IMDb > How I Won the War (1967)
How I Won the War
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How I Won the War (1967) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 9 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
How I Won the War -- Clip: Artists
How I Won the War -- Clip: Gunfire
How I Won the War -- Clip: Green Green Green
How I Won the War -- Clip: Goodybody's Peptalk


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5.8/10   1,615 votes »
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Up 27% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Patrick Ryan (novel)
Charles Wood (screenplay)
View company contact information for How I Won the War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 October 1967 (USA) See more »
"There have been far too many unwounded prisoners taken in this war!" See more »
An inept British WWII commander leads his troops to a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(23 articles)
Duck Soup
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Outsider Pictures Takes ‘Living Is Easy’ for the U.S. (Exclusive)
 (From Variety - Film News. 10 April 2014, 10:33 AM, PDT)

Blu-ray, DVD Release: A Hard Day’s Night
 (From Disc Dish. 18 March 2014, 11:03 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Brilliant, gets better with age! See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order)

Michael Crawford ... Lt. Goodbody

John Lennon ... Gripweed

Roy Kinnear ... Clapper
Lee Montague ... Transom

Jack MacGowran ... Juniper

Michael Hordern ... Grapple
Jack Hedley ... Melancholy Musketeer
Karl Michael Vogler ... Odlebog
Ronald Lacey ... Spool
James Cossins ... Drogue
Ewan Hooper ... Dooley

Alexander Knox ... American General

Robert Hardy ... British General

Sheila Hancock ... Mrs. Clapper's Friend

Charles Dyer ... Happy-Trousered Man
Bill Dysart ... Paratrooper
Paul Daneman ... Skipper
Peter Graves ... Staff Officer
Jack May ... Toby
Richard Pearson ... Old Man at Alamein
Pauline Taylor ... Woman in Desert
John Ronane ... Operator
Norman Chappell ... Soldier at Alamein
Bryan Pringle ... Reporter
Fanny Carby ... Mrs. Clapper
Dandy Nichols ... 1st Old Lady
Gretchen Franklin ... 2nd Old Lady
John Junkin ... Large Child
John Trenaman ... Driver
Mick Dillon ... 1st Replacement
Kenneth Colley ... 2nd Replacement
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neil Aspinall ... Death Soldier (uncredited)
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Directed by
Richard Lester 
Writing credits
Patrick Ryan (novel)

Charles Wood (screenplay)

Produced by
Richard Lester .... producer
Denis O'Dell .... associate producer (as Dennis O'Dell)
Original Music by
Ken Thorne 
Cinematography by
David Watkin 
Film Editing by
John Victor-Smith 
Casting by
James Liggat 
Art Direction by
Philip Harrison 
John Stoll 
Costume Design by
Dinah Greet 
Production Management
Hubert Fröhlich .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
José López Rodero .... assistant director (as Pepe Rodero)
Art Department
José Algueró .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Don Challis .... dubbing editor
Leslie Hammond .... sound recordist
Gerry Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Eddie Fowlie .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Freddie Cooper .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rita Rumbelow .... costume assistant
Music Department
Ken Thorne .... conductor

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:109 min | Argentina:109 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) | USA:Approved (Suggested for Mature Audiences)

Did You Know?

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 »
Grapple:Never underrate the wily Pathan. What we're going on to now is the wily Pathan, followed the use of and handling of anti-gas carpet. The Pathan lives in India. India is a hot, strange country. It's full of wily Pathans and they're up to wily things, which is why I always wear spurs, even in cold weather. Now, my advice to you is always to keep your rifle strapped to a suitable portion of your body - your leg is good. Otherwise, you'll find the wily Pathan will strip himself mother-naked, grease himself all over - slippery as an eel - make off with your rifle, which is a crime. Any questions so far, or can we take gas?
Goodbody:Sir, has the pathan gone over to Hitler, sir?
Grapple:Grammar school boy?
Grapple:No, he has not. Too wily for that, the wily Pathan, you'll find.
Goodbody:Then shall we be fighting him in this war, sir?
Grapple:Of course we will, boy! The British Army has always fought the wily Pathan. Stripped mother-naked, under the tent brailings like a snake, he is.
Grapple:[increasingly annoyed] Why, what? Why, what? We want to get on to gas. May save your life one day, gas.
Goodbody:Er, why has the British Army always fought the wily Pathan, sir?
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Movie Connections:
Spoofs Lawrence of Arabia (1962)See more »
We're Going to Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried LineSee more »


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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant, gets better with age!, 2 January 2004
Author: Robert Braiden from Brisbane, Australia

'How I Won the War' has to be one of the most original, bizarre and imaginative war films ever made. I first saw it late one night as an impressionable kid and immediately was drawn by its unusual style and narrative. To have the film tinted in several different colours to show the stages of the war was both daring and cool. One gets the feeling of having witnessed something larger, more intimate and important than just a mere war movie.

There are no real heros in this film, certainly Michael Crawford and his troop are pretty cowardly and inept, whereas the Germans are depicted, in the raid on the fuel dump scene, as being content with religious service and a bit of soccer.

It is true that history is written by the victors and Michael Crawford's character, Goodbody, is one of only two survivers from his regiment. He proudly states at the very end of the film that he "won the war". Maybe he did, but his actions and his balmy enthusiasm show us just how idiotic war can be.

My favourite scene was the one with Goodbody and the German officer who befriends Goodbody for much of the film. Together, they talk about how cruel both the British and Germans are, and how the German officer has killed many Jews. Goodbody then talks about how he got his commission and why he is fighting. It ends with the German officer telling Goodbody that he (Goodbody) is a fascist. "Am I?", replies Goodbody, "but I don't particularly dislike Jews."

When the very affable German officer, who is attempting to surrender, is blindly run over by an advancing British tank, we know that in this war the good, the bad and the ugly become mixed up and inseperable.

I currently own a very worn out video of the film and am hoping it will be released soon on DVD here in Australia.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for How I Won the War (1967)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Funniest line in a movie...EVER! Breegha
Have little idea what's going on chiefbucknell
Like this film? Then try this.. dawashington
Goodbody remind anyone of a certain President?? Egghead7
wow i havent seen a more underrated film in ages fateswarm
Could someone transcribe... [uh, spoilers] ginger_sling
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