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.
It was the War to end all wars ? well not quite. For with the ricochet of one bullet, the entire course of human history was changed forever...Now, for the first time, Academy AwardŽ-winner Richard Attenborough's* directorial debut is available on DVD. Based on the stage musical by the same name, Oh! What a Lovely War features a stellar cast that includes Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. By fusing the surreal with the factual and juxtaposing savagely funny satire with quiet sorrow, Attenborough has created the oddest and most outstanding film ever made about the ?game? that became World War One.
Musical Sequences |
World War I