In Darkest Hour, Churchill's family celebrates his promotion to Prime Minister wearing gas masks.
Why would there be masks? They're gone in the next shot. I haven't found any info on-line about using gas masks while drinking Champagne either.
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
It is incongruous but it would appear that they were just attempting to surprise Churchill with an unusual sight....and they used what they had to hand.
The removal of the gas masks was in the script but seems to have not made it into the final cut of the movie along with Churchill's reaction.
CLEMMIE and the CHURCHILL CHILDREN wear GAS-MASKS as they shout - CHURCHILL CHILDREN HURRAY! RANDOLPH CHURCHILL Hip Hip - CHURCHILL CHILDREN HURRAY! WINSTON enters - and stops, aghast, and stares at his family - WINSTON Good lord, what a frightful sight! CLEMMIE, SARAH CHURCHILL (26), DIANA CHURCHILL(31), RANDOLPH CHURCHILL (29) and his WIFE PAMELA (pregnant), and MARY CHURCHILL (18) all pull off their GAS MASKS, grab their glasses of CHAMPAGNE, then converge on him and kiss him. He stares at them, a SMILE FORMING AT LAST, deeply touched, actually. He is presented with a glass of champagne. CHURCHILL Thank you. Thank you.
Gas Masks (38 million of them) were issued to the British population in 1939.
With 1939 and the outbreak of war, masks were issued to the public in cardboard boxes with strict instructions that they be carried at all times, without exception. Fines would be imposed if you were caught without your respirator. As such, many people replaced their cardboard boxes in time with privately available alternatives, as the government-issue cardboard boxes were prone to falling apart and were cumbersome.