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Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

The working-class Smiths change their initially sunny views on World War I after the three boys of the family witness the harsh reality of trench warfare.

Writers:

(based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Production by, and the members of the original cast), (after a stage treatment by)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Florence Victoria 'Flo' Smith
Colin Farrell ... Harry Arnold Smith
Malcolm McFee ... Frederick Percy 'Freddie' Smith
John Rae ... Grandpa Smith
... Bertram Biddle 'Bertie' Smith
... George Patrick Michael Smith
Paul Shelley ... Jack Henry Smith
Kim Smith ... Richard 'Dickie' Smith
... Elizabeth May 'Betty' Smith
... Mary Emma Smith
Vincent Ball ... Australian Soldier
Pia Colombo ... Estaminet Singer
Paul Daneman ... Czar Nicholas II
... Sir John French's Lady
... Fritz
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Storyline

A movie about the First World War based on a stage musical of the same name, portraying the "Game of War" and focusing mainly on the members of the Smith family who go off to war. Much of the action in the movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers, and many scenes portray some of the more famous (and infamous) incidents of the war, including the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Christmas meeting between British and German soldiers in no-man's-land, and the wiping out by their own side of a force of Irish soldiers newly arrived at the front, after successfully capturing a ridge that had been contested for some time. Written by Sonya Roberts <sonya_roberts@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Musical Shot In The Arm ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aftos o yperohos polemos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin" was part of a campaign against Charles Chaplin in his native Britain, where he was targeted by papers such as The Daily Mail because of his supposed refusal to enlist. (In fact, he had been rejected for the draft for being undersized and underweight.) See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, a group of Scottish soldiers wait in a trench for an attack to begin. The weather is unsettled and the film crew's reflections are visible in the soldiers' wet helmets. See more »

Quotes

Sir Edward Grey: [as war breaks out] The lamps are going out all over Europe, we will not see them lit again in our lifetime.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The principal statements made by the historical characters in this film are based on documentary evidence and the words of the songs are those sung by the troops during the First World War See more »

Connections

Featured in The Man Who Shot the 60s (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Make a Man of You
(uncredited)
Music by Herman Finck
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
Performed by Maggie Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Great Anti War Films!
27 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

I first saw OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR! when I was living in London in 1969

and it blew me away. I dragged friends to Piccadilly Circus over and

over again and each one emerged from the theater as shaken as I. A

truly great anti war film adapted brilliantly from Joan Greenwood's

theater piece by Richard Attenborough, OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR deserves to

be seen today by a new generation of filmgoers. Here is a scathing

burlesque of the idiocy of war set in WWI and driven by to tunes of the

time, each one seemingly innocuous, but loaded with irony and acid just

below the surface. The film is in brilliant color, but the audience is

always made aware of the blackness of death hovering above it. From

early on with Maggi Smith coercing the boys to "take the shilling" and

join up, to the shattering last scene where the camera pulls back to

show row upon row of crosses, this is a genuine masterpiece. A true 10+

I believe this was a Paramount film so if any of you Paramount execs are

reading this, wouldn't this would be a perfect time for a 35th

anniversary DVD release??


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