How I Won the War


Comedy / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 54%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 2028


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August 20, 2018 at 07:27 AM



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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jedi Clerk 9 / 10

sheep in wolf's clothing

An anti-war film in disguise... As a "fan" of war films but also a "peacenik" I love this movie. Aside from the fact that i am an overtly biased Beatles' fan this film is an intellectual riot. John Lennon co-stars with the star of Hello Dolly as members of a British military unit saddled with the ridiculous duty of building a cricket pitch during the invasion of North Africa! Filled with ironic black war humor, it suffers a little from the predictable muddle of most 60's films.

Something interesting to note is that John Lennon is first seen wearing his trademark round spectacles in this movie. Having been asked (for some reason) to wear the glasses for the film he continued to wear them for the rest of his life!

This movie is a must for all Lennon fans.

Reviewed by davconn 10 / 10

Catch-22 Meets Waiting for Godot

This challenging film is in a class all of its own. It's as if Samuel Beckett had written a screenplay filling it with low slapstick and very smart commentary. Lester's ultimate point seems to be that war is merely just an extension of class war. Michael Crawford is excellent as the clueless, Bertie Woosteresque squad commander; always trying to piece things together with a seemingly high class education that does him absolutely no good in the thick of war's irrationality. The fast-paced gags come in rapid succession, punctuating each working class soldier's senseless death with great comic absurdity. And yet, armed with his upper class and horribly thoughtless "sacrifice for King and country" paradigm, Lt. Goodbody forges ahead on a completely senseless mission inadvertently causing the deaths of all of his men.

It's perfect that in the end the only person he can relate to is his German upper-class captor. His ultimate "winning" of the war by simply purchasing the only bridge left crossing the Rhein (with a bad check, no less) is the perfect metaphor for the film's main idea; that it's not even money that separates the classes - it's just the collective illusion of the classes that separates them. And it's this illusion for which the working class are forced to fight and die.

A fantastic piece of anti-war theatre.

Reviewed by craigjclark 10 / 10

A different kind of war film

The first time I watched this film, it was because I was a big Beatles fan and wanted to see John Lennon's performance. I was in my teens and didn't understand much of what went on, but at least I made a valiant effort.

The second time I watched this film -- about a decade later -- it was because I was now a big Richard Lester fan and wanted to see if I understood a little more of what was going on; I did. A decade spent honing my sense of irony and a crash course in classic British comedy helped out there.

This film is right up there with "Dr. Strangelove" as far as black comedies about the insanity of war go. And any film where John Lennon gets to say, "Can I rub your ball, sir? It gives me great pleasure." is okay in my book.

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