How I Won the War

How I Won The War

On DVD: 
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Running Time: 
111 minutes

Richard Lester's How I Won the War might be a decent movie, if I were British, and it was 1967.  Following the story of the inept Lieutenant Goodbody as be bungles his way through World War II and succeeds mostly in getting all of his men killed.  Whether you’d call it black comedy, satire or farce I couldn’t find anything funny about this film at all.

As the film drones on through it’s near two hours of length, it gets weirder, sillier and more boring.  I can only assume most of the absurd visuals are supposed to be either poignant or humorous, but they always come off as neither.  After viewing it, I’m still unsure if this was an anti-war film or not, because it didn’t seem to lean either way.  Any message it might have had, which many reviewers saw as unclear at the time, is now completely lost with age.

The film remains a curiosity none the less as the only non-Beatles acting role of John Lennon, and his name appears on the cover, in large letters, despite his part in the film being quite small.

This DVD release of the film comes with almost no extras.  You get the film, on which you can turn on English subtitles, and the original trailer.  Nothing more.  This Special Edition is available with a Commemorative Photo Album, but my review copy didn’t include it, so I can’t speak on its quality or worth.

If you are already a fan of the film and don’t own it, then you might want to pick this up.  For anyone else, however, I can’t think of any reason worth mentioning that you’d want to see How I Won the War.


Review by Jason Pace
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