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 »
In a French village, Manou is an Italian logger, virile, with a broad laugh. He can't say no to women's sexual invitations, and jealous villagers blame him for recent fires and a flood. He ... See full summary »
As a surprise, two horse owners decide to ride their animals themselves in a steeplechase. But Bill Davidson's horse "Admiral" behaves weirdly, and falls hard after an obstacle. Bill dies ... See full summary »
Lady Booby alias 'Belle', the lively wife of the fat landed squire Sir Thomas Booby, has a lusty eye on the attractive, intelligent villager Joseph Andrews, a Latin pupil and protégé of ... See full summary »
Unable to support his family in the Australian outback, a man turns to stealing horses in order to make money. He gets more deeply drawn into the outlaw life, and eventually becomes ... See full summary »
Alan, after quarreling with his girlfriend Sheila, becomes intrigued by Anna, a mysterious widow who's searching for a sailor she had known many years before. Alan and Anna begin the search... See full summary »
A Cambridge astrophysicist on routine business in London finds it frustratingly difficult to return a wallet of money to an Eastern European friend, a task complicated by a puzzling if scatterbrained society girl.
Lucky Jordan, cynical gambler and racketeer, finds one thing his luck and connections can't fix: the draft board. In the army, he fits like the proverbial square peg, and deserts...to find ... See full summary »
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
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 »
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 »
[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 »
Closing credits roll over a drawing of a dead horse, with the buzzing of flies in the soundtrack. See more »
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.
22 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?