Nicholas Winton Movie: What is One Life about, what did Nicholas Winton do and who is Nicholas Winton

One Life will tell the remarkable tale of Sir Nicholas Winton. One Life will tell the remarkable tale of Sir Nicholas Winton.
One Life will tell the remarkable tale of Sir Nicholas Winton. | BBC Film
One Life will tell the remarkable story of World War II hero Sir Nicholas Winton. Here's everything you need to know about the man himself and the feature film.

Set to be one of the most emotional and popular films of the new year, One Life tells the tale of one of Britain's most remarkable men.

The film, which sees Anthony Hopkins star in the main role alongside Helena Bonham-Carter, features the life and inspirational story of Sir Nicholas Winton who became a hero to hundreds of children during World War II.

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Based on the book 'If It’s Not Impossible…The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton' by his wife Barbara Winton, One Life will tell the remarkable story of one of Britain's most inspiring humans.

Who is Nicholas Winton

Later given the title of Sir Nicolas Winton MBE, he was born in Hampstead, London in 1909 and grow up to become known mainly as a stockbroker and humanitarian.

Both of Winton's parents were German born and Jewish but had moved to England two years previously, changing the family name from Wertheim to Winton in an effort at integration. Both of his parents also converted to Christianity, and latterly Winton was baptised.

After leaving school in Stowe School, he attended night classes at the Midland Bank before he moved back to Germany in order to work at Behrens Bank and then Wasserman Bank in Berlin. In 1931, he then moved again - this time to France where he worked at Banque Nationale de Crédit before earning a banking qualification in Paris.

Following these stints in Europe, Winton then moved back to England in order to begin work as a broker at the London Stock Exchange. However, away from his professional life, it is reported Winton was "an ardent socialist" and "become close to Labour Party luminaries Aneurin Bevan, Jennie Lee and Tom Driberg". He later vocalised his concern about the dangers posed by the Nazi Germany and the Third Reich prior to World War II.

What did Nicolas Winton do

The story of Winton is one of the most inspiring and emotional stories of all time and begins in 1938.

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Three months before German troops marched into Czechoslovakia, Winton cancelled a plan skiing trip to Switzerland after his friend Martin Blake had insisted he travelled to Prague to see the desperate situation arising in the country himself. On his journey, he visited several refugee camps.

When an estimated 91 Jews were killed, 30,000 were arrested and 267 synagogues were destroyed in November 1938, it saw Britain relax immigration laws in order to allow a number of children from Germany and Austria to seek refuge.

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Winton then requested to the British government that they also allow some Czech children to come into the UK after seeing the devastation in Prague; a request which was granted though each child had to be matched with a hosting family that would also care for the child until they were 18. Following this, Winton and his colleagues, such as Trevor Chadwick and Doreen Warriner began to put all their effort into arranging host families for the children while they also raised funds to cover the travel expenses for each child.

In total, he managed to arrange 669 children to arrive in the UK and most likely saved their lives with war breaking out across Europe just days later. After the war began, he become an ambulance driver before joining the RAF. He had three children with his wife Grete, though one sadly died aged just six.

Much of his work in ensuring children were recused went unknown until he attempted to donate his papers in order to identify the children he had saved and matching them up to families. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to be part of the audience on popular TV show That's Life.

To his surprise, the show was actually centred around what he had done and the audience was mainly filled with the children he had saved, most meeting Winton and knowing who had saved them for the first time. With Winton's story now more widely known, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to humanity in the year 2003. Over a decade later in October 2014, he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion (1st class), by Czech President Miloš Zeman.

He died on 1 July 2015, aged 106 and insisted throughout his lifestyle that "anyone would have done the same" as what he did in 1938.

One Life runtime, age rating

The film about the life and times of Winton has a runtime of one hour and 50 minutes. The BBFC have handed the film a rating of PG.

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One Life release date, when is Nicholas Winton movie in cinemas

While Cineworld Unlimited members were entitled to a special preview screening of the film on December 17, the film is now out on general release at cinemas across the country, with the trailer is able to be viewed here.



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