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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

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

Title card: Will the survivors envy the dead?
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 28 Days Later... (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Essential viewing
3 September 2004 | by glennwalsh44See 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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