Young Winston (1972) Script









MAN fool on the grey?

MAN noticed, I should imagine.

MAN Get his head blown off.


OLD CHURCHILL: My Early Life by Winston Spencer Churchill.

On the 16th of September, 1897, at the age of 22, I found myself taking part in a punitive expedition of the Malakand Field Force on the northwest frontier of India.

CHURCHILL: In a sense, I had arranged for my participation in this action myself.

YOUNG WINSTON: August the 5th, 1897.

A letter to General Sir Bindon Blood:

"Sir, I do hope you will not be annoyed if I remind you

"that you once promised me that when you had your next command, "you would try to find a place for me."

BLOOD: "Very difficult. No vacancies.

"Come up as a correspondent. Will try to fit you in. Blood."

WINSTON: Now, which of these gallant chaps will lead me to something really exciting, an adventure I can write about?

That column there?

Or that one? It's all a lottery, isn't it?

Just luck.

God, I hope I'm lucky today.

The joke of it all is that I never really wanted to be a soldier.

No. Politics, parliament, that's my arena.

But how am I to get there? I have no reputation, no family in the government. And worst of all, no money.

CHURCHILL: Ah, money. My darling mother wrote to me often on that tiresome subject:

JENNIE: "Really, Winston, you are simply irresponsible about money.

"I am sending the man the eleven pounds he asks, "but why will you write cheques when you have no money in the bank?

"Actually, in America, you know, it's illegal.

"And they sentence people to long terms in jail for doing it.

"My dear, do be careful. And do write when you can.

"Please, please, don't take any unnecessary risks.

"Your loving mother, Jennie Randolph Churchill."

Who's that bloody fool on the grey?

ADJUTANT: Can't tell.

Someone who wants to get noticed, I should imagine.

He'll be noticed. Get his head blown off.



Lieutenant Churchill, sir. 4th Hussars.

Actually, I'm here as a correspondent. Pioneer and Daily Telegraph.

I wonder, if you're going to that village up there, would you mind awfully if I came along with you?

Ah yes. Churchill, 4th Hussars.

Actually, we don't care much for correspondents out here, Churchill.

Or white horses, either. Where'd you get him?

Ah, in the auction last week, sir. Malakand Pass.

Previous owner killed? I believe so, yes, sir.

Didn't that teach you anything?


Well, come along if you like. But keep out of the way.

Thank you very much, sir.

Oh, one more thing. We do try to bring our wounded back.

These chaps can be very nasty.

But as you're only an onlooker, I can't guarantee anything. Understood?

Yes, sir.

Thank you very much, sir.

WINSTON: The truth is, I'm not at all brave.

In fact, the truth is, I've often felt myself a coward, especially at school.

But if I could win a reputation for courage and daring, if I could be mentioned in despatches, that would help me to get started in politics.

In short, I need medals.

Lots and lots of medals.

And I have to learn so much, and there's so little time.

I have to read all the books I should have read before.

I must become my own university.

And I must overcome my speech impediment when I speak in public.

The Spanish ships I cannot shee... see.

For they are not in shite... sight. Damn!

OFFICER: Move it!

SIKH SERGEANT: Everybody gone, sir.

All gone, sir.

Very well, then.

Carry on. ADJUTANT: Carry on!

OFFICER: Number three section, follow me!

WINSTON: Wouldn't you know it? All this way for nothing.

Talk about rotten luck.




Right, we'll start back now.

Keep a dozen men, will you, and cover us till we get halfway down, will you?

Then we'll cover you. Right.

Come along, Mr Cartlidge, we're going back now.

Very well, sir. Come along, bring them down.


WINSTON: Not bad at that.

Could be worth two or three hundred words.



OFFICER: Get back. Get back!





Willy! Come on, get out of there.

Come down! We'll cover you!

Fall back! Fall back!



No, sahib, leave me. Oh, sahib, you're hurting me!

Ooh, sahib, let me go!

Oh, please, on my knees, I am begging you.







CAPTAIN: Come on, you idiot, get out of it!

Get out of it!



BLOOD: "And to conclude these despatches, "the general in the field wishes to mention and commend

"the courage of Lieutenant W L S Churchill, "who made himself useful at a critical moment."




CHURCHILL: And thereupon, I sat down and wrote a book.

And the literary critics were most kind to me:

CRITIC: "If General Kitchener should ever find time

"to read Mr Winston Churchill's new book, The Malakand Field Force, "it's fascinating to imagine the great warrior's reaction to it.

"The book is excellent for a first effort, but perhaps its title should have been:

"Some Helpful Hints for Generals From a Young Lieutenant."

SIKH: Hurry up now, sahib, the train is about to leave.

CHURCHILL: For some reason unknown to me, I have always been charged with being unpunctual.

But then, in my lifetime, I have constantly been accused of many wicked things.



CHURCHILL: Perhaps I paid for all those sins, real or imaginary, in advance, for when I was but seven, I was cast out of my happy home, - and sent away to school. (GUARD'S WHISTLE BLOWING)

I left behind me all who were dear to me, especially my nurse, Mrs Everest...

Winnie, bye-bye!

CHURCHILL:...who looked after me and tended all my wants, and to whom I poured out all my troubles.

And for some reason I cannot now remember, I called her "Womany".

And when I went away, I think I missed her most of all.

WINSTON: "Dearest Mother, my white horse has been a marvellous investment.

"Everyone noticed me.

"The news here is that Kitchener is going to fight the dervishes in the Sudan.

"Mother, darling, you must use all your influence and charm

"to get me into his command."

CHURCHILL: My American mother always seemed to me a fairy princess.

A radiant being, possessed of limitless riches and power.

She shone for me like the evening star.

I loved her dearly.

But at a distance.

Nevertheless, it was my father who was the greatest and most powerful influence on my early life.

He was the second son of the Duke of Marlborough and a Tory member of the House of Commons.

Good morning, good morning.

CHURCHILL: Unfortunately, if my mother had little time for me in those days, I saw and spoke to my father even less.

He numbered among his friends some of the most important men in Parliament, and indeed in all England.

Men like Lord Salisbury, the leader of the Tory Party, which was then in opposition, his nephew, Arthur Balfour, and Joseph Chamberlain.

And even I knew that one day, when the people came to their senses and swept the Conservatives back into power, it would be these men who, together with my father, would form the government.

No Lord Rothschild?

Are none of your Jewish friends to be with us today, Randolph?

No, I didn't think it would be fair to them.

You know how easily bored they are.




Thank you, sir.

Now, we enter this in your name.


And then you can purchase anything you like from the school shop.

Up to the limit of your credit, of course.

I'm afraid Winston doesn't quite understand about money yet.

We shall teach him.

This young man will be very happy here, Lady Randolph, I assure you.

I am certain he will.

But you'll take tea, Lady Randolph?

Oh, I'm afraid I can't. I shall miss my train.

Another time perhaps, when I come again.

You will be good, darling.

And you will write, won't you?

Yes, Mama.

And so, young Churchill, here we are.

Come along.

Yes, sir.

HEADMASTER: I am going to tell you something I shall want you to remember always.

Your school days are the most important days of your life.

How you get on here will determine precisely how you get on in the world.

Succeed here, and you will succeed as a man.

Fail here... and you will be a failure to the end of your days.

Do you understand? Yes, sir.

Good. Your father is a great man.

Be like him in all things.

Now, you wait here while I see about getting you settled in.

Have you had any Latin?

Latin? No, sir.


