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What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Needs to be released on DVD

Author: wampakumark from United States
14 June 2005

What Did You Do in the War,Daddy? is a great movie that has been neglected for too long. It belongs on DVD for a new generation to enjoy. The story is just as entertaining now as when it first was theatrically released. The characters are timeless. The setting picturesque. The plot and pacing superb. It remains one of the best comedic World War II movies made. Truly a funny movie. It has intelligent humor that does not require gross out jokes to make it funny. It was made back when writing was still an art form and there were still original ideas in Hollywood. It is a must own for all WWII buffs. It is a constant disappointment to see that it is not on DVD, nor that it is "not in the works." Something must be done about it. "To arms!"

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Another vote for a DVD version

Author: verne-6 from United States
29 July 2007

"What did you do in the war daddy?" is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It rates up there with "It's a Mad Mad Mad World", and "The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming", etc. Definitely a laugh out loud movie. I saw it first in Seattle in the 60's with a friend, and it was playing with "..The Russians are coming." Both movies were so hilarious that we stayed and watched them both twice. I was shocked here to read the negative reviews. Perhaps what caused their dislike is why the movie was not as popular as it should have been. I do remember when the Germans arrived, the whole tone of the movie changed. It was a gay hilarious party, and suddenly the war returns. You don't want the fun to end, so you're kind of angry that the writers did this to you. But, if you can tell yourself this IS a 'comedy about war' and accept the change, you will see that the hilarity continues. You will enjoy the end just as much as the beginning. I bought the VHS version years ago when it came out and have to agree to the timelessness of it, it was still hilarious. It needs to come out on DVD!!!

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I had the time of my life, son!

Author: grendelkhan from Xanadu
18 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At least, that is how I feel after watching this movie. Blake Edwards delivers another great comedy; this time, in the Italian Theater, in WWII. Dick Shawn (The Producers) is the by the book Capt. Cash, with his trusty Lt. Christian. They have "captured" Capt. Oppo and his men; that is, if they have a festival. Well, one party and a surprise visit by an "intelligence" major (military intelligence, the ultimate oxymoron) and he two sides have to fake a battle. Next thing you know, the Americans and Italians must team up to fight the Germans.

The film is filled with the wonderful slapstick to be expected from Edwards, in the 60's, as well as fine character performances from Shawn, Aldo Ray, James Coburn, Vitto Scotti, Sergio Fantoni; and, especially, Henry Morgan.

The film is lighthearted fun, without being insulting to veterans of the war. It's a piece of farce, with its own place in the sun. Everyone is having fun, with Morgan at his insane best (a style he was able to repeat in his first appearance in MASH, before Col. Potter). The entire situation is absurd, but that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Some scenes to watch for: The staged battle, Henry Morgan running around in the catacombs, and the "fight" with the Germans. This is Blake Edwards at his best. Definitely worth seeking out.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

laughter IS the best medicine, especially for war

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
19 May 2005

Gen. Sherman said that war is hell, but if he had seen "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?", he would have eaten his words. The movie focuses on an American platoon that captures an Italian village in WWII. The Italians are willing to surrender as long as they can have their festival. This creates a problem for the Americans, who have to look like they're fighting. Meanwhile, one of the commanding officers gets lost in the catacombs and goes crazy.

Dick Shawn displays the same type of wacky humor that he employed in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", and we even get to see Carroll O'Connor, pre-"All in the Family". Perfect.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Fun Blake Edwards war flick

Author: broosr from Lawrence, KS
14 March 2002

The Sixties produced a slew of funny war comedies demonstrating that WWII was basically good fun for all concerned, rather than being peopled with the kind of angst-filled, hand-wringing adolescents you see nowadays in movies like Memphis Belle and Saving Private Ryan. Edwards would go on to fantastic success with the Pink Panther series and writer Blatty is notable for his later work, The Exorcist. Edwards draws on a solid cast, including veterans Carroll O'Connor, Harry Morgan and Aldo Ray, without whom no war movie is complete. Italian star Fantoni turns in a meatball performance as Oppo but Dick Shawn steals the show with the best role of his career. Although a little slow in spots, Blake Edwards nonetheless gets where he's going and the result is a fine, though underrated, entry in the genre. The interactions between Shawn and Fantoni are worth the price of admission alone.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

It's being released on DVD!!

Author: Chx_Walks_All_Over_Jesus from United States
31 May 2008

If you've never seen "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?", you owe it to yourself to pick it up (or at least ask Netflix to stock it!). Great, wacky fun, memorable characters/situations, heavy drinking, babes, and catacombs!! What's not to love???

