What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This WW II era comedy follows the attempts of a band of American soldiers to convince a small Sicilian town to surrender. Unfortunately, the townsfolk are too fired up about an upcoming soccer tournament and their wine festival to pay them much heed.
Classics , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
United Artists

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James Coburn
as Lt. Christian
Dick Shawn
as Capt. Lionel Cash
Aldo Ray
as Rizzo
Leon Askin
as Kastorp
Jay Novello
as Romano
Rico Cattani
as Benedetto
Kurt Kreuger
as German Captain
Vito Scotti
as Federico
Johnny Seven
as Vittorio
Art Lewis
as Pfc. Needleman
William Bryant
as Capt. Minow
Ralph Manza
as Waiter
Danny Francis
as Bus Boy
Herb Ellis
as Sgt. Lumpe
Phil Garris
as Italian Soldier
Ken Wales
as Blair
Rex Morhan
as American General
Carl Ekberg
as Adolf Hitler
Karla Most
as Italian Girl
Ivana Kislinger
as Italian Girl
Mina Darno
as Madame
Herb Andreas
as German Lieutenant
Horst Graf
as German Officer
Vincent Barbi
as Italian Soldier
Ken Del Conte
as American GI #2
Joe Lo Presti
as Italian Soldier
Benito Prezia
as Italian Soldier
Kelly Johnson
as American GI #4
Cosimo Renna
as Italian Soldier
Neil Rosso
as Italian Soldier
Philip Garris
as Italian Soldier
Mario Cimino
as Italian Villager
James Lanphier
as Italian Villager
Jerry Martin
as Italian Villager
Joe Polina
as Italian Villager
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Critic Reviews for What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

All Critics (5)

It's a well-honed farce that gave Edwards and his cast a solid framework in which to improvise, which they did to superlative effect.

Full Review… | April 6, 2015
The Dissolve

War as fun in this service comedy by director Blake Edwards.

Full Review… | August 7, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Cheerfully nihilistic WWII spoof

July 22, 2005
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Tasteless shambles of a comedy.

November 26, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quote not available.

June 19, 2005

Audience Reviews for What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?


Silly farce is loaded with talent and a jovial mood.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A steady stream of wacky war comedies began in the late 1950s - "Mister Roberts," "Operation Petticoat," "Wackiest Ship in the Army, " "Ensign Pulver" "No Time for Sergeants," "Don't Go Near the Water" & "The Teahouse of the August Moon" as well as TV sitcoms "Sgt. Bilko," "Hennessy" and "McHale's Navy," culminating in the satiric/comedic message of "M*A*S*H". This film does not truly rank among them. Two companies - one of Italian soldiers, one American - find themselves wanting to sit out the end of WWII in a small, welcoming Sicilian village. But they'll have to keep their naive, by-the-book, supposedly-in-charge American Captain (Shawn) fooled and distracted by an Italian beauty - and also fool both the American and German armies - to pull it off. Luckily, fools abound. The cake has all the right ingredients stirred into the batter: production and storyline from Blake Edwards ("The Pink Panther," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Days of Wine and Roses"), co-stars Carroll O'Connor (aka Archie Bunker) and Henry Morgan (aka M*A*S*H's Colonel Potter), screenwriting from William Peter Blatty ("The Exorcist"), score/song from Henry Mancini, strong supporting talents, and Panavision icing. Still, somehow, it just doesn't bake up all that well. What's glaringly absent from this film - and NOT missing from those other war comedies - is sly/clever/witty dialogue. Rather this film over-relies on mediocre situational comedy and shtick: Shawn cross-dressing a la "Some Like It Hot," Morgan lost in a maze of catacombs, drunken brawling, nursing the hungover, quarreling/shouting in Italian, a German officer dead in flagrante delicto, and so forth. Another shortcoming is Shawn's miscasting. He's simply not strong enough to overcome the weak banter, leaving James Coburn, as his scheming Lieutenant, standing alone in the battlefield to try to deliver most of the comedic heavy lifting. RECOMMENDATION: Die-hard fans of classic 50s/60s war comedies probably won't be able to resist, but lowered expectations are well advised.

TonyPolito  Polito
TonyPolito Polito

A Blake Edwards comedy? From the man who brought us the Pink Panther series, this film was distressingly not funny, not amusing, not even interesting. Even with music score by Henri Mancini and screenplay by William Peter Blatty (author of The Exorcist) plus a cast including James Coburn, Carol O'Conner, Henry Morgan... this film is ridiculous. Comedy master? Blake Edwards weaves his wacky madness? in this first-rate? WWII story of a by-the-book Captain (Dick Shawn) who is ordered to take over a troop of misfit soldiers led by Lieutenant James Coburn. This one failed to impress me as a comedy or anything else. Not a violent WWII movie or anything close, its just pure fantasy tale of what might have happened in Italy during the war. Cast James Coburn Sergio Fantoni Aldo Ray Dick Shawn Crew Screenplay: William Peter Blatty Executive Producer: Owen Crump Production Designer: Fernando Carrere Associate Producer: Dick Crockett Director: Blake Edwards Producer: Blake Edwards Story by: Blake Edwards Cinematographer: Philip H. Lathrop Composer: Henry Mancini Story by: Maurice Richlin Editor: Ralph E. Winters

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

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