5.8/10
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How I Won the War (1967)

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

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Goodbody
...
Gripweed
...
Clapper
Lee Montague ...
...
...
Grapple
...
Melancholy Musketeer
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Odlebog
...
Spool
...
Drogue
...
Dooley
...
American General
...
British General
...
Mrs. Clapper's Friend
...
Happy-Trousered Man
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

"What we want is more humane killers!" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cómo gané la guerra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Grapple: That's the way to beat the Hun - dig in, then break through with sword and lance.
[slight pause]
Grapple: I think.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spanish Western (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from 'Lawrence of Arabia'
(uncredited)
Music by Maurice Jarre
Heard as a theme in the desert scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Walked Out. Forty Years Later I Walked Out Again.
14 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Simply and absolutely one of the most boring and self-important films ever made. When it came out in 1967, director Richard Lester made no secret of his conviction that he'd produced the greatest antiwar statement since 1930's All Quiet on the Western Front. In reality, it's one of the worst films of any kind since 1930.

Here's Lester's antiwar strategy. Take a small number of British soldiers in a wear against Hitler and Nazism and show them to be a bunch of fools, cowards, and lunatics. Show that their mission - to build a cricket-pitch in enemy territory - is absurd. Show John Lennon's idiot minor character bloodily killed.

That's it. Doesn't it make you hate war? Doesn't it prove that soldiers are suckers? Doesn't it make you want to protest Vietnam? Well, maybe all Richard Lester really wanted to do was make an amusing service comedy. Maybe his self-promoting comments were just trying to cash in on the antiwar feelings of the day.

In that case he still failed. There are more laughs in five minutes of "Sgt. Bilko" than in this entire movie.

I remember vividly being unable to stay awake watching this turkey in the theater forty years ago. I walked out, even though I'd paid good money. (Only two other movies in my entire life have had such a sleep-inducing effect on me, and "How I Won the War" may well be the worst of three.) A few years back somebody gave me the video. With access to coffee I managed to stay awake a just little longer. When I snapped awake I shut the thing off.

Way back in 1967 I actually read Patrick Ryan's comic novel that was the basis of this film. It was funny in an aimless kind of way.

This movie is unfunny in each and every way.


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