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The Bofors Gun (1968)

A national service non-commissioned officer (David Warner) comes face to face with an embittered Irish Gunner (Nicol Williamson) who is determined to humiliate him.

Director:

Jack Gold

Writers:

John McGrath (adaptation), John McGrath (play)
Reviews
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nicol Williamson ... O'Rourke
Ian Holm ... Flynn
David Warner ... Terry "Lance Bar" Evans
Peter Vaughan ... Sgt. Walker
John Thaw ... Featherstone
Barry Jackson ... Shone
Richard O'Callaghan Richard O'Callaghan ... Rowe
Donald Gee Donald Gee ... Crowley
Barbara Jefford ... NAAFI Girl
Gareth Forwood ... Lt. Packering
Geoffrey Hughes ... Pvt. Samuel (cook)
John Herrington John Herrington ... German Pointer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lindsay Campbell Lindsay Campbell ... Captain Cheeseman
Glynn Edwards ... Sergeant-Major West
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Storyline

A national service non-commissioned officer (David Warner) comes face to face with an embittered Irish Gunner (Nicol Williamson) who is determined to humiliate him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The protest film of the year! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cañón Bofors See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first cinema score of Carl Davis. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Unforgettable John Thaw (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last Mile Home
(uncredited)
Written by Walton Farrar and Walter Kent
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The pain of self-realisation

The Bofors Gun is an adaptation of a stage play about a group of British soldiers in a West German army camp guarding an artillery piece (the Bofors Gun). It draws in no small part from the National Service experiences of John McGrath, who wrote the play and adapted it for the screen. There is some comment relating to futility which is very much of its time, i.e. guarding an artillery piece against an enemy that has nuclear weapons, however there are absolutely timeless themes. Essentially David Warner's Bombardier Terry is forced into confronting elements of his own personal psychological make-up during a night where he supervises guard duty. It looks very much like he is a kind, cultured, sensitive and thoughtful individual, but events compel him to recognise that he might in fact be adopting a persona that allows for his survival, and that he's just another player in the game, a coward, a snob and a selfish one, of whom it cannot even be said in remediation that he plays with flair or is aware of his own motivations. By counterpoint Nicol Williamson's O'Rourke is an earthy violent man who knows himself all too well, and has run out of patience with the British Army, its attendant hypocrisies, and life in general. Mix for combustion. What I like about the movie is that it's not clear cut, you can believe as you wish about Terry, is there an essential duality to his mind, is he really just a nice guy who is pushed too far, or is he indeed as pathetic as it gets.

The dialogue is, at times, so out of this world that I overcame my habitual distaste for stagey movies. I've only mentioned the two characters I consider essential to the movie, but in fact there are several other interesting characters, and an eminently credible supporting cast.


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