Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

G  |   |  Comedy, Musical, War  |  3 October 1969 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,925 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 23 critic

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 ... See full summary »


(play), (stage treatment), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

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


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
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
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
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
Genevieve (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

It's time for the annual London to Brighton antique car rally, and Alan McKim and Ambrose Claverhouse are not going to let their friendship stop them from trying to humiliate each other. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Cornelius
Stars: Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall
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 had crashed onto the Cave Hill outside Belfast in Northern Ireland on June 1, 1944.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Dylan Roberts
A Chorus Line (1985)
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Hopefuls try out before a demanding director for a part in a new musical.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins
Brighton Rock (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. ... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
Camelot (1967)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of the marriage of England's King Arthur to Guinevere. The plot of illegitimate Modred to gain the throne and Guinevere's growing attachment to Sir Lancelot, threaten to topple Arthur and destroy his "round table" of knights.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Stanley Windrush has to interrupt his university education when he is called up towards the end of the war. He quickly proves himself not to be officer material. This leads him to meets up ... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Ronald Adam, Henry B. Longhurst
The Landlord (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands


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
Angela Thorne ...
Elizabeth May 'Betty' Smith
Mary Wimbush ...
Mary Emma Smith
Vincent Ball ...
Australian Soldier
Pia Colombo ...
Estaminet Singer
Paul Daneman ...
Isabel Dean ...
Sir John French's Lady
Christian Doermer ...


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


The Musical Shot In The Arm ! See more »


Comedy | Musical | War


G | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

3 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aftos o yperohos polemos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The band marching though Brighton is the Band of the Irish Guards (formed in 1900), as evidenced by the blue plumes in their bearskins and the 4-button groupings on their tunics. See more »


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 »


Sir Edward Grey: [as war breaks out] The lamps are going out all over Europe, we will not see them lit again in our lifetime.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


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


Whiter Than the Whitewash
Arranged by Alfred Ralston
Performed by chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Should be subtitled: Don't Go Near the Poppies
10 July 2001 | by (Cullowhee, NC) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie in the theater in 1969. In my opinion it was by far the most powerful anti-war movie I had ever seen. I came to IMDB looking for a place where I could order a copy so that my children could see it. I can not think of another movie which makes use of the media so effectively. For instance, the party atmosphere of the boardwalk where we see a toy merry-go-round with puppets which blends into a real merry-go-round with real soldiers and real women which blends into real soldiers in a real battle. And the scene where the "upper class" lady is enticing men to join the army morphs into a whore soliciting anybody she can drag onstage. Then the camera moves to the men gathered backstage and the backdrop of the curtains in the theatre becomes the canvas cover of the truck carrying the men to the battlefront. Death is symbolized by poppies. The surrealistic atmosphere allows the characters to pass by poppies, or be handed a poppy rather than being shot or dying from mustard gas. And I particularly liked the scoreboard where the result--regardless of the men lost or the ground lost was always VICTORY! The final scene with the women and children having a picnic in a beautiful field requires the scope of the "big screen." When the child comes running up to his mother and asks, "What did Daddy do in the war?" the answer comes not from the mother but from the camera pulling back very slowly from the picnic. We see a cross and some poppies and then we see more poppies and more crosses until all we can see are the crosses and poppies of Flanders Field and we are no longer able to distinguish the people having the picnic. This is a film for those who enjoy surrealism and satire. It is a must for anyone studying anti-war films. And as an added treat, it has in it practically everybody who was anybody in British theatre at the time it was made.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
availability in DVD jdalkin
Joan Littlewood and Richard Attenborough murdoch1111
The man freaks me out phosie
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: