7.2/10
2,022
62 user 24 critic

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

The working-class Smiths change their initially sunny views on World War I after the three boys of the family witness the harsh reality of trench warfare.

Writers:

(based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Production by, and the members of the original cast), (after a stage treatment by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Young Winston (1972)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This historical drama is an account of the early life of the future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Simon Ward), including his childhood, his time as a war correspondent in South ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Simon Ward, Robert Shaw, Peter Cellier
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WW2, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer
Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on Pat Barker's novel of the same name, 'Regeneration' tells the story of soldiers of World War One sent to an asylum for emotional troubles. Two of the soldiers meeting there are ... See full summary »

Director: Gillies MacKinnon
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, James Wilby, Jonny Lee Miller
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The true story of the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his ill-fated expedition to try to be the first man to discover the South Pole - only to find that the murderously cold ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: John Mills, Derek Bond, Diana Churchill
Grey Owl (1999)
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of the life and work of the Canadian fur trapper-turned-conservationist who claimed to be an aboriginal North American.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Stewart Bick, Vlasta Vrana
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young man searches for the proper owner of a ring that belonged to a U.S. World War II bomber gunner who crashed in Belfast, Northern Ireland on June 1, 1944.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Dylan Roberts
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War I, an army private is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Leo McKern
Magic (1978)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy while he tries to renew a romance with his high school sweetheart.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Reporter Ernest Hemingway is an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I. While bravely risking his life in the line of duty, he is injured and ends up in the hospital, where he falls ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Chris O'Donnell, Mackenzie Astin
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook
The Intruder (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ex regimental commander Colonel Merton catches one of his former NCOs burgling his house and investigates to find the reason behind this desperate act.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Ripper, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Williams
War | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A British officer, captured by the Germans, tries everything he can to escape. In the process, amongst many other adventures he gets awarded the Iron Cross !! Based on a true story.

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Maria Perschy, Alfred Lynch
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Allnutt ...
Florence Victoria 'Flo' Smith
Colin Farrell ...
Harry Arnold Smith
Malcolm McFee ...
Frederick Percy 'Freddie' Smith
John Rae ...
Grandpa Smith
...
Bertram Biddle 'Bertie' Smith
...
George Patrick Michael Smith
Paul Shelley ...
Jack Henry Smith
Kim Smith ...
Richard 'Dickie' Smith
...
Elizabeth May 'Betty' Smith
...
Mary Emma Smith
Vincent Ball ...
Australian Soldier
Pia Colombo ...
Estaminet Singer
Paul Daneman ...
Isabel Dean ...
Sir John French's Lady
Christian Doermer ...
Fritz
Edit

Storyline

A movie about the First World War based on a stage musical of the same name, portraying the "Game of War" and focusing mainly on the members of the Smith family who go off to war. Much of the action in the movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers, and many scenes portray some of the more famous (and infamous) incidents of the war, including the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Christmas meeting between British and German soldiers in no-man's-land, and the wiping out by their own side of a force of Irish soldiers newly arrived at the front, after successfully capturing a ridge that had been contested for some time. Written by Sonya Roberts <sonya_roberts@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Musical Shot In The Arm ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aftos o yperohos polemos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In spite of the horrors of the war narrated in the film, all casualties are always implied: not a single blood drop or stain is shown, and no person is seen felled by bombs or bullets. See more »

Goofs

During the song "Bombed Last Night" in the trench that had just undergone a gassing disaster, when the sergeant is doing his dance, he is just turning clockwise on 'no more of us'. However, in the next frame, he is suddenly facing the absolute opposite way with no time in between shots for him to have turned around that quickly. See more »

Quotes

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: Grant us victory, O Lord, before the Americans get here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The principal statements made by the historical characters in this film are based on documentary evidence and the words of the songs are those sung by the troops during the First World War See more »

Connections

Referenced in War Zone: The End of an Era (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Gassed Last Night
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Charles Chilton
Performed by chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Masterpiece
12 April 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

It is a mystery to me why this film isn't on everybody's top ten films listing. It is truly a masterpiece of acting and direction, and without doubt the best anti-war film I have ever seen. Yet it was never released on video, and it took over 20 years of waiting to see it repeated on television and tape it for my collection.

It is all the more telling for its simplicity - none of the many great actors taking part delivers a weighty pronouncement on the evils - or otherwise - of war; it is enough to see the awful toll posted on the cricket scoreboard that keeps the daily tally of dead. The ordinariness of the Smith family, who lose every last one of their young men to the conflict, the cheerful patriotism of the proud families waving their loved ones off to war, and the stupid banalities of the officers who daily send their men out to be killed only serve to highlight the absolute futility and waste of WWI and all the wars that followed.

Scenes of upper class twits at play while their servants are dying to preserve their privileges; the officers' ball where military leaders try to score points off each other, concerned only with protocol and promotion; and the brilliant black humor of the outdoor church service are juxtaposed with scenes from the trenches as we watch the young men die one by one, all the more harrowing for their cheeky humor and fatalism.

Why this brilliant film has been allowed to sink without trace is baffling; I first saw it in the early seventies, and today it still has the same impact. And sadly, it is just as relevant now as it was then - a testimony to our inability to learn from our mistakes.


58 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
FIELD MARSHAL SIR DOUGLAS HAIG murdoch1111
availability in DVD jdalkin
Joan Littlewood and Richard Attenborough murdoch1111
The man freaks me out phosie
DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE 1963 PLAY WAS FILMED OR PHOTOGRAPHED??? murdoch1111
All the Smith men die (apparently)...so where's Dickie Smith? onedaymore_hmeyer
Discuss Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?