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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 10:30 GMT
Margaret Thatcher movie planned
Margaret Thatcher (r) in the Falkland Islands in 1983
The war, almost exactly 25 years ago, lasted two-and-a-half months
A movie about former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the run-up to the 1982 Falklands War is being planned.

Pathe and BBC Films are developing a script for a drama-documentary about the tense political period before the conflict between the UK and Argentina.

It is being produced by Damian Jones, who was behind the recent film version of Alan Bennett's The History Boys.

Last month, another high-profile biopic, of Queen Elizabeth II, won Dame Helen Mirren an Oscar for best actress.

'Crucial period'

"The proposed film will be a revealing and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher as she battles to save her career in the 17 days immediately preceding the war," Pathe said in a statement.

"The 17-day period is relevant because it was the duration of the British fleet's voyage to the Falklands.

Margaret Thatcher in 1981
Margaret Thatcher was prime minister from 1979-1990
"During that period, Thatcher had to confront her private fears, face down the men who doubted her and forge the image that even today casts a shadow across the political landscape."

Iain Dale, author of a Baroness Thatcher tribute book, described the era as "a crucial period" during her 11 years in Downing Street.

"It was the closest she came to nearly being toppled, certainly in her first term," he said.

"It was a very emotional time for Margaret Thatcher, so I think there'll be plenty of dramatic effect that the film-makers can use," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The war "confirmed her image as the Iron Lady and almost guaranteed that she won the next election", he added.

That would be the difficulty - finding that private Mrs Thatcher that, frankly, the cameras never saw
Steve Nallon
"It was actually a vital time in the whole history of the Thatcher government because it almost made her, to quote her own words, unassailable."

Any actress playing the lead role would need to master the way the former prime minister sounded, according to Steve Nallon, who impersonated her on TV satire Spitting Image.

"What they've got to distinguish is the voice that Mrs Thatcher has for Parliament and the voice that she would have had in private," he said.

"That would be the difficulty - finding that private Mrs Thatcher that, frankly, the cameras never saw."

Margaret Thatcher under pressure over the war

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