While I am gone, learn this.

This, on the right-hand page. When I return... we shall see how well you have done.


They are ready for you. Come along.

Now, then, have you learnt it?

I think I can say it, sir. Then please do so.

Mensa: a table. Mensa: o table.

Mensam: a table. Mensae: of table.

Mensae: to or for a table. Mensa: by, with or from a table.

Very good. Come along.

Excuse me, sir, but what does it mean?

It means what it says. Mensa: a table.

Mensa is a noun of the first declension.

There are five declensions.

You have learnt the singular of the first declension.

Yes, sir. But what does it mean?

I have told you. Mensa in Latin means "a table".

But it means "o table" too, sir.

And what does "o table" mean?

"Mensa: o table" is the vocative case.

O table.

You would use that in addressing a table, in invoking a table.

You would use it in speaking to a table.

But I never do, sir.

Churchill, in this school, if you are impertinent, you will be punished and punished, let me tell you, very severely.

Come along.

MacSweeney, P J M W.

"He exhibits rather too relaxed an attitude

"towards the disciplines of academic life.


Stand forward, MacSweeney.

Mr MacSweeney, I shall be obliged if, after this assembly, you will take your customary step through my study door.

WINSTON: "Dear Mama, I hope you are well.

"I'm very happy at school.

"I do wish you could come and visit me one day soon."

HEADMASTER: "He gabbles his translations and is dirty with his written work."

Step forward, Stuart Mackenzie.

May, A C W.

Stand forward, Mr May.

Mr Belcher tells me in this report that you suppose noise to be an effective camouflage for inattention.

You will shortly give me your attention in the study, where we will explore your capacity for making noise.

Mr May, you're first.




LABOUCHÈRE: ...which is, in my view, essential.

Oh, come, come, it really is time the Honourable Member stopped trying to introduce bogus bills in order to prevent action on bona fide ones.


Mr Speaker! Mr Speaker, I protest!

Those words should be taken down. MPs: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker, I agree. I wholeheartedly agree.

Those words should be taken down.

Will the gentlemen of the press please take these words down?

(ENUNCIATING CLEARLY) It really is... time the Honourable Member stopped trying to introduce bogus bills!



WINSTON: "Dear Papa, how are you? I am well."

HEADMASTER: Mr Churchill! WINSTON: "I am very happy at school.

"I had a nice birthday. Thank you ever so much for the present.

"I know you're ever so busy, "but it would be ever so nice if you could come one Sunday."




CHURCHILL: And when the next election came, my mother married an American flavour to the proceedings.

WOMAN: Mind your skirts, dearie.

BUTCHER: Good morning! Good morning.

Good morning.

Are we new in the neighbourhood, ma'am? I must say, I don't recall the pleasure.

Well, you've come to the right place to save a bit of money.

It never hurts to do a little shopping yourself, I always say.

And learn your way about, in effect, ma'am. What can I do for you, ma'am?

Actually, I want to talk to you about the election.

My husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, is standing for this constituency.

And I'm helping him to get elected.

Oh, er...

Ma'am, in this constituency, in effect, we vote as we please.

And we don't like people coming round asking us for our votes.

Furthermore, I never discuss politics with women.

Even ladies, ma'am, begging your pardon.

In... in... in... in effect.

But I want your vote. How am I to get it if I don't ask for it?

Indeed. Well, that's a point.

Quite so. You... you have a point there, ma'am.

It is a point, but it's no use.

I'm a life-long Liberal.

Besides, I don't hold with lordships lolling about the House of Commons.

No. Horses for courses, I say.

Lords for lords, commons in the Commons, in effect, ma'am.

But my husband doesn't loll.

He never lolls. He works very hard.

That's why he isn't here and I am, in his place.

In effect.

Oh, and what time, may I ask, does His Lordship arise in the morning?

Most days, about eleven. You see, the House sits at night.

Sometimes very late. He st... he stays in bed till eleven?

Well, I'm sorry, ma'am I could never vote for a man who lies abed until eleven o'clock!

That is the end of it, ma'am. Good day.

Good day.

(BELL JANGLING) Just a moment.

Doesn't get out of bed till eleven, does he?

Well, ma'am, looking at you now, it's a wonder to me he bothers to get out at all.

Good day to you, ma'am.

JENNIE: Good evening. Welcome home, my lady.

JENNIE: Thank you, Evans. Betty, Marlene. Is Lord Randolph in?

No, my lady. Oh. Where's Everest?

I'm here, Lady Randolph.

If I might speak to you? Now, please.

When did this happen?

Have you called the doctor?

We shall be taking him out of that place.

Won't we, m'lady?

INTERVIEWER: Ladies and gentlemen, Lord Randolph Churchill, Secretary of State for India.

Lord Randolph. Many people give you the major credit for the return of the Conservative Party to power.

Yet there is a rumour that recently you tendered your resignation to the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury.

I trust I am not here to exchange gossip or to encourage a rumour.

INTERVIEWER: But you will not deny there is friction between yourself and Lord Salisbury?

I refuse to discuss that any further.

To put an end to it, let me say that I have never run away from a fight when I believed it necessary.

But I am and always will be loyal to the Tory Party.

Mind you... some of my friends in my own party have a great lesson to learn.

The Tory Party will never remain in power until it gains the confidence of the minorities and the working classes.

Because the working classes are quite determined to govern themselves.

INTERVIEWER: Ah, yes. Your theory of Tory democracy.

It is said that there are few who take it seriously.


Yes. After all, as an aristocrat it's difficult to accept you as an advocate of democracy.

Many people think you use it as a device to make yourself Prime Minister in Lord Salisbury's place.

Do you?

- Not at all. Good.

Recently, you've expressed strong views on the state of the Irish question.

Ah, well... the Irish question...

That, I'm afraid, will never be solved.


Now, Lord Randolph, on a more personal note, you and Lady Randolph, the former American heiress Jennie Jerome, are leaders of society.

Your racehorses are most successful, you entertain lavishly, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales attends your dinners frequently.

And Lady Randolph and you are identified with all that is new and fashionable.

Your splendid home here in Connaught Place is one of the few to have electric lighting.

How do you find it? Do you prefer it to gas?

Well, it's all rather up-to-date, I suppose.

That thing in the cellar, I think you call it the dynamo, is rather noisy.

The lights will keep going out always at the wrong times.

No, I don't think that electric light will ever replace gas.

At least, not in private houses. - No, no.

I believe, Lord Randolph, you have a son.

What? Yes. Actually, two.

Two sons, Winston and Jack.

No doubt, they're very proud of their father.



That thought had never occurred to me.


CHURCHILL: I had scarcely passed my twelfth birthday when I entered the inhospitable regions of examinations, through which, for the next seven years, I was destined to journey.

These examinations were a great trial to me.

I should have liked to be asked to say what I knew.

They always contrived to ask what I did not know.

This sort of treatment had only one result:

I did not do well in examinations.


CHURCHILL: This was especially true of my entrance examination to Harrow.

I wrote my name at the top of the page.

I wrote the number of the question: "1."

And, after much reflection, I put a bracket around it.

But thereafter, I could not think of anything connected with it that was either relevant or true.

Incidentally, there arrived from nowhere in particular a blot and several smudges.

I gazed for two whole hours at this sad spectacle.

Then, merciful ushers collected my piece of foolscap with all the others and carried it up to the headmaster's table.

Whose is this?

The blond-haired boy in the second row, sir.

