If you enjoyed The Prime Minister is Missing, here’s some photos of the next ABC docudrama, Menzies and Churchill at War.
In this one the esteemed Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell plays British PM Winston Churchill and Matthew King as Menzies.
The story humanises Menzies, a polarising figure revered by the Right and reviled by the Left, who
presided over Australia at a time of economic wealth and prosperity, stood firm against unionists
and resisted changing the White Australia policy.
Menzies and Churchill at War is one of 10 dramatised documentaries financed under the
‘Making History’ initiative. The ABC has another to follow a week later.
It airs 8:30pm Thursday on ABC1.
Using Robert Menzies’ World War II diaries and remarkable 16mm film, Menzies and Churchill at War lifts the lid on a bitter behind-the-scenes battle between Winston Churchill and the Australian Prime Minister as the fate of Australia hangs in the balance.
It follows Menzies to London during the dark months of 1941 as he takes on the British Prime Minister over the strategic direction of the war, telling the story of Menzies’ political epiphany from his own point of view.
The film introduces the controversial theory that Menzies became so alarmed by flaws in Churchill’s leadership that he considered taking over himself.
With Australia under threat of a Japanese attack, Menzies struggled to convince the autocratic British leader to send reinforcements to Singapore.
The unequal struggle eventually cost Menzies his prime ministership, but out of it he developed a new vision for Australia and built a constituency of middle-class voters who swept him back to power to become Australia’s longest serving prime minister.
Producer JOHN MOORE
Writers JOHN MOORE, MICK CUMMINS, STEVE JODRELL
Director STEVE JODRELL
Executive Producers MARK HAMLYN, ALEX WEST
Narrated by JENNIFER VULETIC
Duration 55 minutes
Robert Menzies (Australian Prime Minister) MATTHEW KING
Winston Churchill (British Prime Minister) CHARLES ‘BUD’ TINGWELL
Fred Shedden (Head of the Australian Defence department) DENNIS COARD
Pattie Menzies (Robert Menzies’ wife) MARGOT KNIGHT
Lord Beaverbrook (British Minister for Air Supply) CHRIS WATERS
Archibald Sinclair (British Minister for Air) IAN MCTEAR
Colin Bednall (Australian Journalist) RICHARD ASKIN
Rab Butler (British Parliamentary Secretary) ADAM CROUCH
Alexander Cadogan (British Permanent Under Secretary, Foreign Affairs) JOHN DICKS
Maurice Hankey (past member of the War Cabinet) WILLIAM GLUTH
Lord Cranborne SIMON ROGERS
Clement Attlee NOEL HERRIMAN
General Dill BARRY FRIEDLANDER
Anthony Eden TIM HUGHES
Admiral Pound PETER NICHOLLS
Sir Kingsley Wood TIM BELL
Professor Joan Beaumont (Deakin University)
Professor Judith Brett (La Trobe University)
Professor David Day (University of Aberdeen)
Heather Henderson (Robert Menzies’ daughter)