How I Won the War


1h 49m 1967

Brief Synopsis

Misfits and incompetent kooks try to fight WW2.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
War
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 23 Oct 1967
Production Company
Petersham Films
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United Kingdom
Location
West Germany; Spain
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel How I Won the War by Patrick Ryan (London, 1963).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 49m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Synopsis

Lieut. Ernest Goodbody, a middle-aged veteran of World War II, smugly reminisces about his triumphs in the British Army. His warm memories are belied, however, by the realities of his disastrous military career. Goodbody's humble origins and insufficient education were inadequate preparation for leading the clumsy and irreverent Third Troop of the Fourth Musketeers. Among the motley group are Clapper, a portly inductee worried about his wife's infidelity; Gripweed, a dispirited Cockney; Juniper, a buffoon who sometimes appears in clown face; the Melancholy Musketeer, a coward; and Transom, the only regular soldier, whose valiant efforts to cover Goodbody's many mistakes are futile. Goodbody is no better at dealing with his superiors than with his men, and he never makes sense of General Grapple's warning to beware the "wily Pathan." The troop is sent to the North African desert to set up an advance cricket pitch for VIPs, and a few of the men are killed. One by one, however, their variously colored ghosts return and continue to perform their duties. When the outfit is sent to France, and eventually to Germany, the pattern of death and the returning ghosts continues in a progressively bleaker atmosphere. Goodbody, now alone, is captured at the Rhine by Odlebog, the Nazi commandant, who is controlling the last remaining bridge and hopes to sell it to the Allies. Odlebog, who is simply obeying orders and finds the whole business of war quite inhumane, is killed beneath a tank navigated by Grapple. The present-day Goodbody, holding a lonely reunion for his men, is left to reminisce with the sole survivor, the cowardly Melancholy Musketeer.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Drama
War
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 23 Oct 1967
Production Company
Petersham Films
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United Kingdom
Location
West Germany; Spain
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel How I Won the War by Patrick Ryan (London, 1963).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 49m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Quotes

And I'm not a thief, really. I've never found anything worth keeping.
- Gripweed

Trivia

John Lennon wrote "Strawberry Fields Forever" while shooting this movie in Spain.

John Lennon found the Spanish location quite boring, so Ringo Starr flew out to keep him company.

Notes

Location scenes filmed in West Germany and Spain. Opened in London in October 1967. Actual footage of World War II battles is used, with each battle shown in a different color tint.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 23, 1967

Released in United States January 1990

Shown at United State Film Festival Park City, Utah January 21 & 28, 1990.

Actual footage from World War II was used for battle sequences.

Released in United States Fall October 23, 1967

Released in United States January 1990 (Shown at United State Film Festival Park City, Utah January 21 & 28, 1990.)