CHURCHILL: It was from these slender indications of scholarship that Mr Welldon, the headmaster, drew the conclusion that I was worthy to pass into Harrow.

It is very much to his credit.

It showed that he was a man capable of looking beneath the surface.

A man not dependent upon paper manifestations.

I have always had the greatest regard for him.

Happy Christmas, Lord Randolph. Thank you.

And to you, my boy.

RANDOLPH: Well, Mr Buckle, a visit from me to The Times at this hour must be somewhat of a surprise to you.

Oh, The Times has learnt never to be surprised by Lord Randolph Churchill.

Then, perhaps, this will surprise you.

This is a letter from you to the Prime Minister.

That is correct.


But it's a letter of resignation from the Cabinet.

That is also correct.

Lord Randolph,

you have taken me into your confidence by showing me this letter.

I ask you...

I beg you not to send it to Lord Salisbury.

I already have. That's a copy.

Then I urge you to withdraw it.

That's not possible.

Lord Randolph, once before you threatened to resign and the Prime Minister retreated.

This time, he will stand firm.


Forgive me if I seem to be taking a liberty, but for you to resign now, to leave the government at this time, on this issue of the budgets for the Army and Navy would be a tragic error.

You must not do it.

I have no choice.

I'm pledged to economy up to my eyes.

I gave my word.

How can I accept this flagrant misuse of public money?

May I say that public money has been wasted before and the nation has survived.

As I understand it, every one of your colleagues in the Cabinet is willing to accept this bill.

Then why do you feel it necessary to resign?

Because, in addition to being Leader of the House of Commons, I'm also Chancellor of the Exchequer.

I am responsible for the country's money.

Why resign?

In protest?

The country will not be grateful. After all, isn't this a matter of national defence?

Withdraw this resignation. At once. Now.

The Prime Minister has already accepted it.

I have his letter here.

Mr Buckle, I came to you, rather than any other editor in the hope that you, of all people, would give me your support.

I see.


The Times has criticised the government when we have thought it necessary.

But we will not lend a hand toward bringing it down.

Will you, at least, publish both my letter and the Prime Minister's reply?


Both letters are private communications between you and Lord Salisbury.

To publish his letter, I would have to have the Prime Minister's permission.

That you will never get.

I presume I shall see the news in tomorrow's edition of The Times?

Yes. Tomorrow.

JENNIE: Randolph!




Quite a surprise for you.

It is true.

It must be. It's in The Times, isn't it?


Last night, you knew.

You knew then, and you didn't tell me.

When you said you were going to the club, you were going to The Times.

I saw no reason to spoil your evening.

But you've worked so hard.

Yes, I'm very tired.

Why don't we take a holiday?

We've arranged to be home at Christmas. We have engagements.

Mr Moore, my lord.

Oh, dear, yes. Show him in, will you?

Good morning, Lady Randolph. Good morning, Mr Moore.

Lord Randolph? Yes, it's quite true, Moore.

Now, be a good fellow, have a cup of coffee with us.

No, thank you. I... I just came to tell you that if I can ever serve you in a private capacity, I would be honoured.

Very kind of you.

Do sit down. Thank you, no. I...

I really must go.

I'll see you to the door.

I'll see myself out, Lady Randolph.

In all my twenty years in Her Majesty's government, I have never served a more able or more brilliant minister.

He has flung himself from the top of the ladder.

And he will never reach it again.

Winston, hurry up.

CHURCHILL: The devoted Mr Moore had a heart attack and died shortly thereafter.

I can see my father now in a somewhat different light than I did in those days.

I have long since passed the age when he died, and I understand very clearly the suicidal nature of his resignation.

My mother remained, as always, loyal and steadfast.


BOY: "A light on Marmion's visage spread, "And fired his glazing eye:

"With dying hand, above his head, "He shook the fragment of his blade, "And shouted, 'Victory!

"'Charge, Chester, charge!

"'On, Stanley, on!'

"Were the last words of Marmion."


WINSTON: "Dearest Mother and Father.

"Two weeks from Monday, "there is to be prize-giving in the Speech Room.

"I have memorised six hundred lines from Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome, "and if I can get a thousand lines by heart, "which I will do, I am bound to get a prize.

"So will you please both come down?

"Everyone will be there, and it would make me so happy

"if you were there to see me win a prize.

"You have never been down to see me at Harrow. Either of you.

"And this would be a perfect time.

"So, dearest Mummy and Papa, "please, please, please, do, do, do come.

"Your loving son, Winston S Churchill."

WINSTON: "And under that great battle, "The earth with blood was red, "And, like the Pomptine fog at morn, "The dust hung overhead, "And louder still and louder, "Rose from the darkened field, "The braying of the war-horns, "The clang of sword and shield..."


Come in.

Oh, Dr Roose, do come in.

Thank you. He is better, isn't he?

Oh, do sit down. I shan't be a moment.

Will you have a cup of coffee with me?

Lady Randolph, I should like you to meet Dr Buzzard, whom I have consulted.

But I thought he was getting better.

I am sorry to have to tell you, madam, that your husband is very ill.

You must, I fear, prepare yourself for the worst.

Dr Buzzard... We agreed to be frank with Lady Randolph, did we not?

ROOSE: Frank, yes. But I see no necessity to be brutal.

What is it? What are you talking about?

Lady Randolph, it is my sad duty to tell you that Lord Randolph is suffering from an incurable disease.

From which, at the most, he will die within five or six years.


What are you telling me?

You're talking about a man who is only 38 years old!

Lady Randolph, please believe this is extremely painful for us.

Do sit down.

May we?

Lady Randolph, I am a specialist, and what I have to tell you is, I am sorry to say, beyond question.

But what is the cure?

There is no cure.

But what is it? Why don't you tell me?

Let us call it... an inflammation of the brain.

In the years to come, although he will seem to recover, although he will seem from time to time to be perfectly normal, in fact, he will deteriorate consistently.

He will suffer paralysis in his limbs, and his speech will become impaired. As will his mind.

There will be periods of violence.

I am sorry, believe me. But it is necessary for you to know.

Is it true?

It can't be.

It isn't true, is it?


Yes, I'm afraid it is.


Oh, my God.


Does he know?

No. And in our opinion, he should never know.

Lady Randolph?


How recently have you had physical relations with your husband?

Why do you ask?

Forgive me, but it is a matter of some importance.

I beg you.


Not for a considerable period.

If it is necessary for you to know, perhaps not for...

a considerable time.

Thank God. Yes. Thank God.

Neither you nor the two boys are in any way affected.

But I'm afraid there must be no further physical relations, between you and your husband, ever again.

WINSTON: Good morning, Mother. Good morning, Father.

JENNIE: Good morning, Winston.



Go to your room and stay there until you learn how to behave in a civilised manner!

Yes, Father.

Don't you think that was a little excessive?

His manners are atrocious.

I know.

But most boys are ugly and tiresome at his age.

To the best of my memory, I was always fairly presentable.

I do not recall grunting at table like a pig on heat.

Randolph, we haven't seen much of Winston this past year.

And he does worship you. You were right, of course.

But you were a bit harsh. Nonsense.

You don't really think that, do you?

Well, if you ever spoke to me like that, I'd feel as if you didn't care about me at all.

Of course.

Perhaps I should have a chat with him.

Oh, that would be nice.

Yes, I think I'll do it now. Why don't you finish your breakfast?

No. Now would be best.




I'm awfully sorry, Father. I'll be better. I promise you, truly.

