7.2/10
2,333
65 user 25 critic

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:

Charles Chilton (based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Production by, and the members of the original cast), Ted Allan (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:
Wendy Allnutt ... Florence Victoria 'Flo' Smith
Colin Farrell Colin Farrell ... Harry Arnold Smith
Malcolm McFee Malcolm McFee ... Frederick Percy 'Freddie' Smith
John Rae John Rae ... Grandpa Smith
Corin Redgrave ... Bertram Biddle 'Bertie' Smith
Maurice Roëves ... George Patrick Michael Smith
Paul Shelley Paul Shelley ... Jack Henry Smith
Kim Smith Kim Smith ... Richard 'Dickie' Smith
Angela Thorne ... Elizabeth May 'Betty' Smith
Mary Wimbush ... Mary Emma Smith
Vincent Ball Vincent Ball ... Australian Soldier
Pia Colombo Pia Colombo ... Estaminet Singer
Paul Daneman Paul Daneman ... Czar Nicholas II
Isabel Dean ... Sir John French's Lady
Christian Doermer ... 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:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

3 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aftos o yperohos polemos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Accord Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was Cecil Parker's final movie before his death on April 20, 1971 at the age of seventy-three. 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

[to a stretcher case with a bandaged head]
Nurse: Don't worry. We'll soon have you back at the front.
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

Referenced in Elstree 1976 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

When You Wore a Tulip
(uncredited)
Music by Percy Wenrich
Lyrics by Jack Mahoney
Performed by Michael Redgrave
See more »

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User Reviews

Very likely my favorite movie ever.
27 June 2004 | by arden_warnerSee all my reviews

It's been thirty-five years since I first saw this movie. I remember it as well as any movie I've seen. I check every few months to see if it is available in any format. So far I haven't found it. It would be good if someone could be influenced to create a DVD version. I'd buy it in a minute. I'd probably buy several copies and give them to special friends. It may be my favorite movie of all time.

Until I saw the movie, I didn't realize that there was some special music that accompanied WWI. It's music that now brings a tear whenever I hear it. The portrayal of pompous generals and their subservient minions, as they are posting the numbers of deaths and casualties for the day, is beautifully done. They were simply putting up numbers. But each number was often a death. A death of a promising young person. This movie makes war appear as brutal as it can really be. The poor always die first. It would be nice if international law demanded that the political and military leaders of a country be required to send their own children into war first. If that were the case, there would likely be no more war.


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