The Winds of War (miniseries)

The Winds of War is a 1983 miniseries, directed and produced by Dan Curtis, that follows the book of the same name written by Herman Wouk. Just as in the book, in addition to the lives of the Henry and Jastrow families, much time in the miniseries is devoted to the major global events of this period. Adolf Hitler and the German General Staff, with the fictitious general Armin von Roon as a major character, is a prominent subplot of the miniseries. The Winds of War also includes segments of documentary footage, narrated by William Woodson, to explain major events and important characters.

The Winds of War (miniseries)
GenreHistorical novel-based
Created byDan Curtis
Written byHerman Wouk
Directed byDan Curtis
StarringRobert Mitchum
Ali MacGraw
Jan-Michael Vincent
John Houseman
Narrated byWilliam Woodson
Theme music composerRobert "Bob" Cobert
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes7
Producer(s)Dan Curtis
Production location(s)Germany
United Kingdom
United States
CinematographyCharles Correll and Stevan Larner, ASC
Editor(s)John F. Burnett
Bernard Gribble
Jack Tucker
Peter Zinner
Running time883 minutes
Production company(s)Dan Curtis Productions
Jadran Film
Paramount Television
DistributorParamount Domestic Television
Original networkABC (US)
Original releaseFebruary 6 (1983-02-06) 
February 13, 1983 (1983-02-13)
Followed byWar and Remembrance

It was followed by a sequel, War and Remembrance, in 1988, also based on a novel written by Wouk and also directed and produced by Curtis.[1]


The film follows the plot of Wouk's novel closely, depicting events from March 1939 until the entry of the United States into World War II in December 1941. It tells the story of Victor "Pug" Henry, and his family, and their relationships with a mixture of real people and fictional characters. Henry is a Naval Officer and friend of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Main cast


The author Herman Wouk was exceedingly pessimistic about a motion picture adaptation of his beloved and scrupulously researched novel, since he was most displeased with several earlier adaptations of his novels. In 1983, The Winds of War became a successful mini-series, co-produced by Paramount Pictures and the ABC television network, on which it aired, and directed by Dan Curtis.


The almost 15-hour-long series was shown by ABC in seven parts over seven evenings, between February 6 and February 13, 1983,[6] and attracted an average of 80 million viewers per night.[7]

Part Title Original air date
1"The Winds Rise"February 6, 1983 (February 6, 1983)
2"The Storm Breaks"February 7, 1983 (February 7, 1983)
3"Cataclysm"February 8, 1983 (February 8, 1983)
4"Defiance"February 9, 1983 (February 9, 1983)
5"Of Love and War"February 10, 1983 (February 10, 1983)
6"Changing of the Guard"February 11, 1983 (February 11, 1983)
7"Into the Maelstrom"February 13, 1983 (February 13, 1983)


The show was a success throughout the United States and received many accolades, including Golden Globe nominations and various Emmy wins and nominations.[8]

Emmy Awards


  • Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or a Special
  • Outstanding Individual Achievement - Costumers
  • Outstanding Individual Achievement - Special Visual Effects


  • Outstanding Art Direction for a Limited Series or a Special
  • Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or a Special
  • Outstanding Film Editing for a Limited Series or a Special
  • Outstanding Film Sound Editing for a Limited Series or a Special
  • Outstanding Film Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or a Special (three individual episodes nominated)
  • Outstanding Limited Series (Dan Curtis, producer)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special (Ralph Bellamy, for playing Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special (Polly Bergen, for playing Rhoda Henry)


  1. The Winds of War, DVD-featurette.
  2. "ABC-TV, Paramount Studio go with 'Winds of War'". The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana. February 5, 1983. p. 30.
  4. "Observer-Reporter - Google News Archive Search".
  5. The Winds of War, DVD-featurette.
  6. IMDb: The Winds of War - episode list Linked 2013-08-27
  7. DVD Talk: Winds of War Linked 2013-08-27
  8. The Winds of War, 1983-02-06, retrieved 2016-01-17
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