Hillsdale College stu­dents will have the oppor­tunity to attend an early screening of the new film “Darkest Hour,” starring Gary Oldman and directed by Joe Wright on Dec. 15.

In the film, Oldman plays Winston Churchill. It follows his early days as prime min­ister, including the fall of France and Churchill’s decision to con­tinue the fight against Nazi Germany.

“It’s a film that cap­tures the essence of Winston Churchill and the way he led his coun­trymen through their darkest hour and into their finest,” said Soren Geiger, a research assistant in the president’s office. “People, I think, are drawn to these types of films, because they want to see what greatness looks like when up against the worst of perils — the invasion and dev­as­tation of one’s homeland.”

The screening will be fol­lowed on Dec. 16 at 11a.m. by a panel fea­turing College Pres­ident and Churchill scholar Larry Arnn, the film’s pro­ducer Douglas Urbanski, and Gary Oldman.

“World War II is the greatest of the wars, and war is a char­ac­ter­istic human phe­nomenon. It reveals things can be seen nowhere else,” Arnn said. “The most important thing, in my opinion, is for people to under­stand that great turning points of history do not have inevitable out­comes.”

Since 2012, Arnn has directed the Churchill Project at Hillsdale College, which con­tinues the work started by the late Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biog­rapher.

“My favorite thing about the manner or way of the film is that it shows Churchill in action, able to move and think quickly, much afflicted and yet keeping and using his wits,” Arnn said. “Too often he is played as a lum­bering growler.”

Tickets to both the screening of “Darkest Hour” and the panel are free and open to faculty, staff, and stu­dents, Geiger said, but reser­va­tions are required. Those inter­ested in attending should email Geiger at

“One can see in ‘Darkest Hour’ that if you change this thing or that, every­thing would have been dif­ferent,” Arnn said. “Hitler’s progress was arrested by human beings who made choices, who suf­fered, who fought bravely and nar­rowly pre­vailed.”

Churchill. Wiki­media Commons | Courtesy
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Michael Lucchese
Michael Lucchese ‘18 is majoring in American Studies, and is a member of the Dow Journalism Program. In addition to the Collegian, he has also contributed to The Federalist, Acculturated, Conservative Review, and several other publications. In 2015, he reported on national security and foreign policy for Breitbart News. He also hosts a weekly radio show, The Michael Lucchese Show on Radio Free Hillsdale WRFH 101.7 FM. e-mail: Twitter: @MichaelLucchese
  • Amy Schaffer

    Gary Oldman is such an amazing actor! What a treat for your stu­dents to have him visit and speak about such an incredible time in history..jealous 😉