Churchill: The Hollywood Years
Cast: Christian Slater, Neve Cambell, Harry Enfield, Mackenzie Crook
Director: Peter Richardson
Cinema Release date: 3rd December 2004
“To any lovers of history out there, I am sorry!” (Christian Slater 25th October 2004)
For this British take on a Hollywood version of history the plot is simple. We are told that Winston Churchill, the one we all recognise from the film reels of WW2 (the real rolly polly one), was in fact a character actor picked to play the part of British prime minister. This was done so that the public at large wouldn't realise that Churchill was in fact an American GI (Slater) who single handily stop the German invasion of Britain in 1940!
So what is really going on? Well what if you are fed up with Hollywood recreating their own version of history, as has been seen in films like 'The Patriot' and 'Pearl Harbour'. Why not take it to the extreme in order to highlight that which we know but Hollywood deems unimportant to consider. This is what the makers of Churchill: The Hollywood Years have done (The hint is in the title!).
Of course this is really a comedy; it hits and misses in this department. Some of the jokes will only be understood by those who know a bit of history, others only by the British. Of course the big hope is that somebody somewhere, (America) will believe it and at some point in the future be laughed at by all their friends as they argue that Eisenhower was in fact a black man!
I enjoyed watching this film. It’s not a masterpiece and it won’t break any records, but i did laugh out loud in places. The likelihood is that it will fall into the guilty pleasure category, a film bad enough to enjoy.
The number one reason I would give for watching this film is that it is by far the best comedy performance given by Harry Enfield (as King George) since Kevin the teenager. Enfield manages to steal every scene he is in, holding his own with Slater and giving a far more memorable performance than Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer who for me over do the camp Royal household servants.