Total Film - 01/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's an intelligent, hugely stylised satire -- beautifully executed, brutally abstract and, on occasion, stunningly perceptive."
Legendary British director Sir Richard Attenborough (GANDHI, CRY FREEDOM) made his directorial debut with the scathingly satirical antiwar musical OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR. Based on Joan Littlewood's 1963 stage play, the film reimagines the tragic conflagration of World War I as a macabre amusement park in which ghastly images of war's futility--such as generals playing leapfrog on the battlefield while their soldiers die around them--are set to farcical musical numbers like "The Bells of Hell" and "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire." Attenborough assembled a virtual who's-who of iconic British thespians--including Dirk Bogarde, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, and Maggie Smith--to enact the masterful pacifist diatribe that was seen as a thinly veiled commentary on the Vietnam War at the time of its 1969 premiere--and remains just as timely and relevant at its 2006 re-release.
Musical Sequences |
World War I