The British Empire in Film Blogathon: Young Winston (1972)


This post is my contribution to The British Empire in Film Blogathon, hosted by The Stalking Moon and Phantom Empires.

The 1972 film Young Winston is based on Winston Churchill’s book My Early Life. A fan of the 1961 film The Guns of Navarone, Churchill himself suggested to the producer Carl Foreman that his book would make an excellent film.

It took more than a decade, but Foreman eventually made the film (he wrote as well as produced it). He offered both directorial duties and the role of Lord Randolph Churchill to Richard Attenborough, who had previously directed only one other feature film (Oh! What a Lovely War). He declined the acting role, but agreed to direct the film.

Played as a young adult by Simon Ward, Churchill’s life is covered from the age of seven to his first election to the House of Commons. It moves back and forth in time, opening with his first sojourn to India as a war correspondent and his initial taste of battle. Then it flashes back to his arrival at school with his mother Lady Randolph (Anne Bancroft). It later covers his experiences in the Sudan and South Africa during the Boer War. Continue reading “The British Empire in Film Blogathon: Young Winston (1972)”