Movie: Countdown to War

September 21, 2020
1 min read

Editor’s note: This 1989 ITV production is a fine dramatization of the European political and diplomatic maneuvers leading up to the Second World War. The linked version omits the original subtitles identifying the various historical persons, so a partial cast list is appended below.


Ian McKellen — Adolf Hitler
Michael Aldridge — Neville Chamberlain
Tony Britton — Sir Nevile Henderson (British Ambassador to Germany)
John Woodvine — Joachim von Ribbentrop (German Foreign Minister)
Peter Vaughan — Hermann Göring (Chief of the Luftwaffe)

Michael Culver — Lord Halifax (British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs)

Anthony Bate — Sir John Simon (British Chancellor of the Exchequer)

Lee Montague — Leslie Hore-Belisha (British Secretary of State for War)
Jonathan Coy — Rab Butler (British Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs)
Ronnie Stevens — Sir Eric Phipps (British Ambassador to France)
Jack Galloway — Malcolm MacDonald (British Secretary of State for the Colonies)
Richard Heffner — Euan Wallace (British Minister of Transport)
John Elmes — Ian Colvin (British Journalist, Berlin Correspondent for the News Chronicle)
Bernard Gallagher — Arthur Greenwood (Deputy Leader of the Labour Party)
David Swift – Édouard Daladier (French Prime Minister)
Robert Ashby — Georges Bonnet (French Foreign Minister)

Bernard Brown — Charles Corbin (French Ambassador to Britain)
Alex Norton — Josef Stalin
Michael Cronin — Vyacheslav Molotov (Soviet Foreign Minister)
James Laurenson — Galeazzo Ciano (Italian Foreign Minister)
Barrie Rutter — Benito Mussolini
Stephen Moore — Józef Beck (Polish Foreign Minister)
Bill Stewart — Józef Lipski (Polish Ambassador to Germany)
John Stratton — Emil Hácha (President of Czechoslovakia)
Bob Sherman — William C. Bullitt (US Ambassador to France)
Hilary Minster — Birger Dahlerus (Swedish Businessman and Göring’s Personal Envoy to Britain)
Michael Mellinger — Gen. Maurice Gamelin (Commander in Chief of the French Army)

Raised in a home filled with books on Western civilization, P.G. Mantel became a lover of history at an early age. An amateur writer of verse, he makes himself useful as an editor for Men of the West.

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