Churchill And The Movie Mogul

In August 1913 the Chelmsford Chronicle reported: “The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Winston Churchill) arrived at Harwich on Saturday morning the torpedo-boat destroyer Swift. He landed from a pinnace at the Pier, and after a brief stay at the G.E R. Hotel, walked to the station and left for London.”.

Some 28 years later Winston Churchill was Britain’s Prime Minister in the country’s darkest hour and was busy trying to persuade Franklin D. Roosevelt that America should enter the war.

Churchill is known for having interesting hobbies, like painting and bricklaying, but his activities as a film script ghost writer and his friendship with Alexander Korda, a leading film director and producer, are somewhat less well known but perhaps more intriguing.

Korda’s historical drama, That Hamilton Woman, contains the famous line about Napoleon “Believe me, gentlemen, he wants to be master of the world. You cannot make peace with dictators. You have to destroy them.”. The line is reputed to have been planted by Churchill, eager to persuade American audiences that Adolf Hitler must go the same way.

Churchill’s fascinating collaboration with Korda is examined in a documentary film entitled Churchill and the Movie Mogul, directed by John Fleet, and shot in some local locations, including Great Oakley and the Electric Palace Cinema in Harwich.

The film is being screened at the Electric Palace on Sunday 20th November at 7:30pm and is followed by a live Q&A with the director.

If you look closely, you might recognise the local locations as well as the Electric Palace’s very own Chris Strachan and members of the Harwich and Dovercourt Rugby Club and Dovercourt Theatre Group all appearing as extras.


For film information see:

To book tickets for the screening and director Q&A:

Further information contact the Electric Palace Harwich