War Requiem (1989)

 |  Drama, War  |  6 January 1989 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 476 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 9 critic

A film with no spoken dialogue, just follows the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem, which include WWI soldier poet Wilfred Owen's poems reflecting the war's horrors. It ... See full summary »



0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wittgenstein (1993)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Karl Johnson, Michael Gough, Tilda Swinton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The artist's personal commentary on the decline of his country in a language closer to poetry than prose. A dark meditation on London under Thatcher.

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Spencer Leigh, 'Spring' Mark Adley
Sebastiane (1976)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Reassigned to a lowly outpost, a Roman guard's Christian beliefs clash with his gay commander's desire for closeness. Being tortured becomes pleasurable.

Directors: Paul Humfress, Derek Jarman
Stars: Leonardo Treviglio, Barney James, Neil Kennedy
Edward II (1991)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elisabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Steven Waddington, Kevin Collins, Andrew Tiernan
Blue (1993)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Against a plain, unchanging blue screen, a densely interwoven soundtrack of voices, sound effects and music attempt to convey a portrait of Derek Jarman's experiences with AIDS, both ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Derek Jarman, Tilda Swinton, John Quentin
The Garden (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A nearly wordless visual narrative intercuts two main stories and a couple of minor ones. A woman, perhaps the Madonna, brings forth her baby to a crowd of intrusive paparazzi; she tries to... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Johnny Mills, Philip MacDonald
Caravaggio (1986)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A retelling of the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld.

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Noam Almaz, Dexter Fletcher, Nigel Terry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Paul Reynolds, Phillip Williamson, Judi Dench
Jubilee (1978)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Queen Elizabeth I travels to late twentieth-century Britain to discover a tawdry and depressing landscape where life mostly seems aimless and is anyway held cheap. Three post-punk girls ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell, Toyah Willcox
J'accuse! (1919)
Drama | Horror | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Romuald Joubé, Maxime Desjardins, Séverin-Mars
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Paris by night. Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. He is fascinated by first times and his girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend, Thomas. First break-up, first ... See full summary »

Director: Leos Carax
Stars: Denis Lavant, Mireille Perrier, Carroll Brooks
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuit living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Allakariallak, Nyla, Allee


Cast overview, first billed only:
The Nurse
The Old Soldier
Patricia Hayes ...
Rohan McCullough ...
Enemy Mother
The Unknown Soldier / Unknown Soldier
The German Soldier / German Soldier
Blinded Soldier
Claire Davenport ...
Charge Sister / Britannia
Spencer Leigh ...
Soldier 1
Milo Bell ...
Soldier 2
Richard Stirling ...
Soldier 3
Kim Kindersley ...
Soldier 4
Stuart Turton ...
Soldier 5


A film with no spoken dialogue, just follows the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem, which include WWI soldier poet Wilfred Owen's poems reflecting the war's horrors. It shows the story of an Englishman soldier (Wilfred Owen) and a nurse (his bride) during World War I. It also includes actual footage of contemporary wars (WWII, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 January 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sota requiem  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as spectral recording Dolby Stereo SR in selected theatres)


(archive footage)|
See  »

Did You Know?


Closing credits epilogue: Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) WAR REQUIEM, opus 66 See more »


War Requiem, Op. 66
Composed and conducted by Benjamin Britten
Based on poems by Wilfred Owen
Soloists: Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with The Bach Choir, The London Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Highgate School Choir
Music played by The Melos Ensemble of London and The London Symphony Orchestra
Organist: Simon Preston
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Artifice of Opera, The Failure of War
19 February 2014 | by (Palo Alto, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Maybe it would have helped to have listened to the music first and more often. At times I would try to follow the poem/lyrics and just get lost.

Other times I would watch Tilda Swinton, and then go back and time her. Six whopping minutes of watching her run through her emotions. Sorry this was a breaking point for me... It reminded me that she does a sleep in a museum exhibit sometimes, and sort of made me dislike all actors.

Snowballs and pianos and soldiers, that was quite a scene, but it's small humanity gone wrong within the framework of war is lost in the bombast of the soundtrack for me.

I did find the use of the gruesome footage towards the finale had an interesting effect. Other footage was used throughout but typically cannons and shots from the trenches paled in comparison to some of those shots towards the end, that many viewers might have a difficult time with. I know I did, on two levels.

First it made me move from disliking actors to disliking humanity. War is failure but never more blatantly so than seeing the anguish and destruction of a single man, no matter what his uniform indicates. But again these images, like so many other lingering scenes, went on long enough to alter their affect from powerful to overpowering. Instead of feeling the loss of the individual, I felt like I was being thrust into a viewing of Faces of the Dead (or whatever that cult film is called which I have no desire to see).

The opera itself was torture enough for me. With time and exposure, I could perhaps appreciate it more, or become a fan of it. Not so with the carnage of war.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss War Requiem (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: