7.2/10
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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 ever popular war game with songs battles & a few jokes 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

Tom Courtenay and Alan Bates were offered key cameos. 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 Richard Attenborough: A Life in Film (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Arranged by Alfred Ralston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best movies of the seventies
6 January 2000 | by benoit-3See all my reviews

I was just commenting to a co-worker that I thought the 70's were a total blank as far as quality pictures are concerned, Oh! What a Lovely War being an exception (if you can actually count it as a 70's picture). It is a pacifist tract that is actually opulent in its period detail, incisive in its satire of the English establishment's foibles and lyrical in its description of the ravages of war. It also shows actual intelligence, culture and wit at the service of a good cause at the start of a decade which was inaugurated with self-indulgence and ended in gross excess. With all the talents involved (working for scale, I'm sure), it was a monumental undertaking and remains a movie that stays with you forever.


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