Young Winston is a 1972 British film covering the early years of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, based in particular on his book, My Early Life: A Roving Commission. The first part of the film covers Churchill's unhappy schooldays, up to the death of his father. The second half covers his service as a cavalry officer in India and the Sudan, during which he takes part in the cavalry charge at Omdurman, his experiences as a war correspondent in the Second Boer War, during which he is captured and escapes, and his election to Parliament at the age of 26.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Attenborough|
|Produced by||Carl Foreman|
|Written by||Carl Foreman|
|Music by||Alfred Ralston (includes original music and his arrangements of works by Edward Elgar)|
|Edited by||Kevin Connor|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|28 July 1972 (UK)|
10 October 1972 (USA)
|Box office||$2,150,000 (US/ Canada rentals)|
Churchill was played by Simon Ward, who was relatively unknown at the time but was supported by a distinguished cast including Robert Shaw (as Lord Randolph Churchill), John Mills (as Lord Kitchener), Anthony Hopkins (as David Lloyd George) and Anne Bancroft as Churchill's mother Jennie. Other actors included Patrick Magee, Robert Hardy, Ian Holm, Edward Woodward and Jack Hawkins.
The film was written and produced by Carl Foreman and directed by Richard Attenborough. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction (Donald M. Ashton, Geoffrey Drake, John Graysmark, William Hutchinson, Peter James) and Best Costume Design.
- Robert Shaw as Lord Randolph Churchill
- Anne Bancroft as Lady Randolph Churchill
- Simon Ward as Winston Churchill
- Jack Hawkins as James Welldon
- Ian Holm as George Earle Buckle
- Anthony Hopkins as David Lloyd George
- Patrick Magee as General Sir Bindon Blood
- Edward Woodward as Captain Aylmer Haldane
- John Mills as Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
- Peter Cellier as Captain 35th Sikhs
- Ronald Hines as Adjutant 35th Sikhs
- Pat Heywood as Elizabeth Ann Everest
- Laurence Naismith as Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
- Basil Dignam as Joseph Chamberlain
- Jeremy Child as Austen Chamberlain
- Robert Hardy as Headmaster
- Pippa Steel as Clementine Hozier
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Carl Foreman was invited to meet Winston Churchill after he had seen and enjoyed Foreman's 1961 production of The Guns of Navarone. At their meeting Churchill suggested that his book My Early Life would make an excellent film.
In 1967 Foreman announced James Fox would play Churchill.
The film was made in Morocco and the United Kingdom, with several scenes shot at Penwyllt and Coelbren, Powys, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, and the scene where Churchill learnt to ride at the Cavalry Riding School building at Beaumont Barracks in Aldershot.
Release on VHS and DVDEdit
As of July 2009, the longest edition available on DVD is Young Winston: Special Edition at 146 minutes, cut from the original U.S. theatrical release which was 157 minutes. VHS tapes cut the film to just 124 minutes. The fully unabridged version is currently unavailable on DVD.