Overlord (1975)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  13 March 1978 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,691 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 25 user | 48 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

During the war a young lad is called up and, with an increasing sense of foreboding, undertakes his army training ready for D-day.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Stirner ...
Davyd Harries ...
Nicholas Ball ...
Julie Neesam ...
The Girl
Sam Sewell ...
The Trained Soldier
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Stella Tanner ...
Harry Shacklock ...
David Scheuer ...
Medical Officer
Ian Liston ...
Barrack Guard
Lorna Lewis ...
Stephen Riddle ...
Dead German Soldier
Jack Le White ...
Mark Penfold ...
Micaela Minelli ...
Little Girl


During the war a young lad is called up and, with an increasing sense of foreboding, undertakes his army training ready for D-day.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Presented by The Imperial War Museum See more »


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1978 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Den beskidte krig  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film is referenced in the series 1 closer (episode 10) of "Hazell", a 1978 television series starring Nicholas Ball - "introduced" in Overlord. Private eye James Hazell pauses during his search around Soho for a missing girl. Behind him, full frame, is a poster for Overlord. See more »


[Jack and Arthur are lying down and talking while awaiting deployment]
Jack: Did you hear what Tom did this morning?
Arthur: No.
Jack: He went to see old Nickelby, and asked him if they gave out compassionate leave if there's been a death in the family. So Nickelby said, "Oh, yeah, yeah, depending on the circumstances." And Tom said, "Well, there hasn't been a death in my family yet, but there's going to be one very soon, and I request leave to go home and console my parents."
See more »


References This Happy Breed (1944) See more »


We Don't Know Where We're Going
Written by Ralph T. Butler (as Ralph Butler) & Noel Gay
Sung by Nick Curtis
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User Reviews

Excellent. Just excellent.
16 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I heard that this film consisted of about 1/3 newsreel footage, I was expecting the worst. Stock footage blended with studio footage is something you'd find in an MST3k movie; three people in a car driving quickly away from a giant lizard and then cut to a different film grain shot of an iguana in a lab and then back to the car. Oh no, the Iguana is chasing us.

The effect can be jarring, to say the least.

But Cooper, so far as I have heard, actually wrote the screenplay for Overlord with the stock footage he was going to use already in mind, tailoring his script so that the footage actually made sense. The movie is shot so that the switch from studio to stock lighting and film quality is barely noticeable. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's seamless--it does take a little while to get used to, but after the first fifteen minutes or so you don't even notice it.

And that's a good sign, that you have to "get used to" the picture for a little while before you feel comfortable watching it. That's the sign of originality. This is a brooding and slow-paced war film, but unlike other such films it maintains a certain lightness in spite of its weighty subject and so avoids coming off as ponderous. No viewpoints are shoved in your face. Hard questions are asked, yes, but you're given plenty of time to try and sort them out for yourself.

This is a movie you have to be wide awake while watching--it demands your full attention, and if you're not willing to give that up then you're probably not going to enjoy it. Overlord is most certainly not mindless entertainment. It provokes thought, and if thought makes you uncomfortable it's simply not the movie for you.

40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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