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The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

In 1854, during the Crimean War, poor planning leads to a British Light Brigade openly charging a Russian artillery position with tragic consequences.

Director:

Tony Richardson

Writers:

Charles Wood (screenplay), Cecil Woodham-Smith (additional source material "The Reason Why") (as Cecil Woodham Smith)
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Nominated for 6 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Howard ... Lord Cardigan
Vanessa Redgrave ... Clarissa Morris
John Gielgud ... Lord Raglan
Harry Andrews ... Lord Lucan
Jill Bennett ... Mrs. Duberly
David Hemmings ... Captain Lewis Nolan
Ben Aris Ben Aris ... Lt. Maxse
Micky Baker Micky Baker ... Trooper Metcalfe
Peter Bowles ... Paymaster Capt. Duberly
Leo Britt Leo Britt ... General Scarlett
Mark Burns Mark Burns ... Captain Morris
John J. Carney ... Trooper Mitchell (as John Carney)
Helen Cherry ... Lady Scarlett
Chris Chittell ... Trooper (as Christopher Chittel)
Ambrose Coghill Ambrose Coghill ... Lt. Col. Douglas
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Storyline

A chronicle of events that led to the British involvement in the Crimean War against Russia and which led to the siege of Sevastopol and the fierce Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854 which climaxed with the heroic, but near-disastrous cavalry charge made by the British Light Brigade against a Russian artillery battery in a small valley which resulted in the near-destruction of the brigade due to error of judgment and rash planning on part by the inept British commanders. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Theirs not to reason why..."

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

11 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Carga da Brigada Ligeira See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Woodfall Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

By the time production finished, it was the most expensive British movie ever, and its tumultuous production generated negative press. Tony Richardson's refusal to screen the movie for critics (a rarity in that time), and insulting them in print as "intellectual eunuchs", helped ensure a poor reception. See more »

Goofs

Louis Nolan is shown dying on the battlefield at Balaclava after a mortar shell hit throws him off his horse. He actually managed to stay on his saddle; the horse returned to the British lines and Nolan fell down dead there and not in the middle of the field. See more »

Quotes

Mogg: [observing a flogging] They won't fight unless they're flogged to it. Would you 'ave them fight for money - or ideas? That would be hun-Christian.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits roll over a drawing of a dead horse, with the buzzing of flies in the soundtrack. See more »

Alternate Versions

The American release version (MGM/UA Region 1 DVD) is missing six minutes 45 seconds' worth of material present in the UK VHS tape released in 1992. The latter has a running time (adjusted to 24fps) of about 136 mins compared to the DVD which runs about 130 mins. Three sections are affected: Clarissa's wedding reception; a church service; and three consecutive scenes in the Crimea, involving a sentry failing to identify Lord Raglan at night and shooting at him, piercing his hat; the sentry being flogged but earning a reward from Lord Cardigan for his bravery; and Captains Nolan and Morris eating the breakfasts of several enlisted men while out riding. The British tape is itself missing seven seconds of footage cut by the censor (shots of trip-wired horses during the charge) and is still short of the original running times of 138 minutes 40 seconds as registered by the British Board of Film Censors in 1968, 141 minutes as listed in most reference sources, and 145 minutes as reviewed by Variety. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Otley (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Standard Bearer Quadrille
(uncredited)
Music by Louis Antoine Jullien
Arranged by John Addison
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User Reviews

 
Accurate and brilliant
18 April 2006 | by chas-hemsbrookSee all my reviews

My favourite subject is history (especially the Victorian era)and I was very pleased that Tony Richardson made this excellent film historically accurate.No Hollywood style poetic license.Some of the quotes that Capt.Nolan said were apparently excerpts from a book he wrote on cavalry warfare (which I have never found).I wondered how he (Richardson) would handle the fact that no one actually knows whether Cardigan reached the Russian guns or not and at what stage (if any) he turned back,but he seems to have glossed over that issue.I can only give this film 10 out of 10 because it is simply brilliant.The casting was superb with what I think was Trevor Howards best ever role,and Harry Andrews as Lord Lucan was perfect.I watched the Errol Flynn version of the events the other day and they seemed to have gone out of their way to make it as far from the truth as possible,right down to the uniforms and regiments involved.So well done to Tony Richardson etc.for making what is so far my favourite war film.Since writing my earlier comments I have discovered that Capt.Nolans book is still available "CAVALRY,ITS HISTORY AND TACTICS"and I would dearly love to read it but it costs £80!.I have also been told that the scene where Cardigan does actually reach the Russian guns was in fact edited from the final version.I thank other people for the comments and my learning more about a fascinating event in military history


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