The War Game (1965)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 4,632 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 45 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 »



0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Battle of Culloden (TV Movie 1964)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to take place on British soil, as if modern TV cameras were present.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Tony Cosgrove, Olivier Espitalier-Noel, Don Fairservice
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Patrick Boland, Kent Foreman, Carmen Argenziano
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary-style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
Privilege (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Paul Jones, Jean Shrimpton, Mark London
Edvard Munch (TV Movie 1974)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Following a rough chronology from 1884 to 1894, when Norwegian artist Edvard Munch began expressionism and established himself as northern Europe's most maligned and controversial artist, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Geir Westby, Gro Fraas, Kerstii Allum
Gladiatorerna (1969)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Some time in the future, East and West have stopped maintaining standing armies and nuclear weapons. Instead, to settle their differences they pit different teams of crack combat specialists against each other.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Arthur Pentelow, Frederick Danner, Hans Bendrik
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In this war drama blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, the working class and the bourgeoisie of 19th century Paris are interviewed and covered on television, before and during a tragic workers' class revolt.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Eliane Annie Adalto, Pierre Barbieux, Bernard Bombeau
The Day After (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg
Testament (1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
Evening Land (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Made with a cast of 192 non-professional actors, Evening Land continues to explore the form of fictional documentary intervening polemically into a period of intense debates about the media... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Bent Andersen, Kai Schøning Andersen, Mogens Andersen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Paul Tibbets, Harry S. Truman, W.H.P. Blandy
Night and Fog (1955)
Documentary | Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler


Complete credited cast:
Michael Aspel ...
Peter Graham ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 February 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Krigsspel  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although this film is not a documentary, it won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, the only fictional film to win this award. See more »


Light can be seen reflecting off a woman's "broken" teeth. See more »


Commentator: Within the next 15 years, possibly another 12 countries will have acquired thermonuclear weapons. For this reason, if not through accident or the impulses of man himself, it is now more than possible that what you have seen happen in this film will have taken place before the year 1980.
See more »


Referenced in Threads (1984) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Essential viewing
3 September 2004 | by (Belfast) – See all my reviews

I saw The War Game thanks to my local branch of CND in 1979 when they showed it in a hall in our town. My mum was vehemently anti-communist so I had to sneak out to see it. The local paper kicked up at 14-year olds being encouraged to see an 'X' film. Was it worth the fuss? Yes, without a doubt. I had already seen Watkin's definitive 'Culloden' earlier that year and was bowled over by the documentary style applied to a drama, but The War Game surpassed even that. I will never forget the scenes of the helmeted English bobbies shooting people in the head to put them out of their misery, or the bucket full of wedding rings or most of all, the line of kids being asked what they wanted to be when they grew up and the replies of 'nuffink.'

For me, that summed up the futility of war, nuclear or otherwise.

'Threads' is good, but 'The War Game' is still the best portrayal of a nuclear attack on Britain ever made. It should be shown more often.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great, but disturbing antiflagknup-2
Strong! jwer79
censorship FluffyRaindeerPoo
brian cox in it? BristleKRS
The War Game (1965) lightthesky
I watched it being filmed! mpsavuk
Discuss The War Game (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: