Oh, What a Lovely War

Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

A history of World War I, told through contemporaneous songs, animations, and live action, focusing on one family’s sons.

The filmmakers based this on a stage play, but kept the nonstandard structure of the original: for instance, there is no dialogue as such; there are bits of talking, but most of the movie is made up of songs from the time used to show what was happening both at home and at the various fronts, such as Maggie Smith’s awesome musical number used to recruit men to volunteer for the army.

There are some animated bits, usually to show the bigger picture, or animated cartoons from the papers.

And of course there are scenes from the war, also with current songs, showing how awful it was.

The film starts with a look of cheerful music-hall settings but gets serious pretty fast, which is appropriate considering what WWI was like… and of course this was released in 1969, during the Vietnam War.

This is kind of an odd duck of a movie, neither traditional musical nor war movie nor regular narrative, but it’s very very good, and well worth tracking down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: