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
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: [re-enters scene still dressed as a clown, Drogue, Spool, Gripweed, and Clapper in tow] Bayonet!
Transom: Bayonet?
Spool: Where's your bayonet?
Juniper: Must have left it sticking in the enemy, sir!
Spool: Spur!
Juniper: Where?
Transom: Where's your spur?
Juniper: Must have left it sticking in the horse, sir!
Goodbody: [calls out] Two men!
[exeunt players]
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Colonel Bogey March
(uncredited)
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
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User Reviews

 
Another gem from my favorite British director
12 April 2004 | by (Roanoke, Va.) – 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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