7.2/10
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63 user 28 critic

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 ...
...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Oh, What a Lovely War" opened at the Broadhurst Theater in New York on September 30, 1964, ran for 125 performances and was nominated for the 1965 Tony Award for the Best Musical. See more »

Goofs

The bayonets of the Band of the Irish Guards as they parade down the Brighton promenade appear to be for the L1A1 self loading rifle, first issued 1957 and still issued as standard by the time of the film, rather than the correct 1907 pattern bayonet for the Lee-Enfield No1 mkIII rifle (characterised by its longer blade length of 17" as opposed to the 8" of the L1A1's bayonet). See more »

Quotes

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

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

Referenced in Elstree 1976 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Gassed Last Night
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Charles Chilton
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film I most want to experience again
8 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie once, thirty years ago, and it still has the power to choke me inside.

This is the first film I look for on any movie site I go to. Every other movie I just browse for.

Along with the original "All Quiet on the Western Front", I find it one of the most powerful war movies ever. All the other movies have actors that you know didn't die - no matter how realistic the scenes.

This movie truly affected me at the time.

I would drive a long way to purchase, or see this movie. Why has this movie never been released when so many worse have been? Other movies might be considered entertainment, but not this one.


26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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FIELD MARSHAL SIR DOUGLAS HAIG murdoch1111
availability in DVD jdalkin
Joan Littlewood and Richard Attenborough murdoch1111
The man freaks me out phosie
DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE 1963 PLAY WAS FILMED OR PHOTOGRAPHED??? murdoch1111
All the Smith men die (apparently)...so where's Dickie Smith? onedaymore_hmeyer
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