Oh! What a Lovely War war movie
Oh! What a Lovely War war movie

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969, United Kingdom)

Categories: political moviestrenches movies

Running time: 140 minutes

Language: English


In 1914 Europe empires were divided into two equally powerful alliances so there would never be war again. That concept kept the peace among the countries for some time, but there was just one flaw in the idea - none of the empires was actually happy when there was the peace. In 1914 the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the sparkle that both sides needed to start another war - not for the political reasons, not for religious, not for the national nor any greater ideas, it was a war that no one wanted, but each side seems to be needed. So to stop the generals from getting rusty they have enlisted all the available young men to start another conflict and again prove how great they are by sacrificing the lives of the others. Among the recruits was Freddie Smith, young man, who leaves his family and joins the Royal Infantry when war starts in the fields of Belgium.

Film adaptation of 1963 stage musical by Joan Littlewood, expressing the anti-war climate that came after the World War I in Great Britain and other countries. The political background in the early years of 20th century was suppose to prevent any further wars, but then World War I (or the Great War as it was called back then) came and again took the lives of whole generation of young men. During the war there were voices that this is the war so horrible that it will end all the wars, but then the World War 2 happened and everything started from the beginning. Oh! What a Lovely War was written after World War 2, but the universal anti-war message is still the same - generals and politicians start the wars, but they are not the ones that fight them. Through the songs from that era we see the official propaganda as well as the atmosphere among the civilians and soldiers when they face the horror of the war. In simple scenes we see all the most important parts of the war - from draft propaganda, through Christmas Truce to insanity of Battle of the Somme. As war movie it is perhaps not very impressive, it is musical after all, but it shows all you need to know about the reality of World War I.




Our rating

5.2

Film value

7 / 10

Realism factor

2 / 5

Adventure factor

1 / 5

Historical accuracy

3 / 5



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Creators of Oh! What a Lovely War

Richard Attenborough movies

Charles Chilton movies

Charles Chilton

screenplay



Cast of Oh! What a Lovely War

Wendy Allnutt movies wendy-allnutt

Wendy Allnutt

as Flo Smith


Colin Farrell movies colin-farrell

Colin Farrell

as Harry Smith


Malcolm McFee movies malcolm-mcfee

Malcolm McFee

as Freddie Smith


John Mills movies john-mills

John Mills

as Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig


John Rae movies john-rae

John Rae

as Grandpa Smith


Corin Redgrave movies corin-redgrave

Corin Redgrave

as Bertie Smith


Maurice Roeves movies maurice-roeves

Maurice Roeves

as George Smith


Paul Shelley movies paul-shelley

Paul Shelley

as Jack Smith


Angela Thorne movies angela-thorne

Angela Thorne

as Betty Smith


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Mary Wimbush

as Mary Smith


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Ian Holm

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Juliet Mills

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Michael Bates

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Edward Fox

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Peter Gilmore

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Dirk Bogarde

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John Gielgud

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Kenneth More

as Kaiser Wilhelm II


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Laurence Olivier

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Michael Redgrave

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Susannah York

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Jean-Pierre Cassel

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Events depicted in Oh! What a Lovely War

World War I (1914-1918) Christmas Truce (24 Dec 1914) Battle of the Somme (1 Jul 1916)





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