The Bofors Gun (1968)

 |  Drama  |  22 September 1968 (USA)
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A national service NCO (David Warner) who comes face to face with an embittered Irish Gunner (Nicol Williamson) who is determined to humiliate him.



(adaptation), (play)
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Terry "Lance Bar" Evans
Sgt. Walker
Richard O'Callaghan ...
Donald Gee ...
Gareth Forwood ...
Lt. Packering
Pvt. Samuel (cook)
John Herrington ...
German Pointer


A national service NCO (David Warner) who comes face to face with an embittered Irish Gunner (Nicol Williamson) who is determined to humiliate him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gunner O'Rourke was sick of being pushed around. So he pushed back.







Release Date:

22 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cañón Bofors  »

Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)

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Did You Know?


Donald Gee + Barry Jackson had acted in the original stage play. See more »


Featured in The Unforgettable John Thaw (2012) See more »


Let's Have Another One
Written by Don Raye and Hugh Prince
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User Reviews

The pain of self-realisation
30 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Bofors Gun is an adaptation of a stage play about a group of British soldiers in a West German army camp guarding an artillery piece (the Bofors Gun). It draws in no small part from the National Service experiences of John McGrath, who wrote the play and adapted it for the screen. There is some comment relating to futility which is very much of its time, i.e. guarding an artillery piece against an enemy that has nuclear weapons, however there are absolutely timeless themes. Essentially David Warner's Bombardier Terry is forced into confronting elements of his own personal psychological make-up during a night where he supervises guard duty. It looks very much like he is a kind, cultured, sensitive and thoughtful individual, but events compel him to recognise that he might in fact be adopting a persona that allows for his survival, and that he's just another player in the game, a coward, a snob and a selfish one, of whom it cannot even be said in remediation that he plays with flair or is aware of his own motivations. By counterpoint Nicol Williamson's O'Rourke is an earthy violent man who knows himself all too well, and has run out of patience with the British Army, its attendant hypocrisies, and life in general. Mix for combustion. What I like about the movie is that it's not clear cut, you can believe as you wish about Terry, is there an essential duality to his mind, is he really just a nice guy who is pushed too far, or is he indeed as pathetic as it gets.

The dialogue is, at times, so out of this world that I overcame my habitual distaste for stagey movies. I've only mentioned the two characters I consider essential to the movie, but in fact there are several other interesting characters, and an eminently credible supporting cast.

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