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Preview Image for How I Won The War (UK)
How I Won The War (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000062962
Added by: Mark Oates
Added on: 7/8/2004 06:25
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    Review of How I Won The War

    5 / 10


    Richard Lester`s 1967 anti-war comedy How I Won The War is one of the more challenging of a brace of movies that included MASH and Catch-22. It stars an extremely young and shiny Michael Crawford as the inept Lt. Goodbody whose WWII misadventures do nothing for the welfare of the men under his command. Like a lot of Lester`s 1960s work (Bed Sitting Room, The Knack, A Hard Day`s Night), it is an absurdist piece. Lester collaborated with fellow absurdists Spike Milligan and John Antrobus on numerous occasions. And like most of his pictures, How I Won The War is littered with performances by some great British character actors and comics (Lester`s lucky charm Roy Kinnear, Michael Hordern, Jack McGowran). Standing out in this film is a performance by John Lennon as Gripweed, one of the men under Goodbody`s command.

    Lennon, incidentally, wrote "Strawberry Fields Forever" during the shoot in Spain. Finding the process of filming boring, Ringo flew out to keep him company.


    Presented in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the film is shown non-anamorphic. An anamorphic transfer would do little to improve a movie of this aspect ratio, as filling the screen top to bottom would require the addition of black windowboxing to the sides of the frame and reducing the horizontal definition of the image. The picture is reasonably well-preserved with minimal wear and tear.


    The sound is in Mono, reproduced in Dolby Digital 2.0


    Subtitles, but otherwise none. Nada. Zilch.


    An oddball movie full of oddball performances - Jack McGowran appears made up as a black and white minstrel when everybody else is in camouflage makeup. Absurdly silly scenes are juxtaposed with the horrors of war. Strong stuff for a director with a normally light touch.

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