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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

Soldier: They're not letting any photographers in there.
Interviewer: Yes yes I know, but just a minute, will you tell us what they're doing in there, please?
Soldier: They're simply burning the bodies. The buildings are full of them, there's just too many to bury. The buildings are full so all we can do is put them under eight steel girders and put a fire underneath, just like making a grill.
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 Threads (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Too important to ignore, too powerful to dismiss.
7 September 1999 | by BaroqueSee all my reviews

Although this film clocks in at a mere 48 minutes, not a scene, second or frame is put to waste. A level-headed and all too analytical examination of civil preparedness versus the yield of nuclear weapons. What this film presents is the absolute horror of nuclear war in simulated newsreel footage so realistic, you may feel the pain of those on screen. Fire-storms, asphyxiation, flash-burns, over-burdened hospitals leaving victims to die in pain, street executions under martial law, total social collapse, all filmed in a typical English suburb. Originally planned to be a simple documentary on nuclear warfare made for BBC-TV, the film was banned from television (officially because of it's graphic depictions of suffering, but most likely for it's anti-authoritarian stance and defiance of the official line). Later released to theaters, it went on to win major film awards. Two scenes in particular, one of men being executed for violating water rationing and an interview with children at a medical camp, haunted me for days. This is the great-grandfather of such films as "Threads" and "The Day After", but the matter-of-fact narration in BBC English to the devastation on screen adds an element of sheer horror that no other film comes close to. If anyone you know talks about the survivability of nuclear attack, show them this film, and watch their reaction. This film is too important to ignore, and too powerful to dismiss.


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