‘Darkest Hour’: Churchill again smokes cigars on The Queen Mary


In WWII’s most harrowing days, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made several cross-Atlantic forays to convene with allies on our side of the pond. From the proverbial bowels of the noble Queen Mary, which now rests in retirement in the Port of Long Beach, Churchill persisted in running his war strategy.

A party celebrating Darkest Hour, and debuting a new on-board exhibit, “Their Finest Hours,” featured face time with Darkest Hour mega-actor Gary Oldman. For his subtle and towering performance in this affecting movie Oldman has been nominated for SAG and Golden Globe Awards. Thus far.

Also in attendance: actor Ben Mendelsohn who plays the stuttering King George. Representing the family was the old man’s great-grandson Randolph Churchill.

All enjoyed a wonderful panel discussion moderated with finesse by Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood. An all-hands-on-deck premium whiskey tasting and cigar bar then followed.

The marvelous film professionals who created the mise-en-scene for this gripping movie under Joe Wright‘s direction also partied hearty on the QM. They included Bruno Delbonnel (director of photography); Craig Berkey (sound editor); Jacqueline Durran (costume designer); Sarah Greenwood (production designer) and Katie Spencer (set decorator); Valerio Bonelli (editor).

A wartime arts correspondent put in a quick call to her editor from the phone bank in Churchill’s War Room. The party moored safely. The movie lives on.

photo credit: Eric Charbonneau, phone bank photo by Kent Bulza

Darkest Hour | in release nationwide December 22

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