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Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

 -  Musical | War  -  3 October 1969 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,795 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 22 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 one family (last name Smith) who go off to ... See full summary »

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(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Allnutt ...
Flo Smith
Colin Farrell ...
Harry Smith
Malcolm McFee ...
Freddie Smith
John Rae ...
Grandpa Smith
...
Bertie Smith
...
George Smith
Paul Shelley ...
Jack Smith
Kim Smith ...
Dickie Smith
Angela Thorne ...
Betty Smith
Mary Wimbush ...
Vincent Ball ...
Australian Soldier
Pia Colombo ...
Estaminet Singer
Paul Daneman ...
Isabel Dean ...
Sir John French's Lady
Christian Doermer ...
Fritz
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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 one family (last name Smith) 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 Duke Ferdinand, the Christmas meeting between British and German soldiers in no-mans-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:

Musical | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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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)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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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

This occurs in the scene of the morning of the Christmas Truce: when one of the soldiers is offered a hot drink, he doesn't move his lips when he says "cocoa". See more »

Quotes

[to a stretcher case with a bandaged head]
Nurse: Don't worry. We'll soon have you back at the front.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Man Who Shot the 60s (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Over There
(uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan
Performed by chorus
See more »

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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.


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