I'm sure you will be.

We won't talk about it any more. Thank you, Father.

You know, Winston... the world of politics can be very difficult sometimes.

And I have my share of problems these days.

The things I do are misjudged.

Things I say are often distorted.

Perhaps that's why I'm so often bad-tempered.

Oh, no, Father. You're a great man. Everyone knows that.

Everyone knows Lord Salisbury treated you very badly.

And you'll show him. All of them.

Thank you.

Thank you, my boy.

Anyway, I think... older people aren't always particularly considerate to younger people, to children.

They forget what it was like when they were children.

And sometimes, when they're bad-tempered, they speak more harshly than they think they are or mean to.

Yes, I know, Father.

Well, I think there have been times when I've done that.

Perhaps this morning.

But I would never... wish you to feel that I don't care for you very much.

Because I do.

Thank you, Papa. I mean, Father.

I say, Winston, your collection has become most impressive, hasn't it?

You're rather short of artillery, aren't you?

Yes, Father. Only five field guns.

Yes, well.

Now, that's not really...

CHURCHILL: It was one of the three or four long, intimate conversations with him, which are all I can boast.

He spoke in the most wonderful and captivating manner, and, when he inspected my troops, he displayed such a knowledge of military affairs that it would have astounded me had I not already been aware of his breadth of mind.


When you grow up, would you like to go into the army?

Would you like me to, Father?

No, it's what you would like that counts.


I'm awfully good at history.

Especially about wars and battles and generals and...

Yes, Father, I'd like to very much.

Very much. Good.

We'll talk about that again later.

There's an army class at Harrow, isn't there?

I'll have a chat with Welldon, see what he thinks.


Goodbye, Winston.

Goodbye, Father.


Womany! What is it, for heaven's sake?

Father talked to me! He talked to me for the longest time, and he was so kind, and I'm going into the army!

The army?

The army?

Jennie, he's our son, but we mustn't blind ourselves, must we?

He's no scholar.

Can you imagine him qualifying for the Bar or cutting any kind of figure in politics?

So unless you see him in the Church...

No, you see, the army's all that's left. I think it's an inspiration.

We have to get him into Sandhurst, and that, of course, means passing the examination.

The army.

Well, that's three or four years off, anyway, isn't it?

CHURCHILL: Unfortunately, it took not one, but three examinations to get me into Sandhurst.


Come in.

Did my letter come, Father?

I've been accepted. I passed.

You seem very pleased with yourself, Winston.

I'm afraid I don't share your satisfaction.

But I passed.

Yes, you passed.


There are two ways of passing an examination, Winston, one that does you credit and one that does not.

As usual, you have chosen the latter.

Seventh from the bottom of the entire class.

But I did pass.

Yes. You passed... but you failed to get into the infantry.

You merely scraped into the cavalry, which everybody knows is the mark of a third-rate pass.

Now, that will cost me an extra... two hundred pounds a year to get you a horse.

And this after all those months of cramming, and all the trouble I went to with the Duke of Cambridge to get you into 60th Rifles, one of the finest regiments in the British army.

But I only failed the infantry by 18 marks, Father.

I'm sorry. Sorry?

You are sorry?

Winston, how many times have I heard that word from you before?

You've had every possible advantage.

Your mother and I have done everything possible to make life easy for you. Remember how you behaved at Eton?

Eton? You mean at Harrow... Your reports.

They've been nothing but an embarrassment to me.

"Untidy, slovenly, bad, lazy."

You're my greatest disappointment.

You lie, you shirk, you boast!

You care nothing for anyone but yourself, Winston.

Ever since you were a child, you've been... a problem to me.

Nothing but trouble and heartache.

What's to become of you, boy?

No, you're no longer a boy, you're 20. You'll be 21...

No, Father, I... I'm 19. Don't interrupt me, Winston, please!

Winston, if you do not change your ways at Sandhurst, if you do not face up to your responsibilities like a man, if you don't buckle down, Winston, I can accept no further responsibility for you after your 21st birthday.

If you don't change, you'll become just another... public-school failure, social wastrel, living out a shabby and a miserable life to the end of your days.

Do you understand me, Winston?

Yes, Father.



CHURCHILL: Nevertheless, once I became a gentleman cadet, I acquired a new status in my father's eyes.

And, when I was on leave, I was sometimes allowed to go about with him.

I dearly loved these outings.

I had no idea that he had less than eighteen months to live.

Lord Randolph.

General. Good afternoon, sir.

This your boy? Yes. Winston.

Winston, you have the privilege of meeting General Bindon Blood.

How do you do, sir.

Sandhurst, eh? Good, good.

See you in India one day, right?

I hope so, sir. I'd like to serve under you some day, sir.

I mean, in the field, sir.

You like a bit of gunpowder, do you? Good, good.

Well, young fellow, you do well at Sandhurst, and if ever there's another war, which I doubt, worst luck, I'll find a place for you.

Give you my word.

RANDOLPH: Ambition's a good thing in a young man, Winston, but... one mustn't be too pushy, you know?

Yes, Father.

RANDOLPH: Hello, Joe.


I was going to write to you to congratulate you on this young man's maiden speech.

Excellent, Austen. Excellent. Made a fine impression on the House.

Thank you, sir.

I should be very proud of him, Joe.

Yes, I thought it was a reasonable effort.

You've grown, Winston.

Be an officer soon, eh? Hope so, sir.


Father, I... I've been thinking. Yes?

Arthur Balfour is Lord Salisbury's nephew.

They're very close, and he helps Lord Salisbury a lot.

And now that Austen Chamberlain's an MP, he must be a great help to his father.

I was just wondering...

I mean, when I have some leave, couldn't I help your secretary?

I mean, you were your father's secretary for a while and...

They fancy Rosebery's gelding in this race.

He's a handsome enough fellow.

The breeding's there, but there's something lacking in the stamina.

You know? Character.

No, I don't see him winning the race.

RANDOLPH: It was not... so long ago...

(WHISPERING) Excuse me.

RANDOLPH: terms of the calendar.

Excuse me. Hello. RANDOLPH: Honourable Members...

Hello, how are you? RANDOLPH:...may recall I made a previous statement.

A previous statement...

made by me... on a previous occasion.

Honourable Members may recall.

And so I repeat, if I may.

On that...

On that o...

On that o... occasion...


On that occasion...

Honourable Members may recall I...

Her Majesty's government...


Her Majesty's government... are spending huge amounts of money... on army and naval operations.

They are doing so...

They are...

They are doing so without regard to the pledges they made to the country.

Without regard...

They are doing so... without regard to the pledges they made to the country.

Without regard... to the will or voice of Parliament.

That's what I... said.

Must have... had a reason.

Come along, old friend.

CHURCHILL: He was only 46.

Had he lived another four or five years, he could not have done without me.

But all my dreams of comradeship with him, of entering parliament at his side and in his support, were ended.

We buried him near Blenheim, where both he and I were born.

His friend Lord Rosebery wrote of him:

"He was human, eminently human, "full of faults, as he himself knew.

"But not base or unpardonable faults.

"Pugnacious, outrageous, "fitful, petulant, "but eminently lovable and winning."

Not a bad epitaph, at that.

Nor one I should mind having for myself.

Now, there remained for me only to pursue his aims, and vindicate his memory.

OFFICER: Parade... present arms!


Colour parties, halt!

OFFICER: Parade... shoulder arms!


CHURCHILL: I passed out of Sandhurst with honours.

