Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Bob Hoskins and Ed Begley Jr. star in this award-winning mini-series shot in hi-def. At the Tehran and Yalta Conferences, the strong personalities of three of the world’s most powerful leaders threaten their fragile alliance. This riveting historical drama portrays the precarious relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the pivotal moments when the final strategies of the war hung in the balance.It's hard to imagine more compelling material than the backroom machinations between FDR, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin that led to the precarious alliance of these three leaders against Hitler. World War II--When Lions Roared is an unusual mixture of scenes dramatized from speeches and diplomatic correspondence and archival newsreel footage.
The three main actors--John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun, Kinsey) as Roosevelt, Bob Hoskins (Mrs. Henderson Presents, Mona Lisa) as Churchill, and Michael Caine (Alfie, The Quiet American) as Stalin--all deliver strong performances. Hoskins, even under heavy make-up, doesn't look much like Churchill, but he's got the man's gruff, stern cadences nailed. Caine's make-up is more effective, but the key to Caine's performance is in his mysterious, gimlet eyes. The script is oddly cobbled together from speeches and diplomatic correspondence and so thick with high-flown rhetoric and pontification, which certainly fits the mini-series' romantic view of WWII but can be a bit much to stomach after an hour or two of stirring declamation.
When Lions Roared, as you might guess from the title, suffers from unapologetic hero worship of FDR and Churchill, presenting them as wise and resolute throughout, wily codgers the likes of which we shall not see again, etc.. Also strange are split-screen scenes of the leaders in their various lairs, from which they speak to each other as if in mid-conversation--obviously intended to depict the decision-making process economically, but the effect is uncomfortably chummy and glib. Nonetheless, history buffs will enjoy the wary regard in which these world leaders held each other as they negotiated the fate of the world. --Bret Fetzer
- At the Tehran Conference, the strong personalities of three of the world s most powerful leaders threaten their fragile alliance. This riveting historical drama portrays the precarious relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at a critical time when the final strategy for the war hung in the balance. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION Rating:&nbs