The Great War (1964)
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Why Don't You Come and Help? 

The effects of protracted war on civilian life of the major powers. The sinking of RMS Lusitania, reprisals against foreign nationals. The founding of Lloyd George's Ministry of Munitions, ... See full summary »
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Michael Redgrave ... Self - Narrator (voice) (as Sir Michael Redgrave)
Ralph Richardson ... Douglas Haig (voice) (as Sir Ralph Richardson)
Emlyn Williams ... Lloyd George (voice)
Marius Goring ... Various (voice)
Cyril Luckham ... Various (voice)
Sebastian Shaw ... Various (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Brough-Robertson Mary Brough-Robertson ... Self - British Woman
Frank Browning Frank Browning ... Self - British Driver
Harold Carter Harold Carter ... Self - British Soldier
M. Hall M. Hall ... Self - British Woman

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Storyline

The effects of protracted war on civilian life of the major powers. The sinking of RMS Lusitania, reprisals against foreign nationals. The founding of Lloyd George's Ministry of Munitions, employment of women in the war industry, resulting labor disputes.

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Genres:

Documentary | War

User Reviews

 
Total War
18 July 2014 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Summer, 1915. The episode is focused on the home front, where shortages have appeared and prices for everyday goods are skyrocketing. A soldier's pay is small, and so is the allotment for his wife and children. In Britain, if a soldier is killed or wounded, his family have no right to government help unless "he shall have earned it." In all countries, women are entering the labor force and doing the jobs that men traditionally do. The burden falls mostly on the poor, while the middle and upper classes carry on as usual, sometimes offended by the pushiness of the impolite lesser breeds.

The Lusitania is sunk, with more than one thousand deaths, and the corpses buried in a mass grave in Cork. The passengers had been warned that they were traveling at their own risk and the ship was carrying a small shipment of arms and shrapnel shells to Britain. But, no matter. Riots broke out against the German shop keepers or against shops belonging to anyone with a German-sounding name. The women were among the first to loot the shops.

For the first time in history, civilians die far from the front through military action by an enemy. The Zeppelin raids over London and some of its suburbs don't put much of a dent in the growing war industry but the bombs do kill men, women, and children. It doesn't help the image of "The Hun." I'm always impressed, as I am in this episode, with the nearly perfect balance between coverage of the war itself and life and politics at home. The occasional poster is evocative and the talking heads convincing in the tales they tell. The series could easily have been written as an exercise in sentiment, as "The World At War" sometimes turned into, but it doesn't slip into that alluring narrative trap.


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Release Date:

18 July 1964 (UK) See more »

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