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
...
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

The intended concept of the film was that archival black and white footage of each battle was to be tinted specific colors. The soldiers who died in that battle continue to accompany the unit silently with their uniforms now the color of the battle they died in. However, when the final answer print was sent from the principal lab in England to the labs in Los Angeles subcontracted out to make the release prints, the LA labs assumed that the tinted footage was a mistake, and graded it back to black and white without notifying anyone until the whole batch was struck. The version of the film shown on "Retroplex" from Starz has the battle scenes tinted different colors and the soldiers who die in a battle become that color. See more »

Quotes

Clapper: You married?
Gripweed: No, I play the harmonica.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: The Making of Sgt. Pepper (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

How I Won The War
Written by Ken Thorne
Performed by John Lennon (as Musketeer Gripweed and The Third Troop)
See more »

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User Reviews

Richard Lesters forgotten gem
12 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

How I Won the War was a critical and commerical faliure upon it's initial release. The film was attacked for mocking the Vietnam conflict and dismissed by Beatle fans looking for another slapstick romp in vein of Lesters previous efforts A Hard Day's Night and Help. While both of those films are excellent in their own right, How I Won the War is far more ambitious and even funnier. Richard Lester had a knack for comic timing and staging slapstick, and it works beautifully in this film. It also bears the usual trademark Lester visuals, with some really surreal set pieces and strange imagery. British veterans Michael Crawford, the late Roy Kinnear, Michael Horden and the late Jack Macgowran give hilarious performances, although it is John Lennon as the glib and sarcastic Gripweed who steals the movie. Lester would go on to make Petulia with Julie Christie, George C. Scott and Richard Chamberlain a year later, his masterpiece and like this film sadly forgotten.


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