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How I Won the War (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, War | 23 October 1967 (USA)
0:47 | Clip
An inept British WWII commander leads his troops to a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe.



(novel), (screenplay)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Montague ...
Melancholy Musketeer
American General
British General
Mrs. Clapper's Friend
Happy-Trousered Man


This film features former Beatle John Lennon and Roy Kinnear as ill-fated enlisted men in under the inept command of Lieutenant Earnest Goodbody. The story unwinds mostly in flashbacks of Lieutenant Goodbody who has lower-class beginnings and education which make him a poor officer who commands one of the worst units of the army. Written by Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"There's been some marvelous advances in surgery, thanks to war!" See more »


Comedy | War


Approved | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cómo gané la guerra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Lennon wrote "Strawberry Fields Forever" while shooting this movie in Spain. See more »


Gripweed: And I'm not a thief, really. I've never found anything worth keeping.
See more »


Featured in The Beatles Anthology: July '66 to June '67 (1995) See more »


Colonel Bogey March
Written by Kenneth Alford, pseudonym of F. J. Ricketts
Whistled during the attack on the oasis and heard as a theme in the desert scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

Another gem from my favorite British director
12 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Wow, it is not everyday that one comes across a right-wing essay on the IMDB as one of the posters did in regards t this film. First of all, I am delighted to have finally seen this. Aside from "The Royal Flash" and "Cuba," I believe I have seen most of Richard Lester's films which are of significance. I think too look at this film from a mere political pov is a mistake. It is a good statement first of all about how utterly ridicilous the war process is. Sure, there are awful people like Hitler and Mullah Omar, out there who threaten the world at large but by and large, the war process rarely leads to any resounding political solutions and long-term peace and understanding. I think even people who generally support their government's wars would agree to this sentiment. Lester does a brilliant job of poiting this out through the course of this film, and he is helped by some great acting- including a surprisingly brilliant John Lenon to achieve this great satire. Lester, who was actually born in Philadelphia, has a great sense of man's moral faults and he reflects that in this film, as well as in "Petulia"- which is considered to be his best film. I think Lester's genius can even be seen in his two most blatant commerical ventures, "Suprman II" and "Butch and Sundance: The Early Years" as well as the Beatles movies. He deserves more respect, and I think one day he just might get it.

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