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Churchill clip: Brian Cox and John Slattery wage verbal war

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The new drama Churchill (in theaters June 2) needed two heavyweight actors to take on the iconic roles of Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower. Based on an EW exclusive clip (above), the two famous figures met their match in the form of great character actors Brian Cox (Manhunter, X2, Deadwood, Penny Dreadful) and John Slattery (Mad Men, Flags of Our Fathers, Spotlight).

During World War II, Churchill was the prime minister of Great Britain. Eisenhower, who was elected U.S. president in 1952, was the Supreme Allied Commander of the European front. The two men were on the same side but often clashed, resulting in frequent and violent verbal outbursts about decision-making in the war.

One of their biggest disagreements was regarding Operation Overlord, also known as the Normandy Invasion or D-Day. Both men were World War I veterans. But while Eisenhower, 16 years younger than Churchill, never saw actual combat, Churchill was scarred for the rest of his life by the calamitous Battle of Gallipoli. That eight-month campaign resulted in the casualties of more than 300,000 British and French soldiers. Churchill’s guilt over the disaster led him to attempt to book passage on a Navy ship for D-Day — which is the argument of the moment here between himself and Eisenhower.

Churchill will be released in theaters via Cohen Media Group on June 2.