How I Won the War

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""There's been some marvelous advances in surgery, thanks to war!""
  • Approved
  • 1967
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 5.5  (2,534)

How I Won the War is a 1967 British comedy movie directed by Richard Lester, starring Michael Crawford, John Lennon, and Roy Kinnear. The film takes an anti-war approach, and it is based on the novel of the same name by Patrick Ryan. The movie is a satirical look at the absurdity of the war in Europe, specifically the events of World War II. It follows Lieutenant Goodbody (Michael Crawford), who leads a group of soldiers of the British 3rd Infantry Division on a mission to capture a German town. However, their approach to warfare is unorthodox, leading to several comedic situations.

John Lennon portrays Musketeer Gripweed, a soldier who is more interested in playing his guitar than fighting the war. Lennon's character serves as Goodbody's superior officer, and he provides a different perspective on the futility of war. Roy Kinnear plays the role of Private Clapper, another one of Goodbody's soldiers. Clapper is the comedic relief of the movie, and his shenanigans often lead to trouble.

The film's non-linear narrative jumps back and forth in time, with scenes of Goodbody's military training interspersed with the actual battle scenes. The movie uses a lot of clever editing and visual tricks to create a sense of chaos and confusion, highlighting the absurdity of the war.

One of the film's most iconic scenes is the marching band sequence, where the soldiers are dressed in ridiculous uniforms, and they play their instruments while marching towards the battlefield. The scene is both hilarious and unsettling, and it serves as a criticism of the glorification of war.

The movie also uses metafictional elements, with the characters frequently breaking the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. These moments provide commentary on the filmmaking process and the war itself, adding another layer of satire.

Overall, How I Won the War is a sharply written, impeccably crafted film that subverts the traditional war movie genre. It features great performances from its cast, particularly Michael Crawford, who perfectly captures the bumbling, incompetent Lieutenant Goodbody. The film's anti-war message still resonates today, making it a timeless classic.

How I Won the War
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (2,534)