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Oh! What a Lovely War

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

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Release Date: Oct 3, 1969 Wide

audience

75

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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 769

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Movie Info

Oh! What a Lovely War is an every-man-for-himself adaptation of Charles Chilton's 1963 play, as staged in London by Joan Littlewood. The tragedy of World War I is redefined in bawdy music-hall terms, beginning with a verbal free-for-all involving the Crowned Heads of Europe. The war is presented as the "new attraction" at the Brighton Amusement Pier, complete with syrupy cheer-up songs, shooting galleries, free prizes and a scoreboard toting up the dead. Throughout the proceedings, the camera

Nov 7, 2006

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (0)

An anti-war musical whose originality has never been successfully repeated.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Remains the most interesting and daring film Attenborough ever made.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Oh! What a Lovely War

A strange and interesting Great War film that presents the conflict as, among other things, a garish seaside carnival to which everyone wanted a ticket. More than many films I've seen based on plays, this one incorporates elements of staging you'd expect from the theatre without any ill effects; in some scenes, it's like there's a camera in the theatre and you can see literal set pieces, while others (increasingly, as the film goes on) immerse you in the action you'd need to mostly imagine were you in a theatre. I also found in places that the film's sense of the absurd (if not its hilarity) rivalled that of Monty Python. Do we call it a satire? I think so... but its project of laying bare the conflict's human cost and its deference to the symbolic value of the poppy and the increasingly fatalistic songs of the soldiers is worth noting, too. In all it's not an overly exciting movie to watch, but it's a rich and layered document that ought to survive.
December 18, 2013
danperry17

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