How I Won The War (1967)

how i won the war 1967

Ant-War comedy that misses by a mile. Michael “Phantom Of The Opera” Crawford tries but doesn’t have much to work with.  John Lennon is here because….he’s John Lennon. It’s certainly not due to any acting ability. Most of the time he shows up to deliver a sentence or two and that’s about it.

The movie is supposed to be the memoir of Lt.Goodbody (Michael Crawford). He commanded an inept group of Musketeers in North Africa. Goodbody is determined to set up a cricket patch in the Tunisian desert.

The movie plays with moving around like one scene where Goodbody is being told all about the glories of war and then the camera pulls back and instead of a bunker we’re in a nearly empty theater.  In other scenes a number of the actors talk directly to the camera. One even goes from a combat scene to two women talking about it in the movie theater while watching it.

One bit has  a soldier named Clapper getting letters about his unfaithful wife. Later the scene switches back to London as a neighbor watches the local butcher and then an American soldier having fun with Mrs. Clapper. The neighbor is the one actually writing the letters and signing them Mrs.Clapper.

One soldier dresses in clown pants and at one point is trying to be a ventriloquist. Another soldier keeps saying how he dies in Africa. Those who are killed show up wearing a solid color and that includes their skin.

Lennon is Gripweed. The group is moving a huge roller that’s supposed to be filled with water. Goodbody wonders why it’s so light. Gripweed says he took the water out to make it lighter.

The movie starts with Goodbody being captured by the Germans and it waits a long time before getting back to that and his relationship with a German officer including a bit on the bridge at Remagen over the Rhine.

Combat scenes switch to black and white film and are the serious parts of the movie. Overall it doesn’t come together as it tries to be wacky while showing the insanity of war but the satire has more gums than teeth. The movie got a lot of attention because of Lennon’s glasses. That should give you some indication of how off the mark it turned out.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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