Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

G  |   |  Comedy, Musical, War  |  3 October 1969 (USA)
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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 »
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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:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The trench scenes were all shot at Brighton Municipal Rubbish dump. The actors and crew involved in those scenes all described the overwhelming stench of the dump which was exacerbated by the hot Summer weather. See more »


When Sir John's car drives off after his conversation with Harry, a modern car can be seen reflected in the window. 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 EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »


Mademoiselle from Armentieres
Written by Harry Carlton and Joseph Tunbridge
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Great Anti War Films!
27 August 2003 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I first saw OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR! when I was living in London in 1969

and it blew me away. I dragged friends to Piccadilly Circus over and

over again and each one emerged from the theater as shaken as I. A

truly great anti war film adapted brilliantly from Joan Greenwood's

theater piece by Richard Attenborough, OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR deserves to

be seen today by a new generation of filmgoers. Here is a scathing

burlesque of the idiocy of war set in WWI and driven by to tunes of the

time, each one seemingly innocuous, but loaded with irony and acid just

below the surface. The film is in brilliant color, but the audience is

always made aware of the blackness of death hovering above it. From

early on with Maggi Smith coercing the boys to "take the shilling" and

join up, to the shattering last scene where the camera pulls back to

show row upon row of crosses, this is a genuine masterpiece. A true 10+

I believe this was a Paramount film so if any of you Paramount execs are

reading this, wouldn't this would be a perfect time for a 35th

anniversary DVD release??

36 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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