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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Scientist: Technically and intellectually, we are living in an atomic age. Emotionally, we are still living in the Stone Age. The Aztecs on their feast days would sacrifice 20,000 men to their gods in the belief that this would keep the universe on its proper course. We feel superior to them.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cold War (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Now THIS is a horror film!
11 May 2003 | by reptilicusSee all my reviews

I just saw this for the first time and more than once while watching it I felt my body go ice cold. This was surely THE DAY AFTER of its time. Presented in a matter-of-fact documentary style it shows people blissfully ignorant of what could happen in the event of a nuclear attack. Sure enough, quicker than you can say "On The Beach" an attack comes and the lives of the people who couldn't care less a moment before are changed forever.

Some scenes are still truly jolting. Looters trying to get away with the only thing of value left in the world, tinned food, are gunned down by expressionless British police. A man displays a shotgun and declares there is only room in his shelter for his family and he will not hesitate to shoot his neighbours if they try to get in. A doctor laments that severely injured people are taken to a "dying room" and left to perish without care or pain killers. Bodies are stacked like logs for mass cremation. Shell shocked survivors are so traumatised they just sit and stare. This movie runs only 48 minutes but you will be aware of every second!

This movie was made in 1965, the year I was born, so I cannot say I understand what the people of that era must have felt but after seeing this I have a rough idea of the mindset of the public in those Cold War days.

After seeing those US Government produced movies telling people to just hide in their basements for 2 week; after which the U S of A will not only have won a nuclear war but will have put the world back into apple pie order THE WAR GAME is the cinematic equivalent of a sucker punch to the jaw. Watch this film, and then TRY to sleep!


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