Eighth out of 150.

I mention this only because it shows that I could learn quickly enough the things that mattered.

QUEEN VICTORIA: "Victoria, by the grace of God, "Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India, "to our trusty and well-beloved Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, "gentleman, greeting.

"We, reposing a special trust and confidence

"in your loyalty, courage and good conduct, "constitute and appoint you

"to be an officer in our land forces with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant."

CHURCHILL: Four months later, I lost the one person who had never failed me.

Elizabeth. Elizabeth!

It's Winston.

Do come in.

(WEAKLY) Winston...

What a good boy you are, to come and see your old Everest.

You've grown.

It's the army.

Do you think they'd take me?

I'm afraid I'm not much good anymore.

Oh, you'll get better, Womany. You'll see.


I was thinking this afternoon about your father.

Do you know what he did?

When I retired, I gave him my savings, and he made a special trip to the City to talk to Lord Rothschild about investing them for me.

Now, wasn't that kind?

And he, with so many cares of his own.

Oh, they were cruel to him.

Lord Salisbury, that Arthur Balfour and Mr Chamberlain.

Supposed to be his friends.

Broke his heart.

You're wet.

You're soaked through. It's raining.

You came in the rain? You must take that off. You'll catch cold.

No. It's all right. No, no. You must take that jacket off and you must dry it. Please, dearie.

All right, Womany. In just a moment.

Your boots aren't damp, are they?

No. No, they're dry.

Oh, good.

It's what gives you toothache, you know.

Sitting in damp boots.

I know.

Are you enjoying the cavalry, dearie?

Very much, Womany.

Very much.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Next! Arms up.


Arms up. Next!

Walk on!

Outward turn.

Both rides outward circle!

Sit up! Look up!

Two! Forward! One!

Back to your riding position.

One! Two!

Three! Four!

And one! And two!

And three! And four!

Down the centre.

Walk on.

Come along, Mr Churchill, sir.

You'll have to do better than that if you want to go to India.

WINSTON: "Mother, darling, India has nothing more to offer me.

"And now that you, unfortunately, have lost most of our money

"in that American stock market swindle, "I really must go to the Sudan with Kitchener.

"I could write another book or sell some articles.

"So, please, please, talk to everyone you can.

"By the way, I have met the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.

"Her name is Pamela Plowden.

"We are going to do a tour of Hyderabad tomorrow

"on an elephant. You have to ride on an elephant

"because if you walk about, "the natives have a habit of spitting at you

"and crowding you into the gutter.

"Mother, darling, you won't forget about Kitchener, will you?"

JENNIE: "Darling, as you asked, "I have written to General Kitchener, "and I should be getting his reply soon.

"You will be pleased to learn, I know, "that the Prince of Wales is reading your book."

I cannot resist writing you these two lines to congratulate you on the success of your book.

Everyone is reading it.

But your dear mother tells me you are thinking of resigning your commission and standing for parliament. I hope you will not do so.

You have plenty of time before you to make your name and your friends in the army.


And now to Sir Ian Hamilton, Lord Roberts, Lord Curzon, Sir Evelyn Wood, Lord Cromer, the Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and Lady Randolph Churchill.

Say that I insist on the privilege of selecting my own officers.

Say, as I've already said not once but many times before, I have no room for Churchill. None!

Say that... Just arrived, sir.

Say that time grows short and I have a great many more important things to think about and that the matter is closed finally, definitely and forever.

And I don't want to hear any more about it.

You'll, er... you'll dress it up, of course.

Certainly, sir.


INTERVIEWER: Lady Randolph Churchill, widow of Lord Randolph Churchill, formerly Miss Jennie Jerome of New York and Paris.

You play, if I may say so, Lady Randolph, most beautifully.

It has been said that you could appear on the professional concert stage, if you desired, and you've given us ample proof of that skill.

Thank you.

It has also been said, no doubt with malice, that you interest yourself a great deal in your son Winston's affairs, and in his advancement.

But I should be a most unnatural mother if I didn't.

Of course.

But there are those who find an interesting contrast between your efforts on his behalf now and your neglect of him when he was a child.


But that was never the case.

That is vicious and hurtful.

My son never lacked a mother's love.

Naturally, when he was a child, he went off to school. The very best of schools.

At home, he had my attention and a marvellous nanny who was with us almost from the time he was born.

Naturally, I was at the same time devoted to my husband's career, as any wife would be.

I see.

You do, on occasion, entertain or act as hostess for the Prince of Wales.

His Royal Highness finds you charming, gracious, amusing.

You are at liberty to think so.

But if you are insinuating the slightest impropriety...

Not at all, dear lady. Not at all. Please be calm.

I am perfectly calm.

Then we can proceed.

You are aware, of course, that your name has been linked with another royal personage, Count Charles Kinsky, the well-known sportsman.

I don't know what you mean by "linked".

We are friends.

We have been friends for many years.

Yes, friends. Exactly. Friends.

Yet, at one time, there was gossip, malicious, of course, that your marriage to Lord Randolph was, shall we say, pro forma, and that in the event of a divorce, you and Count...

There was never a possibility of a divorce.

But you and Count Kinsky are still friends?


Charles was married shortly before my husband died.

Three weeks before, in his own country, in Austria.

He has remained there ever since.

He has great responsibilities there.

One last question.

What precisely was the nature of your husband's last illness?

It is well known.

It was caused by overwork.

Ah, yes. But the symptoms were most curious, were they not?

I don't know what you mean.

But surely you were aware of your husband's symptoms?

I think this has gone far enough.

But this is of great interest to the public.

Is it? Why should it be?

Why should it be of any concern to what you call the public?

The public is everyone. And the public has a right to know.

Why? What right?

I don't know anything about such a right.

I only know about the right to some decent privacy!

Oh, come, come, Lady Randolph. We live in modern times.

Surely the word "syphilis" need hold no terrors for us?

Are you content?

Have you heard?

We've had a death. Young Chapman.

21st Lancers.

Really? Mmm.

Pity. Just when he was going out to the Sudan too.


So we have a vacancy, don't we?

Yes. You know, I was wondering...

What? What about young Churchill?

Are you mad? Well, why not?

Well, firstly, if the general twigged, he'd have our balls for breakfast. And secondly, why?

Surely you don't have any use for that little publicity hunter.

None at all.

But his mother's a smasher. Yes, I know.


I say, you dog!

Do you know her? No.

But I'd give anything to meet her.

So, come on, what do you say, hmm?

There's not a chance in the world the old boy will ever...




OFFICER: War Office to Lieutenant Churchill:

"You will proceed to the 21st Lancers at your own expense.

"In the event of injury to yourself or your horse, "no charge will be made against army funds.

"Sign here, please. Three copies."

MAN: "I say, Churchill, we at the Psychical Research Society

"have an interesting experiment in mind, "which, as a journalist, should interest you, too.

"If you should, unfortunately, get killed

"will you try to communicate with us?"

FINN: Forward, halt!

Er... Chapman!

I say, Chapman? Chapman, are you deaf?

Oh, sorry, sir. It's Churchill, sir.

Oh, yes, of course, Churchill.

Chapman's the one who's dead. Hmm. Sorry about that.

What condition's your horse in?

First-rate, sir. Not tired, if that's that you mean.

Oh, good. Now, you're the one who wants to see a show, aren't you?

Well, report up forward to Colonel Martin. He'll tell you what to do.

Yes, sir. Thank you very much, sir.

