How I Won the War (1967)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, War


How I Won the War (1967) Poster

An inept British World War II commander leads his troops through a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe.


5.7/10
2,164

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17 July 2006 | LydiaOLydia
4
| Borderline Unwatchable
Take a movie like this. You may have heard somewhere that it was pretty bad. But, being an inquisitive sort, you visit IMDb first anyway. Here, you are greeted with plenty of reviews that tell you that it's not so bad - some even call it a masterpiece and a hidden gem.

Then, you watch it and the cold hard reality hits you - it's just not that good of a movie. The first half an hour seemed to take about four. Yes, there are "innovative" aspects such as tinting people and scenes differently, but ultimately this is cheap and adds little.

There are far better anti-war films of the same period. "How I Won the War" with a big star (Lennon) was made in 1967. Steve McQueen's "The Sand Pebbles" of 1966 is, although a much longer movie, an infinitely better anti-war film that managed to convey all of the same philosophical points as HIWtW (and more) and do it with subtlety, class, and genuine humanity.

The saving grace of HIWtW should have been comedy - absurdist or otherwise. The ingredients were there - war and military life are just asking for the application of ironic and observationalist British wit. Alas, while the characters spend most of the time speaking in that fast British way as if they were saying something as clever as, say, Monty Python or Fawlty Towers, what they actually say is substantially less interesting. Pity.

This film is not particularly worth watching.

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