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War Requiem (1989)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 6 January 1989 (UK)
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 »

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 January 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sota requiem  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as spectral recording Dolby Stereo SR in selected theatres)

Color:

(archive footage)|
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Laurence Olivier's final acting role before his death on July 11, 1989 at the age of 82. See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

 
Music by Britten, Words by Owen
31 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

I was watching War Requiem which is Derek Jarman's conception of images of the music of Benjamin Britten and the poetry of Wilfrid Owen and I thought this was a work better left to the imagination. Beautiful, but something I might imagine hearing it would be a lot different.

Newsreel footage of World War I and more contemporary conflicts are mixed in with live pantomime like performances of various players and singers including Laurence Olivier in his farewell performance. Olivier plays a wheelchair bound veteran of World War I in whose eyes all the images are seen.

Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was originally composed for the dedication of the new cathedral in Coventry, the old one as well as the town itself pretty much blasted to smithereens by Hitler's Luftwaffe. The words are by Wilfrid Owen, the various verses he wrote are put to Britten's music. Owen was killed almost exactly a week before the Armistice was signed in 1918. Oddly enough both men were as one British friend of mine puts it, 'as gay as green shoes'.

This is Jarman's vision, not necessarily mine, not necessarily your's. I think that art like this is best left to the individual imagination. But Jarman does a vision of terrible beauty as W.B. Yeats put it.


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