Oh, and Chapman... I mean, Churchill, my compliments to the colonel. Yes, of course, sir.

Sir. Lieutenant Chapman re... Churchill.

Sorry, sir. Um...

Lieutenant Churchill reporting from Major Finn, sir.

Come with me. Sir.

Your horse reasonably fit? Yes, sir.

I have a message I want you to deliver.

But I want you to see the situation for yourself so that you can describe what you've seen.


Now, our estimate is something approaching close on 60,000, and, though it may not seem like it, they're coming on pretty fast.

I want you to report on what I've told you and what you've seen personally to General Kitchener.

Oh, God!

Oh, I'm sorry. I mean, yes, sir.

You all right, Chapman? Yes, sir.

WINSTON: What do I say?

"Lieutenant Churchill reporting to General Kitchener"? He'll kill me!

He'll send me home. He'll have me court-martialled.

He'll skin me alive before the entire army.

I'll be ruined.

Oh, my God!

Oh, well. I died for my country.




Sir, I come with a report from the 21st Lancers.

The Dervish army is advancing between yourself and the city of Omdurman.

Colonel Martin estimates their strength in the region of 60,000.

I saw them 40 minutes ago. They're moving rapidly.

They're moving rapidly, you say? Yes, sir.

How long do you think I've got?

I would say an hour, sir.

Possibly an hour and a half.

WINSTON: An hour and a half should be about right.

I hope.





MAN: Allahu akbar!

CROWD: Allahu akbar!




OFFICER: They're breaking, sir! They're breaking!


CHURCHILL: During the mopping-up operations the next day, I took part in what was destined to become the last full charge ever of British cavalry.


Sound the trot.


Sound troop to the right.


Sound the charge!








Bloody hell!







INTERVIEWER: Mr Winston Churchill war correspondent, author, recently resigned from the army and candidate for parliament for Oldham at the age of twenty-three.

Twenty-four, actually. In November.

Thank you, Mr Churchill.

There is gossip that you were detested in the army, where it is said that you were known as a medal hunter, a publicity seeker, and a social climber, pushing, aggressive, and scheming.

Forgive me. I'm sorry.

I was wondering why a certain kind of person always seems to believe the worst about me.

At Sandhurst, for example, I was accused of being everything from a horse thief to a homosexual.

And I had to sue for libel, and win, to prove my innocence on both counts.

As to what you have just said, I'm sorry to hear it.

I thought I had served my country faithfully, at some danger to myself. - Yes.

Some officers have stated that your criticism of General Kitchener in your new book, The River War, was inexcusable.

Have you read the book? - No.

Then perhaps you should read it.

My statements concerning his atrocious treatment of enemy wounded were entirely factual.

As to our victory, although the enemy had superior numbers, they were no match for a modern army.

I see. Your father also had a weakness for offending people, did he not?

I wouldn't call it a weakness.

I would describe it as his strength.

And I would attribute it to the strength of his convictions.

My father was a brilliant man. He had no time for fools.

Yes. Actually, you were not very well acquainted with your father, were you?

Not as well as I should have liked to have been.

However, solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.

Indeed. Something you've read?

No. Something I have written.

In my new book, The River War.

You really should read it. There are some good things in it.

Reverting to your father's enemies, do you imagine they will welcome you into politics?

I don't know what you mean by "enemies".

Oh, come now! Lord Salisbury, who kept him out of government.

Mr Balfour, who supported Lord Salisbury. Mr Chamberlain, who destroyed your father's last chance of returning to power.

- And the others. They were never enemies.

They may have disagreed at times, but that's the nature of politics, isn't it?

Lord Salisbury has been very kind to me. I dedicated my book to him.

Then you feel you have no cause to fight for in your father's name?

No wrong to right? No vendetta to keep alive?


That's an Italian word, isn't it? Nothing like that in England, is there?

Why are you so friendly with David Lloyd George, who is a Liberal?

I like people. - People who can help you?

A young man starting out in life needs help.

But don't you think in these times, politics has little room for wealthy and privileged young men?

I am not wealthy. I live on what I earn.

And I support my mother and my younger brother.

But why exactly do you wish to stand for parliament, Mr Churchill?

To serve my country. - And to advance yourself?

Yes. Is there anything wrong in that? - Is there anything right in it?

Who are you to aspire to the greatest parliament in the world?

What do you have to offer, other than your ego and your ambitions?

Only myself.

I believe in myself.

I believe in my destiny.


Have you consulted a fortune-teller recently?

As a matter of fact, I have.

She agrees with me.

Is it a crime to be twenty-four? - No, no. Not at all.

What would you like me to do? Play games?

Be seen but not heard?

Close my eyes and ears?

Be a child forever?

Must we always be ruled by old men?

Doesn't every old man in politics betray the wonderful things he believed in when he was young?

And, by doing that, betray his country?

I think there is room for a young man, many young men, in government.

If I could, I would say this to young men all over the world:

"Come on. You are needed more than ever now.

"You must take your places in life's fighting line.

"Twenty to twenty-five, those are the years.

"Don't be content with things as they are.

"Yes, you will make mistakes.

"But as long as you are generous and true, "you cannot hurt the world. Nor even seriously distress her.

"She was made to be wooed and won by youth.

"She has lived and thrived only by repeated subjugations."


- Something else you have written? No.

No, it's something I'm going to write, I think.


In your autobiography, no doubt?


Yes, I think I will write an autobiography someday.

I think I'll have something to write about.

Yes. Well...

MANCUNIAN VOICE: The Oldham Evening Chronicle:

"Young Mr Winston Churchill's first attempt to enter politics

"has met with defeat. He has left for South Africa, "as a correspondent to write about our war with the Boers."


CHURCHILL: In South Africa, I had the good luck to encounter a Captain Aylmer Haldane, whom I had met in India, and who had befriended me there.

He invited me to go out on a reconnaissance with him in an armoured train.


Going back?

This is as far as our orders take us.

Seems quiet enough.

Let's go and have a spot of breakfast, shall we?


You know, Haldane, I've been thinking.

After the Malakand Field Force, I went on to the Tirah expedition.

Do you remember? Yes.

Well, I never did get my medal for that.

Now, if you were to write to the War Office...

A medal for the Tirah?


Winston, don't you ever relax?

I can't. I'm almost twenty-five.


Look out!

On the left!

Carry on, Sarge! Enemy left!



Steady now, lads. Take aim. Take aim! Good.





HALDANE: Come on, lads. On your feet! On your feet!

WINSTON: Take it easy.

SERGEANT: Get up! Take posts!

WINSTON: Haldane, we're off the rails!

Shall I go up front and see what I can do?

Good idea!

SERGEANT: Set up, boys!




Hey, where are you going?

I'm a civilian. I don't get paid for being shot at!

WINSTON: Come back here!

Come here! Listen! Let go!

Listen! You've got more chance of being hit if you run.

Now listen to me, I'm a soldier.

No one ever gets shot twice on the same day. That's a fact.

Now you get back in there! It's the safest place there is.

And when this is over, you'll get a medal.

That's a promise. Come on! I'll go with you.

Can this engine still run? Well, it might.

But the track's blocked. We can't move.

Unless we get uncoupled from that truck in front of us.

Come on, get in.

And get it over on its side. I see.

And there's no way of doing that.

We can try.

Is there an officer here?

Yes! What is it?

We have to uncouple that truck there and push it over on its side!

Sergeant, bring a dozen men. SERGEANT: Very good, sir!

