The Churchill Movie “Darkest Hour”

The film “Darkest Hour” is enjoyable and well crafted.   It has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards including best picture and best actor.   It has already won many awards (see link at end).

The film bothers me, but perhaps my problem is with the genre of “docudrama” and the blurring of reality and fiction.  It has been called historical fiction, which is really a mishmash of what happened many years ago, and what film makers conveniently invented.   The life of Winston Churchill has been so well documented, that what did not happen is very clear to historians, but not the general audience.   I think a bit of embellishment of characters is fine,  but there should be limits.    The movie, I believe, just went too far in the fiction department.

The subway (or “Underground”) ride is total fiction.  I won’t go into all the details, but for those who are interested, I’ve included a good article from Slate, as written by a professor of history.  The fictional Churchill was conflicted on whether to negotiate with Hitler and needs to ride the subway to connect with the countrymen and their views.  In this  one short episode, the producers  severely mischaracterized both Churchill and the mood of the English commoner at the time (see Slate article).

To spice up the movie version of history,  Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain are conspiring to end Churchill reign by a vote of no confidence.    Never happened, and the whole conspiracy stuff is a great example of crossing the line.

The Academy Awards occur on March 4, 2018.  Despite my protests, the film may very well win the Academy Awards.  It might not be that bad, as it will stimulate interest in the life of Churchill.


Stay tuned,




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