Wednesday, 15 March 2017
631 The Winds of War
First viewed : 11 September 1983
This monumental U.S. mini-series arrived here with such a bad press, led by Clive James in particular, that you had to tune in just to see if it was as atrocious as reputed.
It was an adaptation of Herman Wouk's mammoth novel about the Second World War in which a fictional American naval officer, Victor "Pug" Henry or a member of his family are caught up in every significant event of the war despite the inconvenient fact that the Americans were not very involved in the first third of it . Wouk himself was the main writer of the screenplay.
Robert Mitchum - at 65, surely somewhat old for a serving officer - played "Pug" and , true to the book, bumped into the great and bad on contrived pretexts. The picture above shows him shaking hands with a particularly unconvincing Hitler ( Gunter Mesiner ) - he's the short guy third from the left in case you're struggling .
The critics were right , it was crap but my mum defiantly stuck with it - "well I like it !"
There was a sequel with some casting changes five years later. War and Remembrance was, if anything. even more reviled, particularly for using Jane Seymour to represent the Holocaust victims, although I think Ali McGraw, who played the character in the earlier series, would have been worse.