Oh! What A Lovely War 1969

Oh! What a Lovely War

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 811

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Oh! What a Lovely War Photos

Movie Info

World War I gets the musical treatment in a series of a song-and-dance vignettes. Throughout it follows the Smith family -- stand-ins for the British working class -- who initially view the war with sunny optimism. But after the Smith boys -- Jack (Malcolm McFee), Freddie , Harry (Maurice Roëves) and George (Paul Shelley) -- witness the reality of trench warfare, their illusions are shattered, and the best they can hope for is survival.

Cast & Crew

Ralph Richardson
Sir Edward Grey
Laurence Olivier
Field Marshal Sir John French
John Gielgud
Count Leopold Von Berchtold
Kenneth More
Kaiser Wilhelm II
John Clements
Gen. von Moltke
Ian Holm
President Poincare
Wensley Pithey
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Ruth Kettlewell
Duchess Sophie
Paul Daneman
Czar Nicholas II
Brian Duffy
Producer
Charles Chilton
Writer (Play)
Len Deighton
Writer (Screenplay)
Gerry Turpin
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for Oh! What A Lovely War

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (3)

  • It is an elaborately staged tableau, a dazzling use of the camera to achieve essentially theatrical effects. And judged on that basis, Richard Attenborough has given us a breathtaking evening.

    July 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • An often too-clever, sometimes moving piece.

    August 25, 2014 | Full Review…

    Chris Petit

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • [Attenborough] has chosen to make a big, elaborate, sometimes realistic film whose elephantine physical proportions and often brilliant all-star cast simply overwhelm the material with a surfeit of good intentions.

    August 25, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Dedicated, exhilarating, shrewd, mocking, funny, emotional, witty, poignant and technically brilliant.

    February 23, 2012 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It wears a heart so bleedingly on its sleeve one is almost blackmailed into praising it.

    January 16, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It may seem churlish to praise a film one admires not so much for what it gets right as for what it manages to avoid getting wrong. But Oh! What a Lovely War is perhaps a special case.

    July 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Oh! What A Lovely War

  • Nov 12, 2019
    The Brechtian representational elements work better than you'd think and everyone, from major star cameos to character actors are perfectly cast.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2014
    A war film unlike any other.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2013
    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.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

Oh! What A Lovely War Quotes

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