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The War Game (1965)

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director:

Peter Watkins

Writer:

Peter Watkins
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Aspel Michael Aspel ... Commentator
Peter Graham Peter Graham ... Commentator
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Storyline

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is fiction. It was intended as an hour-long program to air on BBC 1, but it was deemed too intense and violent to broadcast. It went to theatrical distribution as a feature film instead. Low-budget and shot on location, it strives for and achieves convincing and unflinching realism. Written by io <orb@europa.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BBC TV's film about a nuclear attack on Britain directed by Peter Watkins

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Krigsspel See more »

Filming Locations:

Canterbury, Kent, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After it had won an Oscar for Documentary Feature, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed their rules regarding eligibility for this category. See more »

Goofs

Light can be seen reflecting off a woman's "broken" teeth. See more »

Quotes

Documentist: Um, excuse me. Er... What are you doing here exactly?
Civil Defense Worker: We're issuing to as many householders as possible a copy of this booklet, which tells them how to prepare their houses against blast and fallout.
Documentist: Have people not seen this booklet before?
Civil Defense Worker: Well, a copy was prepared some years ago but... it didn't sell very well.
Documentist: It wasn't... It wasn't free?
Civil Defense Worker: Oh, no, no. It cost ninepence.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints replace the stills of Lyndon B. Johnson and Alexey Kosygin with stills of the White House and the Red Square See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It is what it is, and for what it is, it is flawless, necessary, and deeply affecting.
21 February 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The War Game (1965)

The ongoing horrific black and white "footage" of nuclear war preparations and aftermath in Britain is gripping and terrifying. I was a kid in this era, the 1960s, and remember only the official side of it--the government warnings, the bomb shelter information--but I've retained enough of the scariness to really get this inside.

You don't need to be fifty to feel the genuine pain of these people. Yet you have to remind yourself, over and over, that this is all fiction, that it's a movie, that it's just a projection of likely effects. The more amazing aspect is that the movie concentrates on areas on the far fringes of the bomb's explosion (6 to 20 miles away), and leaves the closer damages, the total annihilation, to your imagination.

It's a short movie, and an amazing one. There's nothing like this, for sure, and I think it's should be required viewing for anyone wondering about the current threats of atomic warfare in a dozen different places. It's too real, and it's avoidable, I believe, if everyone does the right thing. Amazing.


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