Review: Young Winston
Blu-ray: Young Winston (1972)
Richard Attenborough continued his war journey after ‘Oh, What a Lovely War!’ with his 1972 Young Winston (Churchill) based on Churchill’s book My Early Life: A Roving Commission, the movie gives young Winny the Hollywood treatment and examines his early life from an unhappy time at boarding school and ending his election to Parliament at the age of 26.
It looks wonderful, and let us not forget that Churchill is, and will be forever seen, as a true hero of Britain, and this film does nothing to dispel that (although a lot of his actions were questionable, a quick online search will enlighten you).
Simon Ward plays Winston as a golden haired, enthusiastic youth. Disliked by his father Randolph (Robert Shaw) and somewhat smothered by his socialite mother Jennie (Anne Bancroft) (interestingly my sister Jennie is named after her!). This is one of those great British films that has the cream of British actors paying all the parts. It is the most perfect Sunday afternoon film, perfect family viewing and makes you want to stand and salute at the end.Again the best thing about the film is the package Indicator have put together, and even if you have no real interest in the subject, the depth of extras is really something. If you ARE a fan, then you’ll be in Churchill heaven watching all the extras.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- High Definition remaster
- Original mono audio
- The John Player Lecture with Richard Attenborough (1971, 78 mins): the celebrated filmmaker in conversation with film critic Dilys Powell at London’s National Film Theatre
- Reflections of a Director (2006, 13 mins): archival interview with Attenborough
- A National Hero Brought to Life (2006, 17 mins): archival interview with actor Simon Ward on his performance as Winston Churchill
- Camel Blues (2019, 30 mins): assistant director William P Cartlidge remembers working with Attenborough and writer-producer Carl Foreman
- Stars and Sand (2019, 9 mins): second assistant director Brian Cook discusses the star-studded cast
- My Kingdom for a Horse (2019, 11 mins): Vic Armstrong recalls his work as Ward’s stunt double and his role as horse wrangler for the film
- Fires in the Sky (2019, 6 mins): special effects artist John Richardson on the challenges of filming in Wales, Morocco, and Blenheim Palace
- Making It Up (2019, 3 mins): interview with make-up artist Robin Grantham
- Deleted scenes (7 mins): five scenes from the ‘roadshow’ version, including the alternative ending with Winston and Randolph Churchill
- US Premiere Footage (1972, 16 mins, mute): rare and unseen material featuring Attenborough, Foreman, Ward, Robert Shaw, Edward G Robinson, and others
- Original theatrical trailer
- Image galleries: publicity and promotional material
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Sergio Angelini, the cast and crew on the making of Young Winston, an extract from Winston Churchill’s A Roving Commission: My Early Life, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
- World premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 3,000 copies
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