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The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  11 October 1968 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,062 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 13 critic

A chronicle of events that led to the British involvement in the Crimean War against Russia and which led to the siege of Sevastopol and the fierce Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854 ... See full summary »

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Title: The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

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Nominated for 6 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs. Clarissa Morris
...
...
Lord Lucan
Jill Bennett ...
Mrs. Fanny Duberly
...
Ben Aris ...
Capt. Fitz Maxse
Micky Baker ...
Trooper Metcalfe
...
Paymaster Capt. Henry Duberly
Leo Britt ...
Gen. Scarlett
Mark Burns ...
Capt. William Morris
John J. Carney ...
Trooper Mitchell (as John Carney)
Helen Cherry ...
Lady Scarlett
Chris Chittell ...
Trooper (as Christopher Chittel)
Ambrose Coghill ...
Lt. Col. Douglas
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Storyline

A chronicle of events that led to the British involvement in the Crimean War against Russia and which led to the siege of Sevastopol and the fierce Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854 which climaxed with the heroic, but near-disastrous cavalry charge made by the British Light Brigade against a Russian artillery battery in a small valley which resulted in the near-destruction of the brigade due to error of judgment and rash planning on part by the inept British commanders. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Theirs not to reason why..."

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Carga da Brigada Ligeira  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was immensely problematic - Tony Richardson fired a stunt coordinator whose manic swordplay killed several horses; an earthquake destroyed the hotel used by the production; David Hemmings proved extremely temperamental on set; the crew and especially the soldier-extras fought (both verbally and physically) with local villagers who resented their incursion into the area. Richardson's strange mixture of perfectionism and historical flippancy grated on both his crew and advisers. While filming the final battle, the soldiers were called away for a NATO war exercise, forcing Richardson to shoot the scene with only a few dozen stuntmen. See more »

Goofs

When Cardigan is berating Nolan about his Indian servant, Cardigan can be heard saying, "You and your black rogue," while clearly mouthing something different. See more »

Quotes

Lord Cardigan: [of his soldiers] If they can't fornicate they can't fight, and if they don't fight hard I'll flog their backs raw.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits roll over a drawing of a dead horse, with the buzzing of flies in the soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl I Left Behind Me
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Trevor L. Sharpe
Heard before the Battle of the Alma
See more »

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User Reviews

Another time, another place
11 June 2001 | by (Chicago, Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

I do find it fascinating to come across obscure, almost forgotten films like this with familiar faces and famous actors in it. It was made ca. 1968, and in the true spirit of '68, it is strongly anti-war, anti-military, and anti-establishment, even though it is set in the Victorian era, the height of the Romantic age, when Military valor was largely celebrated. Military life is here portrayed in terms of ranks of men being bullied and brutalized by each successive rank above them, with the biggest, meanest and stupidest ones at the top.

I found it quite interesting to see the famous charge, celebrated in the romantic verses of Tennyson, portrayed in such a matter-of-fact manner as a series of tactical blunders due to bad communication and incompatible personalities among the commanders. These events were supposedly well-researched, and though I am not informed on the subject, I found this version of events very credible. Even with the high level of weapons and communications technology we have today, this sort of thing still happens. It must have been very common in centuries past.

To me, the dialog of this film and its delivery by the actors is its most remarkable feature. Seeing films that depict distant eras, I've often thought that these eras must have not just looked different from what we are used to, but sounded very different as well. If we were suddenly dropped into Victorian England, we wouldn't always understand what was being said or inferred to us. Words, phrases, gestures, facial expressions or body language that would have obvious meaning in that time and place would be strange to us. The language and syntax would, of course, be different, but so would the rhythm, pace, expressive color and accenting of the way people spoke. `Charge of the Light Brigade' does a remarkable job of not just looking, but sounding like a distant place and time. For a viewer who is not educated in antique British expressions and military jargon, as I am not, it makes watching this film a bit challenging, but it's like spending 130 minutes in the Victorian age as a so-called `fly-on-the-wall,' as the British put it. There was more than one line spoken after which I thought `say what?' But that's OK. It doesn't kill you, just encourages you to think a bit. This aspect of the film looks to be well-researched as well, a superb example of a somewhat talky script in which great care is taken with the language and its use by the actors. The script doesn't serve the purpose of an exposition device for the dumbest members of the audience, a very common vice in films, particularly big-money films engineered to alienate as few people as possible. It's an integral part of a design to recreate an unfamiliar time and place, and as such, a bit uncompromising.


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