I enjoyed Gary Oldman‘s heavily made-up, flamboyantly performed impersonation of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, but in much the same way that I relished Sir Laurence Olivier‘s Muhammad Ahmad (“the Mahdi”) in Basil Dearden‘s Khartoum (’66). Different characters, same bag of tricks, aimed at the balcony. But they’re both fun to watch — spirited, thumbs-uppy.
Odd but apparently true: There’s a tracking shot in the new Darkest Hour trailer that shows a couple of British kids wearing Hitler masks. With poor England fearing for its very existence what mask-maker would be perverse enough to manufacture such things for kids to play with? And yet a photo by William Vanderson, possibly snapped during the early war years, suggests that such masks existed.
From “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech: “We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.”