Richard Attenborough's examination of the early life of Winston Churchill - up until his early days at Parliament, before his marriage - is a fascinating look at the formative years of one of the greatest politicians and most influential world leaders in recent history. Played by Simon Ward (All Creatures Great and Small and TV's the Tudors), young Churchill is ambitious and over-eager, with a tendency toward boastful over-exaggeration and opportunism, all of which served him well in overturning the low expectations of his father. The film flashes back through three main periods of Churchill's life narrated by the older, knowing Churchill (well-voiced by Ward, based on Churchill's own autobiography). in boyhood and adolescence, Churchill's self-consumed parents, Lord Randolph (Robert Shaw, a Man for All Seasons) and American-born Lady Jennie (Anne Bancroft, the Graduate), are too busy with their own lives in Parliament and social engagements to see him off to boarding school, a task fulfilled by a beloved nanny. The adventure of Churchill's years as a war correspondent and soldier is enthusiastically depicted. Anthony Hopkins, John Mills, Jack Hawkins, Patrick Magee and Ian Holm also appear in supporting roles.