Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

G  |   |  Comedy, Musical, War  |  3 October 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,924 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 »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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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 ever popular war game with songs battles & a few jokes 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
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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 »


Soldier Singer: It was Christmas Day in the cookhouse, the happiest time of the year, Men's hearts were full of gladness and their bellies full of beer, When up popped Private Shorthouse, his face as bold as brass, He said We don't want your Christmas pudding, you can stick it up your... tidings of co-omfort and joy, comfort and joy, o-oh ti-idings of co-omfort and joy. It was Christmas Day in the harem, the eunuchs were standing 'round, And hundreds of beautiful women were stretched out on the ground, Along ...
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 »


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


Stille Nacht
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Arranged by Alfred Ralston
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Very likely my favorite movie ever.
27 June 2004 | by (Electra, Texas) – See all my reviews

It's been thirty-five years since I first saw this movie. I remember it as well as any movie I've seen. I check every few months to see if it is available in any format. So far I haven't found it. It would be good if someone could be influenced to create a DVD version. I'd buy it in a minute. I'd probably buy several copies and give them to special friends. It may be my favorite movie of all time.

Until I saw the movie, I didn't realize that there was some special music that accompanied WWI. It's music that now brings a tear whenever I hear it. The portrayal of pompous generals and their subservient minions, as they are posting the numbers of deaths and casualties for the day, is beautifully done. They were simply putting up numbers. But each number was often a death. A death of a promising young person. This movie makes war appear as brutal as it can really be. The poor always die first. It would be nice if international law demanded that the political and military leaders of a country be required to send their own children into war first. If that were the case, there would likely be no more war.

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