7.2/10
2,438
68 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 World War I 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 the only movie that Sir Michael Redgrave (General Sir Henry Wilson) made with his son Corin Redgrave (Bertie Smith). See more »

Goofs

The bayonets of the Band of the Irish Guards as they parade down the Brighton promenade appear to be for the L1A1 self loading rifle, first issued 1957 and still issued as standard by the time of the film, rather than the correct 1907 pattern bayonet for the Lee-Enfield No1 mkIII rifle (characterised by its longer blade length of 17" as opposed to the 8" of the L1A1's bayonet). 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 Atonement (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Music by Haydn Wood
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Performed by Maggie Smith (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A classic
21 July 2000 | by deomortoSee all my reviews

This movie does a good job of catching the spirit of the original play. It points up, in ironic scenes, the class differences in the English Army. It also shows how long and how much tragedy had to occur before the troops turned cynical.

There are a number of memorable scenes and songs that go with them - the scene in the estaminet is incredibly moving. The Church parade, especially the quote from the vicar are noteworthy.

There are many vignettes from the movie which evoke a very strong emotional response. Some scenes do not come off as they were probably intended - a difficulty when trying to use allegory and allusion to make a point.

If you have not seen it - find it and watch it.

If you get a chance to see the play - which I found much more direct in its anti war sentiment - definitely go and see it.


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