Who was that? A Boer?

Worse than that. He's crazy!


Come on. Give him a hand. Heave it up from underneath.


It's moving.


Come on! Out you come! Outside!

Come on, that's it, lads! Move it now! Move it! Come on!

You men, over here!

Right, come on. Get your shoulders under here.

Come on, men! Come on down!


Come on, there! Heave!

Come on! Heave!



And again. Come on!

Hold it! Hold it!

Keep it up! Hold it up!

Heave! Get it up, men!


Push it!

OFFICER: Right, take cover!

Come on!



Did it, by God! You didn't get it off the track.

You said all we had to do was get it uncoupled and push it over.

Anyway, it was too heavy to get it off the track.

Well, I'll have to ram it off now. Well, ram it off!

I don't know if the engine'll run. Well, try it!


Good. Now, go ahead.

I'll have to back her up first.

Well, then bloody well back her up, you idiot!

Well, you don't have to get excited.


ENGINEER: Get out of the way! Get out of the way!



Right. Now, go ahead.

And you, keep shovelling. Yes, sir.

We could go off the rails, you know. Go on!

Here. Sorry.

But go on!


Oh, Christ!



Move, Fusilier! Move, move, move!

The track up ahead's clear, but we can't get back to you.

And anyway, the couplings are smashed.

Yes, I know. I know, I know.

Can we load the wounded onto the engine?


Well, that's something, I suppose. The rest of us have to go on foot.

Thanks very much, Winston. I'll remember this.

So shall I.


Wounded onto... onto the engine!

The rest of us go on foot, using it as cover.

Come on, everyone out now!

Wounded on the engine! Get the wounded onto the engine!


Come on, move along! Move along!


Easy, easy!

OFFICER: Move around! Move around!


All right? I think so.

All right, go ahead!

Go ahead! As slow as you can.

HALDANE: Slow down, Winston!

Slow down. Slow down!

You're getting ahead of them. Yes, all right. All right.




Slow down, you damn fool!

HALDANE: For God's sake, Winston!

Hey, slow down. Oh, shut up!

Slow down, you damned idiot!

I can't, you silly arse. We're on the downgrade.

I'll kill you!

I can't help it. The brakes are gone.





Now what? I must go back and get Haldane.

What, back there? What do I do?

You wait!

You wait ten minutes. And then if you don't see us coming, you can go.






BOER: Pretoria. "We have captured Lord Churchill, "who claims to be a war correspondent.

"But from our intelligence, we know that he was responsible

"for one part of the armoured train getting away."

WINSTON: Sir, I am a special correspondent.

I was unarmed, and I took no part in the fighting when I was captured.

I respectfully submit that I should be released as soon as possible.

BOER: On no account is he to be released, for the duration of the war.

I've been watching you two. You're working on an escape.

You're out of your mind. I am not.

But I will be if you won't take me with you.

Never. Be quiet, Brockie.

We can't use you, Winston.

You don't know the country, you don't know the language.

If we got separated, you wouldn't have a chance.

Anyway, you'd be the first to be missed from here.


Haldane, I'm going mad in here.

And tomorrow's my birthday.

Congratulations. Oh, shut up. You don't understand.

I'll be twenty-five.

I can't stay cooped up in here for the rest of the war.

Please, Haldane.

You said you'd remember what I did that day.

Do you remember now?

I wouldn't have been caught if I hadn't gone back for you.


Do shut up, Brockie.

I can't think.

HALDANE: What's for dinner tonight? Any idea?

They're too close.

You're afraid.

Well, see for yourself.

I'll go and look, too. No, no, wait...


CHURCHILL: It was maddening.

And, besides, normally there was only one guard on duty here.

The thought crossed my mind that we were suspected.

Suddenly, I felt it was now or never.

And the impulse was too overpowering to resist.

But how was I to inform my comrades?

Then I heard a heavenly sound.



Who's there?

(WHISPERING) It's Churchill. Keep quiet.

Churchill? Where are you?

What are you doing out there? Never mind.

Just go and tell Haldane and Brockie right away.

Oh, I get it. Good show!


REPORTER: London, the Morning Post.

"Our special correspondent, Winston Churchill, "who distinguished himself before his capture, "has, in a fashion as yet undisclosed, escaped."

BOER: Johannesburg.

"A reward of 25 pounds is offered for the capture of Winston Churchill.

"Dead or alive."



"Although Mr Churchill's escape was cleverly executed, "there is little chance of his being able to cross the border.

"When he is recaptured, it is probable that he will be shot."





Wie is daar?

My name is Dr Bentinck.

I've had an accident.

Bly daar.


Now, what did you say?

Are you English? Never mind.

What do you want?

Oh, I've had an accident. I...

I fell off a train.

Well, the truth is, I'm afraid I'm lost.

All right.

Come in.

Now, then, I think you'd better tell me the real truth.

I think so, too.

My name is Winston Churchill.

The correspondent for the Morning Post.

I escaped from Pretoria last night, and I'm making for the border.

I have 75 pounds.

Will you help me?

By God, it's lucky you came here.

It's the only house for twenty miles where you wouldn't be handed in.

My name's Howard. I'm British.

I'm the manager of this mine.

There are three more of us keeping the place going.

The Boers keep an eye on us.

There were some here this afternoon.

Looking for you.

Well, then, perhaps I'd better go. Nonsense.

We'll just have to be extremely careful.

Have a drink, Mr Churchill.

Thank you, Mr Howard.

HOWARD: This is our engine man, Mr Dewsnap.

Stay with him for a moment, will you?

While I get the food and blankets.

Are the others ready? Waiting down below, sir.


I know who you are.

You're young Winston bloody Churchill.

Don't worry. I'm from Oldham, you see.

Me wife writes to me regular.

She told me how you got beat at last election.

Don't worry, lad. You'll get all their votes next time.

HOWARD: Right. Come on, now.

Watch your step here. Don't trip over the tracks.

Round the other side.

I couldn't bring much food. The housemaids are all Boers.

Can't take the risk.

Take one of these, lad.

Ever been down a coal mine before?

I think you'll find it an experience. (RATTLING)

Not very comfortable, I'm afraid.

But you mustn't move away from here, whatever happens.

I'll try to bring you some more food tomorrow.

You'll be all right, won't you?

Of course. It's very cosy. Just like home.


Oh, Mr Howard, gentlemen, thank you very much. Our pleasure.

RANDOLPH: You've been shamefully careless with this watch, Winston.

The repair bill was very expensive.

If you can't take proper care of a fine watch, you don't deserve to have one.

WINSTON: Yes, Father.

CHURCHILL: I remained underground for three days and nights, while the brave Mr Howard planned how to spirit me across the border to Portuguese East Africa, from whence I could take ship to British territory.





Thank you, Mr Dewsnap.



BOER REPORTER "Mr Winston Churchill has given himself up."


"It is announced here that Winston Churchill has been recaptured, "dressed as a woman."


"Although Mr Churchill is still at liberty, "there is no doubt that he will soon be a prisoner again."

BOER REPORTER Johannesburg.

"It is reported that Mr Churchill has been captured, "disguised as a policeman."

ITALIAN REPORTER: Rome."So far as is known

"Mr Winston Churchill is still at liberty.

"The entire world watches the progress of his escape."

FRENCH REPORTER: Paris."There is no confirmation

"that Mr Churchill has been captured.

"At the same time, however, no-one knows his whereabouts, "or if he is alive and well."

