Review: ‘How I Won the War’

Patrick Ryan's novel has been adapted into a screenplay which, as directed by Richard Lester, substitutes motion for emotion, reeling for feeling, and crude slapstick for telling satire. Film opens at a superficial level of fast comedy, but never develops further.

Patrick Ryan’s novel has been adapted into a screenplay which, as directed by Richard Lester, substitutes motion for emotion, reeling for feeling, and crude slapstick for telling satire. Film opens at a superficial level of fast comedy, but never develops further.

Michael Crawford is top-featured as a gee-whiz British Army officer whose unthinking ineptitude kills off, one by one, all members of his unit. John Lennon, whose billing far exceeds his part, and contribution, plays one of the crew.

Episodic treatment cross-cuts between plot turns, and actual footage of Second World War battles, latter tinted in different hues.

How I Won the War

UK

Production

United Artists. Dir Richard Lester; Producer Richard Lester; Screenplay Charles Wood; Camera David Watkin; Editor John Victor Smith; Music Ken Thorne Art Dir Philip Harrison, John Stoll

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Michael Crawford John Lennon Roy Kinnear Lee Montague Jack MacGowran Michael Hordern
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