To a history buff like me, a movie like “Darkest Hour” is a feast! The acting is phenomenal and the chance to see how history happened is worth every nickel I paid for admission.
The movie follows Churchill through only a narrow window of time, May and June of 1940. Hitler was on the move and was conquering countries left and right and heading for England. Indeed it was one of England’s darkest hours as this new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had to face some very tough decisions in the coming days. In a 5 week period, he gave 3 major speeches to the people. The movie ends with his second speech, commonly called “We shall fight on the beaches” speech on June 4, 1940.
Interestingly, his 3rd speech (June 18, 1940) was called the “This was their finest hour” speech and was delivered to the House of Commons just a month after he took over as PM. The speech (which was not shown in the movie) ends with this, “What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over… The Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world will move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and the Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their Finest Hour.”
England was on the ropes, one man rallied them after a fateful subway ride!
See the movie, you will be glad you did. Later in the week I will tell you about another kind of “finest hour” that has to do with this clinic.