5.8/10
2,059
30 user 23 critic

How I Won the War (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, War | 23 October 1967 (USA)
Clip
0:47 | Clip
An inept British WWII commander leads his troops to a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe.

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

Patrick Ryan (novel), Charles Wood (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Crawford ... Lt. Goodbody
John Lennon ... Gripweed
Roy Kinnear ... Clapper
Lee Montague ... Transom
Jack MacGowran ... Juniper
Michael Hordern ... Grapple
Jack Hedley ... Melancholy Musketeer
Karl Michael Vogler ... Odlebog
Ronald Lacey ... Spool
James Cossins ... Drogue
Ewan Hooper ... Dooley
Alexander Knox ... American General
Robert Hardy ... British General
Sheila Hancock ... Mrs. Clapper's Friend
Charles Dyer ... Happy-Trousered Man
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Storyline

This film features former Beatle John Lennon and Roy Kinnear as ill-fated enlisted men under the inept command of Lieutenant Ernest Goodbody. The story unwinds mostly in flashbacks of Lieutenant Goodbody who has lower-class beginnings and education which make him a poor officer who commands one of the worst units of the army. Written by Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"There have been far too many unwounded prisoners taken in this war!" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cómo gané la guerra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Petersham Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Lennon found the Spanish location quite boring, so Ringo Starr flew out to keep him company. However, Lennon also found working on the project a refreshing change from his increasingly arduous and isolated musical career with the Beatles. Namely on set, Lennon was just another cast member, and a relatively minor one, who could interact with others largely as a normal person with the crew. As such, Lennon insisted on attending the production every day even when he was not required on set as a learning experience. See more »

Quotes

Goodbody: [talking aloud to himself] I can't, I fear, I can't march properly on my own, as an officer, in the public eye.
Juniper: [sitting in back of a truck, smoking, holding a broom] Isn't that sickening when that happens to a chap? Couldn't your drill instructor do something about it? Like a quick jab up the crotch with a broom bass?
[holds up broom]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Review: Film Review (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep the Home Fires Burning
(uncredited)
Music by Ivor Novello and lyrics by Lena Guilbert Ford
Whistled by the OCTU candidates
See more »

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User Reviews

Forgotten Gem
8 May 2005 | by thearchivesSee all my reviews

Although (unfairly) ravaged by critics at the time and so generally dismissed ever since, HOW I WON THE WAR is both a brilliant anti-war film and anti war film film (much more so than the usually heralded M*A*S*H). Filled with biting satire and brilliant performances from Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear, Ronald Lacey, Michael Hordern and, well, the entire cast, HIWTW was perhaps a bit too odd for 1967 audiences who expected perhaps a more madcap adventure, but today it deserves not only a rethink - but a reissue on DVD. (Why this wonderful movie is not available on DVD (at least in the US) is yet another slap in its face.) Richard Lester and writer Charles Wood (who also wrote HELP! for the Beatles) have crafted a brilliant black comedy that easily stands with Dr Strangelove. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, granted, but if you forget your preconceptions and let it wash over you, you will be richly rewarded. RELEASE IT ON DVD!


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