First episode date
6 February 1983
6 February 1983
Final episode date
13 February 1983
Historical novel-based Drama
Robert Mitchum Ali MacGraw Jan-Michael Vincent John Houseman
Robert Mitchum, Ali MacGraw, Jan‑Michael Vincent, Polly Bergen, Victoria Tennant
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 military 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.
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.
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.
The almost 15-hour-long series was shown by ABC in seven parts over seven evenings, between February 6 and February 13, 1983, and attracted an average of 80 million viewers per night.
Author Herman Wouk was very negative and skeptical about a motion picture adaptation of his beloved, and scrupulously researched, novel, since he was most displeased with several earlier adaptations of his novels. But in 1983, The Winds of War eventually became a successful mini-series on the ABC television network, directed by Dan Curtis. Wouk himself wrote the teleplay for the series and had considerable influence on the production itself, and gave detailed instructions on what, and how many, commercials would be allowed. Wouk also has a cameo as the archbishop of Siena. The music was composed by Robert "Bob" Cobert, a composer often associated with Curtis. Nazi concentration camp-survivor Branko Lustig was an associate producer in the miniseries, and also on Schindler's List.
The show was a success throughout the United States and was widely received as a well done series, honoring the show with many accolades, including Golden Globe nominations and various Emmy wins and nominations.