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  • Oh! What a Lovely War [Region 2]
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Oh! What a Lovely War [Region 2]

62 customer reviews

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Playback Region 2 :This will not play on most DVD players sold in the U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda. See other DVD options under “Other Formats & Versions”. Learn more about DVD region specifications here

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Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), Danish ( Subtitles ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), Finnish ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Swedish ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Black & White, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A movie about the First World War based on a stage musical of the same name, portraying the "Game of War" and focusing mainly on the members of one family (last name Smith) who go off to war. Much of the action in the movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers, and many scenes portray some of the more famous (and infamous) incidents of the war, including the assassination of Duke Ferdinand, the Christmas meeting between British and German soldiers in no-mans-land, and the wiping out by their own side of a force of Irish soldiers newly arrived at the front, after successfully capturing a ridge that had been contested for some time. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes, ...Oh! What a Lovely War

Product Details

  • Actors: Corin Redgrave, Vincent Ball, Wendy Allnutt, Colin Farrell, Malcolm McFee
  • Directors: Joan Littlewood, Richard Attenborough
  • Producers: Oh! What a Lovely War
  • Format: Import, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch, Swedish
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 138.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,443 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Born to Read on November 19, 2006
Format: DVD
"Oh! What a Lovely War" takes on nothing less than the immense task of encapsulating the entirety of World War One into two and a half hours. This is a story of courage and sacrifice beyond comprehension, and of stupidity and heartlessness on a truly monumental scale. But the courage and sacrifice are not, as in the usual telling of tales, that of a handful of heroes, but of an entire generation. And the stupidity and heartlessness belong to the military and world leaders of the day. As monarchs, generals, and politicians wallow in luxury and privilege, the ordinary soldier wallows in mud - and brutal death. This is a story that will make you gasp and cry `never again.' And you know your cry is in vain.

A notice after the opening screen credits states something that must be kept in mind throughout the film: "The principal statements made by the historical characters in this film are based on documentary evidence, and the words of the songs are those sung by the troops during the First World War." Therefore, to underscore the absurdity of an international effort that did its utmost to murder an entire generation, much of the dialogue of the historical characters, comfortably ensconced away from the fighting, sounds absurd. Is it really possible, for example, that General Haig, after considering the huge loss of life on both sides, could have said something like "in the end, the Germans will have five thousand men and we will have ten thousand, so we will have won"?. Apparently so.

The men in the trenches, on the other hand, had the unenviable choice of facing probable death or mutilation on the battlefield, or facing the firing squad for cowardice if they deserted.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A. Boyd on September 27, 2006
Format: DVD
Yes, I know it is a hackneyed old cliche but in this case, entirely correct. I first saw this movie in the Cinema in London's Kilburn during it's first run in the late Sixties. About halfway through it some people got up and left, feeling that it was abusive to the memory of those who gave their lives in that War to end all Wars. How wrong they were. The Movie is a masterpiece in every respect. The sheer stupidity, the waste of that generation are both self evident on screen. Note the beautiful Maggie Smith when viewed from a distance in the Theatre, note again how thick the make up when we are on stage with her "Taking the shilling". The other face of war. The final scene on the glorious South Downs as the camera pulls back to reveal the hillside is breathtaking and at once heartbreaking. In all the times I have seen this movie, I have yet to watch the whole of this scene without a flood of tears filling my eyes. Do I remember which lovely young girl I took to see it in 1969? Sadly no. Have I ever forgotten the movie? No.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By L. Donald Bartholomew on September 6, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film on the big screen in London when it was first released. I have been waiting for this film to appear on any video format for years. I can only hope that this is not the edited version. Shown on television only rarely and severely edited the film loses its sarcastic wit and anti-war feelings.

The very idea of setting a musical retelling of the WWI, from the English point of view, on Brighton Pier's Fun Fair is audacious to say the least. "England Put the Kibasch on the Kaiser" truly begins the fun and shock. Maggie Smith's appearance as a Music Hall star is wonderful as she exhorts the troops to sign up. All of the songs, excepting the title one are from the era and provide enough feeling to swamp your feelings. Hooray! I shall use it in class Winter Quarter. It will be a revelation to those who have not seen it!
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Format: DVD
Genetic testing, I think, would show Oh! What a Lovely War and Paths of Glory to be fraternal twins. Both are anti-war, both use the appalling circumstances of World War I to underline the corruption of old men who use war as a way to occupy their time and cause young men to die in the tens of thousands. But where Paths of Glory uses bitterness, Oh! What a Lovely War uses irony and the clever trick of turning our own jingoistic instincts against us. The movie is a pastiche of fantasy, fact, music halls, songs with words often used by the soldiers and the real-life statements of key personalities. There are two threads which connect everything together. The first is the fate of the Smith family and the five sons who eagerly sign up to beat the Hun. The second is the smugness, the certitude, the deadly self-confidence of those who make decisions about war. The fantasy takes place on a great seaside boardwalk with a wonderful wooden pier and ornate pavilions at the end. Here the Smith family and hundreds of others line up at the counter to buy tickets to join in "the ever popular War Game." Inside the music hall Maggie Smith sings "I'll Make a Man of You," a seducing, winking recruiting song...

"The Army and the Navy need attention,

The outlook isn't healthy you'll admit,

But I've got a perfect dream of a new recruiting scheme,

Which I think is absolutely 'it.'

If only other girls would do as I do

I believe that we could manage it alone,

For I turn all suitors from me but the sailor and the Tommy.

I've an army and a navy of my own.
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