IMDb > Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)
Oh! What a Lovely War
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Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles Chilton (based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Production by, and the members of the original cast)
Ted Allan (after a stage treatment by)
View company contact information for Oh! What a Lovely War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 October 1969 (USA) See more »
The ever popular war game with songs battles & a few jokes See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Masterpiece See more (63 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Wendy Allnutt ... Florence Victoria 'Flo' Smith
Colin Farrell ... Harry Arnold Smith
Malcolm McFee ... Frederick Percy 'Freddie' Smith
John Rae ... Grandpa Smith

Corin Redgrave ... Bertram Biddle 'Bertie' Smith

Maurice Roëves ... 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 ... Czar Nicholas II

Isabel Dean ... Sir John French's Lady
Christian Doermer ... Fritz
Robert Flemyng ... Major Mallory - Staff Officer in Gassed Trench
Meriel Forbes ... Lady Pamela Grey

Ian Holm ... President Raymond Poincaré
David Lodge ... Recruiting Sergeant at Music Hall
Joe Melia ... The Photographer

Guy Middleton ... General Sir William Robertson

Juliet Mills ... Nurse
Nanette Newman ... Nurse

Cecil Parker ... Sir John

Natasha Parry ... Sir William Robertson's Lady
Gerald Sim ... Chaplain
Thorley Walters ... Staff Officer in Ballroom

Anthony Ainley ... 3rd Aide

Penelope Allen ... Solo Chorus Girl (as Penny Allen)
Maurice Arthur ... Soldier Singer at Chaplain's Address
Freddie Ascott ... 'Whizzbang' Soldier

Michael Bates ... Drunk Lance Corporal
Fanny Carby ... Mill Girl
Cecilia Darby ... Sir Henry Wilson's Lady
Geoffrey Davies ... Aide to Field-Marshal Haig

Edward Fox ... Aide to Field-Marshal Haig
George Ghent ... Heckler at Pankhurst Speech
Peter Gilmore ... Private Burgess
Ben Howard ... Private Garbett
Norman Jones ... Scottish Soldier
Paddy Joyce ... Irish Soldier

Angus Lennie ... Scottish Soldier
Harry Locke ... Heckler at Pankhurst Speech

Clifford Mollison ... Heckler at Pankhurst Speech
Derek Newark ... Shooting Gallery Proprietor

John Owens ... Seamus Moore
Ron Pember ... Corporal at Railway Station
Dorothy Reynolds ... Heckler at Pankhurst Speech
Norman Shelley ... Staff Officer in Ballroom
Marianne Stone ... Mill Girl
John Trigger ... Officer at Railway Station
Kathleen Wileman ... Emma Smith - Age 4

Dirk Bogarde ... Stephen

Phyllis Calvert ... Lady Dorothy Haig

Jean-Pierre Cassel ... French Colonel (as Jean Pierre Cassel)
John Clements ... General Helmuth von Moltke

John Gielgud ... Count Leopold von Berchtold

Jack Hawkins ... Emperor Franz Joseph

Kenneth More ... Kaiser Wilhelm II

Laurence Olivier ... Field-Marshal Sir John French

Michael Redgrave ... General Sir Henry Wilson

Vanessa Redgrave ... Sylvia Pankhurst

Ralph Richardson ... Sir Edward Grey

Maggie Smith ... Music Hall Star

Susannah York ... Eleanor

John Mills ... Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig
Band of the Irish Guards ... Military Band in Brighton (as The Band of the Irish Guards)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pamela Abbott ... Czarina Alexandra (uncredited)
Charlotte Attenborough ... Emma Smith - Age 8 (uncredited)
Annie Bee ... Girl Friend in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)

Norman Bird ... Training Sergeant (uncredited)
Joanne Brown ... Singer (uncredited)
Christopher Cabot ... Soldier in Shell Hole (uncredited)

Jeremy Child ... Wealthy Young Man (uncredited)
Frank Coda ... Soldier in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Ambrose Coghill ... His Father (uncredited)
Stella Courtney ... Poincaré's Lady (uncredited)
Sheila Cox ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Elizabeth Craven ... Kaiserin Augusta (uncredited)
Richard Davies ... Sergeant in Burial Party (uncredited)
John Dunn-Hill ... Irish Soldier (uncredited)
Ray Edwards ... 3rd Staff Officer in Ballroom (uncredited)
Charles Farrell ... Policeman (uncredited)
Hermione Farthingale ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Frank Forsyth ... President Woodrow Wilson (uncredited)
Joyce Franklin ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
John Gabriel ... Nikolai Lenin (uncredited)
Zeph Gladstone ... Sir John's Chauffeuse (uncredited)
Ruth Gower ... General von Moltke's Lady (uncredited)
Kim Grant ... Soldier in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Carole Gray ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Paul Hansard ... German Officer (uncredited)
Kathleen Helme ... Berchtold's Lady (uncredited)
Richard Howard ... Young Soldier at Mons (uncredited)
John Hussey ... Soldier on Balcony (uncredited)
Dinny Jones ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Lind Joyce ... Scoreboard Girl (uncredited)
Dolores Judson ... Haig's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Ruth Kettlewell ... Duchess Sophie (uncredited)
Stanley Lebor ... Soldier in Gassed Trench (uncredited)
Delia Linden ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Richard Loring ... Soldier in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Tom Marshall ... Soldier in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Stanley McGeagh ... Soldier in Gassed Trench (uncredited)
Isabelle Metcalfe ... Girl Friend in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Jenny Morgan ... Girl Friend in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Anthony Morton ... Italian Military Attaché (uncredited)

