7.1/10
2,470
68 user 25 critic

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

The working-class Smiths change their initially sunny views on World War I after the three boys of the family witness the harsh reality of trench warfare.

Writers:

Charles Chilton (based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Production by, and the members of the original cast), Ted Allan (after a stage treatment by)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Allnutt ... Florence Victoria 'Flo' Smith
Colin Farrell Colin Farrell ... Harry Arnold Smith
Malcolm McFee Malcolm McFee ... Frederick Percy 'Freddie' Smith
John Rae John Rae ... Grandpa Smith
Corin Redgrave ... Bertram Biddle 'Bertie' Smith
Maurice Roëves ... George Patrick Michael Smith
Paul Shelley Paul Shelley ... Jack Henry Smith
Kim Smith Kim Smith ... Richard 'Dickie' Smith
Angela Thorne ... Elizabeth May 'Betty' Smith
Mary Wimbush ... Mary Emma Smith
Vincent Ball Vincent Ball ... Australian Soldier
Pia Colombo Pia Colombo ... Estaminet Singer
Paul Daneman Paul Daneman ... Czar Nicholas II
Isabel Dean ... Sir John French's Lady
Christian Doermer ... Fritz
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Storyline

A movie about World War I based on a stage musical of the same name, portraying the "Game of War", and focusing mainly on the members of the Smith family who go off to war. Much of the action in the movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers, and many scenes portray some of the more famous (and infamous) incidents of the war, including the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Christmas meeting between British and German soldiers in no-man's-land, and the wiping out by their own side of a force of Irish soldiers newly arrived at the front, after successfully capturing a ridge that had been contested for some time. Written by Sonya Roberts <sonya_roberts@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Musical Shot In The Arm ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

3 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aftos o yperohos polemos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Accord Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The band marching though Brighton is the Band of the Irish Guards (formed in 1900), as evidenced by the blue plumes in their bearskins and the four-button groupings on their tunics. See more »

Goofs

The bayonets of the Band of the Irish Guards as they parade down the Brighton promenade appear to be for the L1A1 self loading rifle, first issued 1957 and still issued as standard by the time of the film, rather than the correct 1907 pattern bayonet for the Lee-Enfield No1 mkIII rifle (characterised by its longer blade length of 17" as opposed to the 8" of the L1A1's bayonet). See more »

Quotes

Sir Edward Grey: [as war breaks out] The lamps are going out all over Europe, we will not see them lit again in our lifetime.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The principal statements made by the historical characters in this film are based on documentary evidence and the words of the songs are those sung by the troops during the First World War See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Row, Row, Row
(uncredited)
Written by William Jerome and James V. Monaco
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Great Anti War Films!
27 August 2003 | by rube2424See all my reviews

I first saw OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR! when I was living in London in 1969

and it blew me away. I dragged friends to Piccadilly Circus over and

over again and each one emerged from the theater as shaken as I. A

truly great anti war film adapted brilliantly from Joan Greenwood's

theater piece by Richard Attenborough, OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR deserves to

be seen today by a new generation of filmgoers. Here is a scathing

burlesque of the idiocy of war set in WWI and driven by to tunes of the

time, each one seemingly innocuous, but loaded with irony and acid just

below the surface. The film is in brilliant color, but the audience is

always made aware of the blackness of death hovering above it. From

early on with Maggi Smith coercing the boys to "take the shilling" and

join up, to the shattering last scene where the camera pulls back to

show row upon row of crosses, this is a genuine masterpiece. A true 10+

I believe this was a Paramount film so if any of you Paramount execs are

reading this, wouldn't this would be a perfect time for a 35th

anniversary DVD release??


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