The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  11 October 1968 (USA)
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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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Nominated for 6 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Clarissa Morris
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


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


"Theirs not to reason why..."


Drama | History | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Carga da Brigada Ligeira  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Hallam's first film. See more »


The 17th Lancers are shown wearing the same cherry colored pantaloons or overalls as the 11th Hussars. But a major sub-theme of the film is that Lord Cardigan had dressed his regiment - the 11th Hussars - in cherry colored pantaloons - leading to their nickname 'cheribums'. All other regiments in Light Brigade wore dark blue or gray overalls: including Captain Nolan who was a member of the 15th Hussars (though this regiment was not part of the five regiments who took part in the charge itself. See more »


Lord Cardigan: Paymaster? Paymaster Duberley? That ain't a rank, it's a trade!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


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


Arranged by John Addison
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User Reviews

An undiscovered masterpiece.
2 May 1999 | by (Marietta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

This overlooked masterwork of director Tony Richardson seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth until resurfacing on video a few years back. Seeing it again after a quarter century only made it seem even better.

It's a strong anti-war film but not strident or unfair. David Hemmings as Captain Nolan has his own definite ideas about fighting wars and improving the army. He is revolted by the brutality and stupidity of the officers towards the men, but he has a tragic fatal flaw. He believes that war, the main reason for a soldier's existence, is a proud undertaking that is best fought aggressively. This leads to disaster for him and his regiment.

Shining brightest among a stellar cast is Trevor Howard as Lord Cardigan, who despite his high social position and the finery he surrounds himself with is a brute and a boor. Howard's portrayal is classic. Harry Andrews is also excellent as Lord Lucan, Cardigan's brother-in-law and fierce rival. Of course John Gielgud also excels as Lord Raglan, the tired old soldier who leads the brigade. One weak spot in the movie is that the role played by Vanessa Redgrave seems rather tacked-on without great purpose. The only significant female role is handled well by Jill Bennett.

The charge occurs during the last part of the film and you'll want to watch it again to determine what really went wrong and who was at fault; though let me warn you, those answers aren't at all clear. What is abundantly clear is that this is a superb motion picture that deserves to be more widely seen.

29 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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