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How I Won the War (1967)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, War  |  23 October 1967 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,736 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 20 critic

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
Jack Hedley ...
Melancholy Musketeer
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Odlebog
Ronald Lacey ...
Spool
James Cossins ...
Drogue
Ewan Hooper ...
Dooley
...
American General
...
British General
...
Mrs. Clapper's Friend
...
Happy-Trousered Man
Edit

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:

"There have been far too many unwounded prisoners taken in this war!" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cómo gané la guerra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The glasses worn by John Lennon were known as "metal British National Health Service (NHS) style frames". The standard issued eyeglasses were covered by the "free" British health care system. John Lennon was "blind as a bat" claimed fellow Beatle Paul McCartney. While making the movie, he felt a sense of liberation being able to see while not worrying about how he looked in them. The glasses, which at the time were the farthest thing from being fashionable were a keeper. They have now become known as John Lennon glasses and are available in most optical store in the western hemisphere. See more »

Quotes

Juniper: [enters scene dressed as a clown, pulling a hobby horse, as if acting a scene] Will you take my horse, sir?
Transom: [to Goodbody] Take no large notice, sir. He is working what is known as ticket, sir. Keeps the lads amused.
[Clapper, Drouge, and Spool join Juniper, dressed normally]
Transom: Pick those bits up, Gripweed!
[joining the scene]
Transom: Where's your tin hat gone, Juniper?
Juniper: Losing by neglect, sir!
Transom: If I catch you without your tin hat in a battle zone again, I'll ram it down your throat!
Clapper: Losing by neglect, one mess...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Lawrence of Arabia (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

We're Going to Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line
(uncredited
Written by Michael Carr and Jimmy Kennedy
Sung during the first cricket match and also heard as a theme
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.


26 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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