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The War Game (1965)

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Aspel ... Commentator
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>

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

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

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Release Date:

7 February 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Krigsspel  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite having been produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the film was banned from television broadcast. The official reason was for violence and depiction of human suffering, but others hinted that it may have been because it went against the official government line concerning survivability of nuclear attack. While the ban forbade television broadcast, it did not forbid cinematic distribution. Because of this loophole, the film was given wide release in theatres, and won four major film awards. 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.
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

Essential viewing
3 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

I saw The War Game thanks to my local branch of CND in 1979 when they showed it in a hall in our town. My mum was vehemently anti-communist so I had to sneak out to see it. The local paper kicked up at 14-year olds being encouraged to see an 'X' film. Was it worth the fuss? Yes, without a doubt. I had already seen Watkin's definitive 'Culloden' earlier that year and was bowled over by the documentary style applied to a drama, but The War Game surpassed even that. I will never forget the scenes of the helmeted English bobbies shooting people in the head to put them out of their misery, or the bucket full of wedding rings or most of all, the line of kids being asked what they wanted to be when they grew up and the replies of 'nuffink.'

For me, that summed up the futility of war, nuclear or otherwise.

'Threads' is good, but 'The War Game' is still the best portrayal of a nuclear attack on Britain ever made. It should be shown more often.


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