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The War Game (1965)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi | War  -  7 February 1967 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 4,188 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 43 critic

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »

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Title: The War Game (1965)

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Storyline

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is fiction. It was intended as an hour-long program to air on BBC 1, but it was deemed too intense and violent to broadcast. It went to theatrical distribution as a feature film instead. Low-budget and shot on location, it strives for and achieves convincing and unflinching realism. Written by io <orb@europa.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BBC TV's film about a nuclear attack on Britain directed by Peter Watkins

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | War

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Release Date:

7 February 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Krigsspel  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The extras for the film were from the towns of Gravesend, Dartford and surrounding areas. Many were members of local Amateur Dramatic companies and can be seen in scenes that are wildly different. See more »

Quotes

Title card: Will the survivors envy the dead?
See more »

Connections

Featured in When TV Goes to War (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Now THIS is a horror film!
11 May 2003 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

I just saw this for the first time and more than once while watching it I felt my body go ice cold. This was surely THE DAY AFTER of its time. Presented in a matter-of-fact documentary style it shows people blissfully ignorant of what could happen in the event of a nuclear attack. Sure enough, quicker than you can say "On The Beach" an attack comes and the lives of the people who couldn't care less a moment before are changed forever.

Some scenes are still truly jolting. Looters trying to get away with the only thing of value left in the world, tinned food, are gunned down by expressionless British police. A man displays a shotgun and declares there is only room in his shelter for his family and he will not hesitate to shoot his neighbours if they try to get in. A doctor laments that severely injured people are taken to a "dying room" and left to perish without care or pain killers. Bodies are stacked like logs for mass cremation. Shell shocked survivors are so traumatised they just sit and stare. This movie runs only 48 minutes but you will be aware of every second!

This movie was made in 1965, the year I was born, so I cannot say I understand what the people of that era must have felt but after seeing this I have a rough idea of the mindset of the public in those Cold War days.

After seeing those US Government produced movies telling people to just hide in their basements for 2 week; after which the U S of A will not only have won a nuclear war but will have put the world back into apple pie order THE WAR GAME is the cinematic equivalent of a sucker punch to the jaw. Watch this film, and then TRY to sleep!


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