How I Won the War
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Among the first of the late 60s anti-war films that reflected growing concern over the Vietnam War, How I Won the War takes a cold, dark look at the Good War, World War II. In adapting Patrick Ryan's 1963 novel, screenwriter Charles Wood and director Richard Lester offered a narrative fractured by characters making side comments to the camera, stylized cinematography, inserts of newsreel war footage, and plenty of absurdist humor and slapstick. Ernest Goodbody (Michael Crawford) is a bumbling British officer who manages to get most of his small company of musketeers killed while on a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Patrick Ryan's novel has been adapted into a screenplay which, as directed by Richard Lester, substitutes motion for emotion, reeling for feeling, and crude slapstick for telling satire."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"I got no impression from this film that Lester really, personally, cares very strongly one way or the other about war. It was only a currently fashionable subject, a good excuse to make a movie."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This seemingly incongruous mixture will work for some viewers, and, though the seriousness of Lester's intent may not be appreciated by everyone, most should at least find something here to make them laugh."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ambitious, stylised British satire. Written and acted with conviction, it pulls no punches."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"Dated, maybe, but Lester's gruesomely black anti-war comedy still looks inventive, and manages occasionally to hit home with its blend of surreal lunacy and barbed satire."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Lester's op-pop style, jump cutting from incident to incident, seems too inherently cheerful for the material, which features fountains of stage blood."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It still has an edge most films would shy away from. It's brilliant, bitter, defiant and angry."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"I am afraid Mr. Lester has not added a single discouragement of war, but simply a little discouragement toward patronizing too-pretentious films."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Thought provoking, at very least, John Lennon starrer."
‑ Steve Crum,
"This war farce (about World War II) is just not funny."
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for How I Won the War on Rotten Tomatoes