Churchill: The Man, the Legend, the Drunk

The Darkest Hour movie is a biopic detailing Winston Churchill’s story during the early days of World War II.

In this day and age, great movies are hard to come by. Even more rare is the opportunity to see a great movie, meet a Hollywood icon, and rub elbows with the direct descendant of one of the most prolific historical figures of the 20th Century. So, when Focus Features invited me to screen their newest film, Darkest Hour, then join them for an exclusive preview of Their Finest Hours, the upcoming special exhibit aboard the Queen Mary, followed by a sunset reception on the deck of the magnificent ocean liner replete with fine scotch and cigars, I jumped at the chance.

darkest hour movie

Darkest Hour is a biopic detailing Winston Churchill’s story during the early days of World War II. With the entire British Army surrounded by the Nazis at the beaches of Dunkirk, and France ready to surrender to Germany, the fall of Western Europe to the Third Reich appears imminent. Churchill, as newly appointed British Prime Minister, must decide whether to negotiate a peace treaty with Hitler and save his people from brutal invasion, or lead his country into war against a seemingly unstoppable adversary.

The role of Churchill falls on the shoulders of Hollywood legend, Gary Oldman, who’s transformation is astounding. In his Oscar worthy performance, Oldman captures every nuance of the noble statesman. Winston’s great-grandson, Randolph Churchill, remarked how even he, upon seeing Gary on set, felt he was looking at his dearly departed relative. Furthermore, Randolph credited the writers with capturing Winston’s dynamic personality. A stalwart politician, Churchill is remembered by his family and friends as an affable character known for his sense of humor. Oldman’s tour de force is complimented by stellar performances from Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI, Kristin Scott Thomas as Clemmie Churchill, and Lilly James as Churchill’s Secretary, Elizabeth Layton.

darkest hour movie

After screening the film, I was invited onboard the Queen Mary to preview their upcoming special exhibit, Their Finest Hours. During World War II, the Queen Mary played a pivotal role as the “Grey Ghost”. Painted a camouflage grey, the Queen Mary was the largest and fastest troopship to sail in the British Fleet, capable of transporting 16,000 troops at 30 knots. Churchill and his war cabinet made several transatlantic voyages on the Queen Mary. In fact, D Day and the fall of the Third Reich were plotted aboard the mighty ocean liner. Such a historical relationship, makes the Queen Mary a natural choice for an exhibit showcasing several Churchill artifacts and letters along with set pieces from DARKEST HOUR, including the replicas of the War Rooms.

darkest hour movie

For the perfect ending to a truly unforgettable day, Focus Features hosted a sunset cocktail hour on the top deck of the Queen Mary that Churchill himself would have delighted in attending. It is no secret that Winston thoroughly enjoyed fine scotch and cigars, and the reception was abundant with both. I had a chance to chat with Randolph Churchill, who regaled us with more stories of his charismatic great-grandfather.

darkest hour churchhill

A great writer and orator, Churchill is known for his effectual quotes. While talking with us, Randolph shared one his favorite and more lighthearted quotes from his great-grandfather, “We are all worms, but I’d like to think that I am glowworm.” Well a glowworm you were indeed Mr. Churchill, and thanks to your unwavering fortitude and masterful films such as Darkest Hour you will continue to shine bright throughout history.

darkest hour churchhill

Patrick Roe

Patrick Roe

Patrick Roe is a cinephile, foodie, and travel junkie. When he is not residing in Hermosa Beach, CA enjoying all that LA has to offer, he is exploring the world sucking the marrow out of life.

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  1. rosey
    December 19, 2017 at 3:26 am — Reply

    I love that his great grandson is a part of it all. He did have some awesome quotes.

  2. December 18, 2017 at 9:11 pm — Reply

    This sounds like a great movie! We like WWII movies, so this will be a must watch!

  3. December 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm — Reply

    I’ve heard that this movie is wonderful by someone who was at that event on the Queen Mary. I can’t wait to see it. It’s the perfect movie to bring in the New Year.

  4. December 18, 2017 at 8:06 pm — Reply

    This looks like a great movie to watch. I am making a list for binge watching one weekend

  5. Pam
    December 18, 2017 at 7:33 pm — Reply

    My husband loves period pieces like this, so I’m sure he will want to see The Darkest Hours. It sounds like Randolph Churchill was a pleasure to meet.

  6. Claudia Krusch
    December 18, 2017 at 7:22 pm — Reply

    I have been hearing a lot about this movie. I will have to add it to my must see movie list.

  7. December 18, 2017 at 7:15 pm — Reply

    Sounds like a must-watch film. Love the idea of hosting the party on the deck.

  8. December 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm — Reply

    I had no idea they were making a movie about him. Wow, I’m really excited about this!

  9. December 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm — Reply

    I would really like to see this movie. I have no doubt it’s going to be amazing.

  10. December 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm — Reply

    This sounds really interesting and Gary Oldman’s performances always impress me. Your experience on the Queen Mary sounded very memorable!

  11. December 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm — Reply

    I’m incredibly excited to see Darkest Hour. I love historical movies like this. The previews have been amazing.

  12. robin rue
    December 18, 2017 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    That sounds like a great movie. I can’t wait to see it.

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