- Rated: PG-13
- Run Time: 2 hours, 11 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: May 7, 2002
- Originally Released: 1969
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 2.35
- Dolby Digital Mono - English
- Dolby Digital Mono - French
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Uncut - 10/01/2004
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2004
"There is plenty to savour here....The charge into the valley of death is brutal but handled with a flair worthy of David Lean."
Total Film - 02/01/2009
3 stars out of 5 -- "Tony Richardson's satirical anti-war epic, skewering the deranged incompetence of Victorian society."
Tony Richardson's revisionist version of the oft-filmed romance of empire stars Trevor Howard as the arrogant Lord Cardigan. In 1854, the leading officers of the British military seek an opportunity for military glory, Cardigan chief among them. He plans on taking a military force into the Crimean region of Turkey, with the ostensible purpose of protecting the Ottoman Empire from an invading Russian army. Lord Cardigan and his army set sail for Turkey, and, en route, he becomes involved in a dispute with Captain Nolan (David Hemmings), an officer recently returned from India who questions the actions of the high command. Despite substandard rations and a cholera epidemic, the British score a quick victory over Russian troops before its leaders fall into inertia and confusion. The nearly senile Lord Raglan (John Gielgud) temporizes while Cardigan is distracted by the charms of Miss Duberly (Jill Bennett), the paymaster's wife. When the Battle of Balaclava begins, the combination of pompous stupidity in Whitehall's state men and incompetent officers on the battlefield results in Cardigan's taking his fabled Light Brigade down the wrong valley and directly into the heart of the Russian artillery. A comment on America's involvement in Vietnam, Richardson's satire on military and political blundering features an excellent cast and exceptionally convincing battlefield photography by David Watkin.
This satirical film explores England's involvement in the Crimean War, which resulted in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava in 1854. Among the characters are unstable commander Lord Cardigan, Commander in Chief Lord Raglan, and Captain Nolan, an expert soldier who often disagrees with his superior officers. The offbeat movie mixes animation with live action to tell the fascinating story.
Big Battles |
Period Piece |
Theatrical Release |
True Story |
- Theatrical release: April 11, 1968.
- Shooting location: Turkey.
- The armies of both sides were played by Turkish army troops.
- To maintain authenicity, male actors wore no makeup, and actresses wore only what makeup their 19th-century counterparts would have worn.
- The horses used in the film, which belonged to the Turkish Cavalry, were former Hollywood stunt horses obtained by the Turkish government in an aid package.