Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

35mm film, filmed in Panavision (anamorphic), Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British fantasy film directed by Richard Attenborough.

Plot Summary

An account of one family's experiences in the First World War portrayed as an end-of-the-pier variety show wit many fantasy ideas and images. They take part in the legendary Christmas game between British and German troops in no-mans-land, and witness many of the horrors of war first hand.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Richard Attenborough
© 1969 by Paramount Pictures Corporation
An Accord production
Produced by: Brian Duffy and Richard Attenborough
Associate Producer: Mack Davidson
Script: Len Deighton *
Based on Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop production by Charles Chilton and the members of the original cast
After a stage treatment by Ted Allan
Director of Photography: Gerry Turpin
Editor: Kevin Connor
Sound Mixer: Simon Kaye
Costume Designer: Anthony Mendleson
Make-Up Supervisor: Stuart Freeborn
Chief Hairdresser: Biddy Chrystal
Special Effects: Ron Ballanger
Production Designed by: Don Ashton
Military Advisor: Major-General Sir Douglas Campbell
Filmed entirely on location in and around the town of Brighton and completed at Twickenham Studios, London, England
Casting: Miriam Brickman

Wendy Alnutt (Flo Smith)
Colin Farrell (Harry Smith)
Malcolm McFee (Freddie Smith)
John Rae (Grandpa Smith)
Corin Redgrave (Bertie Smith)
Maurice Roëves (George Smith)
Paul Shelley (Jack Smith)
Kim Smith (Dickie Smith)
Angela Thorne (Betty Smith)
Mary Wimbush (Mary Smith)
Vincent Ball (Australian soldier)
Pia Colombo (Estaminet singer)
Paul Daneman (Czar Nicholas II)
Isabel Dean (Sir John French's lady)
Christian Doermer (Fritz)
Robert Flemyng (staff officer in gassed trench)
Meriel Forbes (Lady Grey)
Ian Holm (President Poincare)
David Lodge (recruiting sergeant)
Joe Melia (the photographer)
Guy Middleton (Sir William Robertson)
Juliet Mills
Nanette Newman (nurse)
Cecil Parker (Sir John)
Natasha Parry (Sir William Robertson's lady)
Gerald Sim (Chaplain)
Thorley Walters (staff officer in ballroom)
Anthony Ainley (3rd aide)
Penelope Allen (solo chorus girl)
Maurice Arthur (soldier singer)
Freddie Ascott
Michael Bates (drunk lance-corporal)
Fanny Carby (mill girl)
Cecilia Darby (Sir Henry Wilson's lady)
Geoffrey Davies, Edward Fox (aides)
George Ghent (heckler)
Peter Gilmore (Private Burgess)
Ben Howard (Private Garbett)
Norman Jones (Scottish soldier)
Paddy Joyce (Irish soldier)
Angus Lennie (Scottish soldier)
Harry Locke (heckler)
Clifford Mollison (heckler)
Derek Newark (shooting gallery proprietor)
John Owens (Irish soldier)
Ron Pember (corporal at station)
Dorothy Reynolds (heckler)
Marianne Stone (mill girl)
John Trigger (officer at station)
Kathleen Wileman (Emma Smith at age 4)
Dirk Bogarde (Stephen)
Phyllis Calvert (Lady Haig)
Jean Pierre Cassel (French colonel)
John Clements (General von Moltke)
John Gielgud (Count Leopold Von Berchtold)
Jack Hawkins (Emperor Franz Josef)
Kenneth More (Kaiser Wilhelm II)
Laurence Olivier (Field Marshal Sir John French)
Michael Redgrave (General Sir Henry Wilson)
Vanessa Redgrave (Sylvia Pankhurst)
Ralph Richardson (Sir Edward Grey)
Maggie Smith (music hall star)
Susannah York (Eleanor)
John Mills as Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig


Filmfacts 1969 p.385 – credits, reprinted reviews
Monthly Film Bulletin May 1969 pp.93-94 – credits, synopsis, review
Saturday Review 4 October 1969 – review

British Film Catalogue by Denis Gifford entry number 13954 – credits
by Walt Lee p.345 – credits

Other sources
BFI Southbank Guide October/November 2018 p.64 – illustrated listing