7.2/10
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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)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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

Genres:

Comedy | 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) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "La Chanson de Craonne" ("Adieu la Vie"), sung by Pia Sablon in the film, commemorates a mutiny in 1917 by French troops. Merely singing it was considered an act of mutiny, and it was banned in France until 1974. During the war, a reward of one million francs and immediate honourable release from the Army was offered for the identity of the author, but never claimed. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, a group of Scottish soldiers wait in a trench for an attack to begin. The weather is unsettled and the film crew's reflections are visible in the soldiers' wet helmets. See more »

Quotes

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

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

Featured in Welcome to World War One (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

They Didn't Believe Me
(uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
War-what good is it?
28 February 2007 | by (Blackpool England) – See all my reviews

Now on DVD with additional features including comments from all the major players. An all time favorite film because of the satire and today its nothing new same old thing. Each War seems to be worse than the last-lessons are never learned. Its the rich versus the poor-the officers who only got their commissions because they were born privileged. The film is obviously Anti War and wastes no opportunity to make pointed comments at the Masters of War. The cavalier attitude to Death is emphasised when one leader reads out the figures of "Casualties-201447 privates and officers killed yesterday.Ground gained-NIL" This movie says more about the futility of War than any other


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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