CHURCHILL: I was not yet aware that I had leapt from a latrine into world celebrity.


"Young Mr Winston Churchill continues to give the Boers a run for their money.

"Everyone in Britain is cheering him on."


"Winston Churchill, who is American on his mother's side, is still free.

"The whole world is praying for him."




I'm free! (FIRING GUN)

I'm free! (FIRING GUN)

I'm Winston bloody Churchill!

And I'm free!


Ladies and gentlemen!

A man who, after his daring escape, rejoined the army of his country, distinguished himself again and again in battle, helped to free his fellow officers from the very same prison he escaped from.

I give you...



Ladies and gentlemen of Oldham.

Friends, I promised Mr Daniel Dewsnap, without whose wonderful help I should not be here tonight, that the first time I returned to Oldham, I would give his love to his wife.

She's here! She's right there!


CHURCHILL: And thus, at my second attempt, the Tory electors of Oldham sent me victorious into the Mother of Parliaments.

MAN: The Times. "In raising his amendment

"against the government's bill on military expenditure, "young Mr Winston Churchill, in his first major speech, "seems bent, after one short and promising year in the House

"on repeating the most disastrous mistake of his father's career."


I don't understand.

I wish I could understand. Does it really matter?

Yes, it does matter. It matters very much to me.

I never understood your father when he did what he did, throwing his life away.

And now you're doing the same thing. Only this time, I know in advance.

You're being dramatic. I'm not throwing my life away.

But you are, my darling. Everything you've worked so hard for.

I've had a note from Arthur Balfour.

No, thank you.

He says the Prime Minister's very angry with you.

Winston, you can't attack the three most important men in your party, in the government, and think that they'll forgive and forget.

You'll be finished after tonight.

We'll see.

Oh, Winston.

It isn't Pamela, is it? Because... Pamela?

No, of course not.

Of course I loved Pamela.

Still do.

I'll never love another woman.

But she had every right and reason to marry an earl.

A "belted" earl, as you Americans say.


I do wish you weren't so friendly with Lloyd George.

Such an odious little man.

He has the most annoying way of looking at women.

I'm sorry, darling, I must go. Sign for me, will you, please?

Winston... for my sake.

I'm begging you.

Don't move your amendment. Don't speak tonight.


Good evening. Good evening.

Are you prepared to face these savage beasts who even now are lying in wait for you?

As prepared as I'll ever be.

WOMAN: Excuse me, sir. Oh, I'll deal with this, Mother.

I intend to escort your son to the arena.

You're very kind. Winston speaks of you often.

Oh, we are great friends, I trust, despite our political differences.

Your presence in the House tonight makes it a special occasion.

I am sure it will inspire all the speakers.

And are you speaking tonight?

No, no. I shall be listening with great interest to your son.

Well, now, Winston, I said I would escort you, so let us go.

I hope one day to escort him to the other side of the floor.

Heaven forbid.


Lovely lady, your mother.

Has she talked you out of it? No.

He'll have your head. Lord Salisbury never forgets, as you should know.

Well, there'll always be room for you in the Liberal Party.

Why don't you quit the Tories and come over to us?


Good luck.

Excuse me.

DILKE: a thorough, sweeping and almost revolutionary reconstruction of the army, we have failed to rise to the hopes of the country.

MPs: Hear, hear.

DILKE: Is there any competent authority who really believes that the right honourable gentleman has made the best of his opportunities?

MPs: Hear, hear.

Hear, hear! Hear, hear!

Hear, hear!

Mr Churchill.


Mr Speaker, I stand here tonight to plead the cause of economy.

It may be, at some other time, and under other circumstances, I may take a directly opposite position.

But tonight, I speak on behalf of military economy and retrenchment. MPs: Hear, hear!

WINSTON: The Secretary of State for War is asking, indeed, demanding, a great deal of money.

I do not think he should have it.


WINSTON: I say it humbly, but with, I hope, becoming pride, no-one has a better right to this position than I have.

For it is a cause I have inherited.

And it is a cause for which the late Lord Randolph Churchill made the greatest sacrifice of any minister of modern times.

I am glad the House has allowed me, after an interval of fifteen years, to lift again the tattered flag that I found lying on a stricken field.

It is quite recent history.

Lord Randolph was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lord Salisbury was Prime Minister, as he is now.

And, on this same issue of economy, Lord Randolph Churchill went down.


But wise words, sir, stand the test of time.

And his words were wise.

I have frequently been surprised, since I have been in this House, to hear with what composure, and how glibly, members, and even ministers, talk of a European war.

I say, sir, we must not regard modern war as a kind of game in which we may take a hand and with good luck and good management play adroitly for an evening.

And when we have had enough, come safely home with our winnings.

MPs: Hear, hear!

WINSTON: Oh, no, sir.

It is no longer a game.

A European war cannot be anything but a cruel and heart-rending struggle which, if we are ever to enjoy the bitter fruits of victory, must demand, perhaps for years, the whole manhood of the nation, the entire suspension of peaceful industries, and the concentrating to only one end of every vital agency in the community.

MPs: Hear, hear! Ah, yes.

It may be that the human race is doomed never to learn from its mistakes.

We are the only animals on this globe who periodically set out to slaughter each other for the best, the noblest, the most inescapable of reasons.

We know better, but we do it again and again, in generation after generation.

It may be that our empire, too, is doomed, like all those that have gone before it to continue to spill and waste its best blood on foreign soil, no matter what we say or do in this place, or think, or believe, or have learned from history.

But, thank God for us, there is still such a thing as moral force.

And in spite of every calumny and lie, it is known that, upon the whole, and it is upon the whole that such things must be judged, British influence is a healthy and a kindly influence.

And so I say, sir, at this particular moment in history, we would make a fatal bargain if we allow the moral force which this country has for so long exerted to become diminished, or perhaps destroyed, for the sake of the costly, trumpery, dangerous military playthings upon which the Secretary of State for War has set his heart.


Hear, hear! Hear, hear!

Hear, hear!


"Mr Winston Churchill's outburst brought forth some cheers, "but not, it should be noted, from his own party."

Congratulations. Thank you very much.

REPORTER The Morning Post, London.

"Mr Winston Churchill, last night served notice

"that there is a young lion loose in the House

"and the lion has sharp claws."

Well, well. Hmm.

I deeply suspect what you've done tonight, and yet...

I have to believe you were completely sincere.

And very brave.

You know, Churchill, you're a child of your class, and you may never outgrow it.

But you've got something.





Thank you.

I looked for you, but, when I couldn't find you, I thought you might be here.

Well... do you think I still have a career?

We shall have to wait and see, won't we?


How do you feel?


Tired, but free.

It's odd. I feel free.

Sorry, darling, a brandy?


I don't know.

It's like when I escaped.

When I first knew I was really free.

It's odd.

Oh, Mother...

I saw a girl tonight.

Tall, fair-haired.

Rather lovely, I thought.

Dressed in pale yellow, I think.

You didn't see anyone like that in the gallery, did you?


There was one young woman who more or less fits that description.


Well, you know everyone. You wouldn't, um...?

Well, yes. As a matter of fact, I do.

You must mean Clementine Hozier.

Your Uncle Jack Leslie almost dropped her in the font when she was christened.


Did he, now? Yes.

CHURCHILL: It was an end, and a beginning.

My darling mother continued on her headlong, headstrong, but always gallant and courageous way whilst, seven years later, Clementine Hozier and I were married, and lived happily ever afterwards.