchill's V-sign is wrong in the film.



Brian Cox is actually swearing, not doing the Churchill V-sign.

This was how Churchill actually did the V-sign:

 
Cliffy
#4
If the Germans had won the war, Churchill would have been the villain. History is his story and it is always written by the victor. History is BS.
 
Colpy
+2
#5  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

If the Germans had won the war, Churchill would have been the villain. History is his story and it is always written by the victor. History is BS.

No Cliffy, you are bullshit.

The Germans murdered at least 10 million of the civilians they controlled because they were Jews, Rom, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, cripples, etc etc etc.

The Germans were the aggressors.

Quite frankly, the German regime was evil.

That is not open to debate by any sane person.

Although Churchill did say "History shall be kind to me. I know that because I intend to write it"
 
taxslave
#6
Must be a Micjle Moore film.
 
Blackleaf
#7
One story about Churchill that IS true concerns him and Nicholas Soames, current Tory MP for Mid Sussex and Churchill's grandson:

In or around 1953, when Soames was five, he didn't know how important his grandfather was until someone told him. So he walked up to the old man's bedroom, managed to get past the valets and the secretaries, and found him sitting up in bed. 'Is it true, grandpapa, that you are the greatest man in the world?' he asked. 'Yes I am,' said Churchill. 'Now bugger off.'
 
relic
+1
#8
I don't think churchill was the hero he'es been cracked up to be,but not the war criminal i think he is,so....
 
taxslave
#9
Only the loosing side has war criminals. The winning Sie has heros.
 
Cliffy
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

No Cliffy, you are bullshit.

The Germans murdered at least 10 million of the civilians they controlled because they were Jews, Rom, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, cripples, etc etc etc.

The Germans were the aggressors.

Quite frankly, the German regime was evil.

That is not open to debate by any sane person.

Although Churchill did say "History shall be kind to me. I know that because I intend to write it"

Did I say the nazis were the good guys? But if they would have won they would have portrayed themselves as the good guys and Churchill would have been the bad guy. That is the way history is written. And according to most "patriots", you would be speaking German and parroting their propaganda the same way you are parroting the victors' propaganda now.

War is a racket and Churchill was a racketeer just like everyone who engages in war is.
 
Dexter Sinister
#11
Um..."scriptwriter Alex von Tunzelmann..." Prussian name. Maybe he had an agenda.

Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

War is a racket and Churchill was a racketeer just like everyone who engages in war is.

No, I think that's way too simplistic and misses the point. Hitler and the Nazis were actively evil and had to be held to account. People like Neville Chamberlain viewed them as products of complex social forces that could be understood and dealt with reasonably, Churchill understood that they were not reasonable, they were wicked and had to be taken down. And superior force was the only thing they'd understand. War is evil, no contest on that one, but faced with a monstrous and aggressive evil like Nazism, you stand and fight or you roll over and die.
Last edited by Dexter Sinister; 2 weeks ago at 01:45 AM..
 
Jinentonix
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post


War is a racket and Churchill was a racketeer just like everyone who engages in war is.

Right, except it was Chamberlain who was PM at the time and he is the one who actually declared war.
 
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