Theatre Night: Season 4, Episode 1

Arms and the Man (16 Apr. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Romance
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1865: Swiss captain Bluntschli fights as mercenary in the war between Bulgaria and Serbia. When his group's attacked by a few Bulgarian troopers, he learns that he's got the wrong ... See full summary »


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Title: Arms and the Man (16 Apr 1989)

Arms and the Man (16 Apr 1989) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Episode credited cast:
Mark Crowdy ...
Dinsdale Landen ...
Kika Markham ...
Patrick Ryecart ...


1865: Swiss captain Bluntschli fights as mercenary in the war between Bulgaria and Serbia. When his group's attacked by a few Bulgarian troopers, he learns that he's got the wrong ammunition for his cannon and has to flee. His flight leads him right into the bedroom of his enemy's fiancée. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

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Plot Keywords:

fictional war | based on play | See All (2) »


Comedy | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

16 April 1989 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bluntschli: You never saw a cavalry charge, did you?
Raina: How could I?
Bluntschli: Ah, perhaps not - of course not. Well, it's a funny sight. It's like slinging a handful of peas against a window pane: first one comes, then two or three close behind him and then all the rest in a lump.
Raina: [in rapture] Yes, the first one! - the bravest of the brave!
Bluntschli: Hm! you should see the poor devil pulling at his horse.
Raina: Why should he pull at his horse?
Bluntschli: [impatient of such a silly question] It's running away with him, of course! Do you suppose ...
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User Reviews

Why Shaw Should Be in Fashion Again
4 July 2008 | by (Washington, D.C.) – See all my reviews

With few exceptions, most of George Bernard Shaw's plays have virtually disappeared from the theater these days. Too arch, too talky appears to be the general verdict. This BBC version of one of Shaw's funniest plays doesn't refute that verdict. It is certainly arch and talky, but it is also wonderful. And because of the quality of British theater, it is perfectly cast with actors whom -- with the exception of Helena Bonham Carter -- most of us have probably never heard of. Carter is splendid as the Bulgarian girl who shelters the professional "chocolate soldier" (Pip Torrens) and later falls in love with him. One might quarrel with the especially ridiculous interpretation of Sergius (Patrick Ryecart), the Bulgarian cavalry officer who led the charge into the enemy's lines and succeeded only because the enemy had the wrong ammunition for its machine guns. However, the role invites over-acting and Ryecart was obviously told to over-act. The other players are letter perfect. Carter as the self-dramatizing Bulgarian "aristocrat" and Torrens as the Swiss soldier-of-fortune are at the play's center, of course, and they are wonderful. Yes, "Arms and the Man" comes across as a filmed play. But you're unlikely ever to see a Shaw film that doesn't betray its origin. The plots are generally clever. However, Shaw is all about the dialog. The action is minimal (even in St. Joan) and the sets are immaterial. Enjoy this for what it is.

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