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How I Won the War (1967)

 -  Comedy | War  -  23 October 1967 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,604 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 21 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 ...
...
Juniper
...
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
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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:

If You Think Richard Lester's 'How I Won The War' Is Just Another War Film, Forget It... 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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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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

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 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart
(uncredited)
Written by Eberhard Storch, English language lyrics written by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons
Perhaps sung by Michael Crawford
See more »

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User Reviews

Forgotten Gem
8 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although (unfairly) ravaged by critics at the time and so generally dismissed ever since, HOW I WON THE WAR is both a brilliant anti-war film and anti war film film (much more so than the usually heralded M*A*S*H). Filled with biting satire and brilliant performances from Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear, Ronald Lacey, Michael Hordern and, well, the entire cast, HIWTW was perhaps a bit too odd for 1967 audiences who expected perhaps a more madcap adventure, but today it deserves not only a rethink - but a reissue on DVD. (Why this wonderful movie is not available on DVD (at least in the US) is yet another slap in its face.) Richard Lester and writer Charles Wood (who also wrote HELP! for the Beatles) have crafted a brilliant black comedy that easily stands with Dr Strangelove. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, granted, but if you forget your preconceptions and let it wash over you, you will be richly rewarded. RELEASE IT ON DVD!


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

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