How I Won the War (1967)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Among the first of the late 60s anti-war films that reflected growing concern over the Vietnam War, How I Won the War takes a cold, dark look at the Good War, World War II. In adapting Patrick Ryan's 1963 novel, screenwriter Charles Wood and director Richard Lester offered a narrative fractured by characters making side comments to the camera, stylized cinematography, inserts of newsreel war footage, and plenty of absurdist humor and slapstick. Ernest Goodbody (Michael Crawford) is a bumbling … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Patrick Ryan, Charles Wood
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 10, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment


as Lt. Ernest Goodbody

as Gripweed

as Clapper

as Sgt. Transom

as Melancholy Musketeer

as Drogue

as Dooley

as American general

as British General

as Mrs. Clapper's Frien...

as Flappy-Trousered Man

as Paratrooper

as Skipper

as Staff Officer

as Old Man at Alamein

as Woman In Desert

as Operator

as Soldier at Alamein

as Reporter

as Mrs. Clapper

as 1st Old Lady

as Large Child

as 1st Replacement

as Replacement
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for How I Won the War

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for How I Won the War

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

Patrick Ryan's novel has been adapted into a screenplay which, as directed by Richard Lester, substitutes motion for emotion, reeling for feeling, and crude slapstick for telling satire.

Full Review… | September 10, 2007
Top Critic

Dated, maybe, but Lester's gruesomely black anti-war comedy still looks inventive, and manages occasionally to hit home with its blend of surreal lunacy and barbed satire.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

I am afraid Mr. Lester has not added a single discouragement of war, but simply a little discouragement toward patronizing too-pretentious films.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

I got no impression from this film that Lester really, personally, cares very strongly one way or the other about war. It was only a currently fashionable subject, a good excuse to make a movie.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Lester's op-pop style, jump cutting from incident to incident, seems too inherently cheerful for the material, which features fountains of stage blood.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Thought provoking, at very least, John Lennon starrer.

February 23, 2008

Audience Reviews for How I Won the War

George Bernard Shaw once wrote that England and America are two countries separated by a common language. Nowhere is that more apparent than here in How I Won the War. The accents are so thick and the humor so uniquely British that even when I could understand it I couldn't understand it.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

...a very underratted british comedy...shouldn't just seen by beatles fans but by anyone who opposes war...

How I Won the War Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss How I Won the War on our Movie forum!