Christine Noonan ... Mill Girl (uncredited)
Wensley Pithey ... Archduke Franz Ferdinand (uncredited)
Steve Plytas ... Turkish Military Attaché (uncredited)

Andrew Robertson ... 2nd Scottish Soldier (uncredited)
Sue Robinson ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
David Scheuer ... French Soldier (uncredited)

Jane Seymour ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Valerie Smith ... Girl Friend in 'Goodbyee' (uncredited)
Guy Standeven ... American Officer (uncredited)
Pippa Steel ... Scoreboard Girl (uncredited)
P.G. Stephens ... Irish Soldier (uncredited)
Tony Thawnton ... Officer on Telephone (uncredited)
Christian Thorogood ... Irish Soldier (uncredited)
Brian Tipping ... 4th Scottish Soldier (uncredited)
Bette Vivian ... Heckler at Pankhurst Speech (uncredited)
Tony Vogel ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Arthur White ... Sergeant in Dugout (uncredited)
Michael Wolf ... German Officer (uncredited)
John Woodnutt ... British Officer (uncredited)
Julia Wright ... Haig's Secretary (uncredited)
Mary Yeomans ... Scoreboard Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Attenborough 
Writing credits
Charles Chilton (based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Production by, and the members of the original cast)

Ted Allan (after a stage treatment by)

Len Deighton  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Richard Attenborough .... producer
Mac Davidson .... associate producer (as Mack Davidson)
Brian Duffy .... producer
Len Deighton .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Gerry Turpin (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Kevin Connor 
Casting by
Miriam Brickman 
Production Design by
Donald M. Ashton  (as Don Ashton)
Art Direction by
Harry White 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
Makeup Department
Biddy Chrystal .... chief hairdresser
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
John Comfort .... production manager
Paul Hitchcock .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claude Watson .... assistant director
Nicolas Hippisley-Coxe .... second second assistant director (uncredited)
Drummond Riddell .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ron Baker .... property buyer
Albert Blackshaw .... construction manager
Peter James .... set dresser
Jack Towns .... stand-by propertyman
Peter Wood .... scenic artist
Tim Hutchinson .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Tom Buchanan .... boom operator
Don Challis .... sound editor
Peter Handford .... special sound effects
Brian Holland .... sound editor
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Simon Kaye .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Ron Ballanger .... special effects
Brian Gamby .... special effects (uncredited)
Fred Heather .... special effects (uncredited)
Garth Inns .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Fred Anderson .... electrical supervisor
David Cripps .... photographer: title sequence
Pat Newman .... camera grip
Michael Sarafian .... camera assistant
Ronnie Taylor .... camera operator
Michael Garfath .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Ian McMillan .... camera operator: helicopter (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Brian Owen-Smith .... wardrobe master
Eileen Sullivan .... wardrobe mistress
Editorial Department
Peter Hollywood .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Bryan Coates .... location manager
Music Department
Michael Clifford .... music editor
E.G. Horabin .... director of music: The Orchestra of the Corps of Royal Engineers [Aldershot] (as Captain E. G. Horabin L R A M A R C M p s m R E)
C.H. Jaeger .... director of music: The Band of the Irish Guards (as Lieut-Colonel C. H. Jaeger O B E Mus Bac L R A M A R C M p s m)
Alfred Ralston .... composer: incidental music
Alfred Ralston .... conductor: incidental music
Alfred Ralston .... the songs orchestrated by
Eric Tomlinson .... music recordist
Other crew
Douglas Campbell .... military adviser (as Major-General Sir Douglas Campbell KBE CB DSO MC)
Eleanor Fazan .... choreographer
Raymond Hawkey .... titles designed by
Joan Littlewood .... producer: Theatre Workshop production
Ann M. Paterson .... production secretary (as Ann Paterson)
May Routh .... production research
Ann Skinner .... continuity
Derek Tarrant .... production accountant
Ron Bareham .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Pam Rose .... stand-in/double (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
144 min
Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:G | Finland:K-8 | Netherlands:14 (1970) | Sweden:11 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating: DVD audio commentary) (2006) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) | USA:G (MPAA rating: certificate #21948)

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) (TV)See more »
I Want To Go HomeSee more »


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58 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
A Masterpiece, 12 April 2005
Author: AmyLouise from Australia

It is a mystery to me why this film isn't on everybody's top ten films listing. It is truly a masterpiece of acting and direction, and without doubt the best anti-war film I have ever seen. Yet it was never released on video, and it took over 20 years of waiting to see it repeated on television and tape it for my collection.

It is all the more telling for its simplicity - none of the many great actors taking part delivers a weighty pronouncement on the evils - or otherwise - of war; it is enough to see the awful toll posted on the cricket scoreboard that keeps the daily tally of dead. The ordinariness of the Smith family, who lose every last one of their young men to the conflict, the cheerful patriotism of the proud families waving their loved ones off to war, and the stupid banalities of the officers who daily send their men out to be killed only serve to highlight the absolute futility and waste of WWI and all the wars that followed.

Scenes of upper class twits at play while their servants are dying to preserve their privileges; the officers' ball where military leaders try to score points off each other, concerned only with protocol and promotion; and the brilliant black humor of the outdoor church service are juxtaposed with scenes from the trenches as we watch the young men die one by one, all the more harrowing for their cheeky humor and fatalism.

Why this brilliant film has been allowed to sink without trace is baffling; I first saw it in the early seventies, and today it still has the same impact. And sadly, it is just as relevant now as it was then - a testimony to our inability to learn from our mistakes.

Was the above review useful to you?
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