Stars some of the greats: James Coburn (Magnificent Seven, Our Man Flint, etc.), Harry Morgan (who kept up the military theme as Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H), and Carroll O'Connor (whom you might better recognize as Archie Bunker). It's got all the energy and cleverness of "Animal House" without the "Porky's"-style humor - this is a movie you can watch with your kids!

I've been looking for it for years. Rent it. You'll be glad you did.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Blake Edwards' What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? is fun if you don't pay too much attention to the plot

Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
10 December 2011

When the obits of Harry Morgan were printed a few days ago, there was mention that one of his movie highlights was this one in which he plays a Major Pott who becomes crazy during the course of the movie. He's quite hilarious here and I found myself laughing quite a bit during much of this Blake Edwards' comedy that takes place in Italy during World War II but I have to admit that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Still, I liked many of the actors that appear here which besides Morgan includes Dick Shawn (especially liked his drag appearance in the later part of the film), James Coburn (acting perfectly straight while thinking crazy things), Giovanna Ralli (geogeous Italian eye candy), Carroll O'Connor (in a role that eventually convinced Norman Lear to cast him as Archie Bunker in "All in the Family"), and Leon Askin (whose Colonel Kastorp doesn't seem much different from his General Burkhalter in "Hogan's Heroes"). Like I said, not too much makes sense but What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? has its moments.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

" If we've already surrendered, what's the reason we can't celebrate with a Festival? "

Author: thinker1691 from USA
15 July 2010

In the annals of military history are some of the most serious moments imaginable. However, with this movie, surprisingly written by William Peter Blatty that's the farthest thing from director Blake Edwards's mind. The movie is called " What did you do in the War, Daddy? " From the moment an audience sit's to watch this extraordinary movie, a roller coaster ride of hilarity begins. It's the story of Lionel Cash (Dick Shawn) a seriously dedicated West Point Captain who's been ordered to take an Italian town, by the commanding General (Carroll O'Conner). Entering the small town, he is confronted by Captain Oppo (Sergio Fantoni) the Italian commander who immediately surrenders. However, when Cash attempts to order the Italians out, they balk and demand a Festival as a condition. With a real confrontation threatening to renew the war, Cash's Lieutenant (James Coburn) asks, 'what's the harm?' Thus, this film swings into it's comedic mode and the world war turns upside down. Jovality and a festive atmosphere make this movie a fun feature to watch with almost every changing situation causing humor, hilarity and side-splitting laughter. The cast which includes Aldo Ray, Giovanna Ralli and Henry Morgan do a marvelous job to create a superb Classic. A great film recommended to anyone seeking humor in World War II. ****

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

great movie

Author: boolous1 from United States
18 November 2006

this movie was not only well written it has all the right stars. dick Shawn is hilarious and black Edwards always puts out A comedy! and the biggest plus of all was that i was there when they made the movie shot partly in thousand oaks California.if this movie was made today it would still garnish rave revue's.James coburn is one of my all time favorite actors,and of coarse harry Morgan we all know today from M.A.S.H. he adds to the strength of the comedy as Bud Abbott once did with Costello.of all the movie remakes i think this one would and should be considered by the studio executers.With a budget of todays standard it would not be a problem of set and location but that of actor costs and consideration.

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The inspiration for "Kelly's Heroes"

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
2 January 2017

Released in 1966 and directed by Blake Edwards, "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" chronicles amusing events at a strategic Italian hamlet during WWII. The village's citizens agree to surrender to an Allied platoon on the condition that they hold their traditional wine festival. Due to aerial reconnaissance, the platoon must look like they are fiercely fighting the Sicilians when that's hardly case; in fact, they're partying it up! Mistaking the festival for an attack, a platoon of Germans come to assist the Italians.

This is a fun mid-60's war comedy, the obvious inspiration for the superior "Kelly's Heroes," which came out four years later. Carroll O'Connor even plays the same basic character. There are some dull stretches and the entire last act is weak, almost ruining the movie. But the rest is quietly amusing with good laughs here and there highlighted by Dick Shawn, James Coburn, Sergio Fantoni and Harry Morgan, not to mention the jaw-dropping beauty of Giovanna Ralli. Shawn plays the by-the-books Allied captain offset by Coburn's easy-going lieutenant. Morgan's character getting lost in the catacombs and going mad is memorable.

Only watch this, however, if you have a taste for 60's war comedies in the mold of "Kelly's Heroes," 1970's "M*A*S*H" or Hogan's Heroes.

The movie is overlong at 116 minutes and was shot at Lake Sherwood, California, on a thoroughly convincing Italian village set.


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