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The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

In 1854, during the Crimean War, poor planning leads to a British Light Brigade openly charging a Russian artillery position with tragic consequences.

Director:

Tony Richardson

Writers:

Charles Wood (screenplay), Cecil Woodham-Smith (additional source material "The Reason Why") (as Cecil Woodham Smith)
Reviews
Nominated for 6 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Howard ... Lord Cardigan
Vanessa Redgrave ... Clarissa Morris
John Gielgud ... Lord Raglan
Harry Andrews ... Lord Lucan
Jill Bennett ... Mrs. Duberly
David Hemmings ... Captain Lewis Nolan
Ben Aris Ben Aris ... Lt. Maxse
Micky Baker Micky Baker ... Trooper Metcalfe
Peter Bowles ... Paymaster Capt. Duberly
Leo Britt Leo Britt ... General Scarlett
Mark Burns Mark Burns ... Captain Morris
John J. Carney ... Trooper Mitchell (as John Carney)
Helen Cherry ... Lady Scarlett
Chris Chittell ... Trooper (as Christopher Chittel)
Ambrose Coghill Ambrose Coghill ... Lt. Col. Douglas
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Storyline

A chronicle of events that led to the British involvement in the Crimean War against Russia and which led to the siege of Sevastopol and the fierce Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854 which climaxed with the heroic, but near-disastrous cavalry charge made by the British Light Brigade against a Russian artillery battery in a small valley which resulted in the near-destruction of the brigade due to error of judgment and rash planning on part by the inept British commanders. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Theirs not to reason why..."

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

10 August 1968 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Carga da Brigada Ligeira See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Tony Richardson sacked John Osborne for refusing to re-write his script for being too close to the book. This led to an acrimonious falling out between the long-time partners. See more »

Goofs

Louis Nolan is shown dying on the battlefield at Balaclava after a mortar shell hit throws him off his horse. He actually managed to stay on his saddle; the horse returned to the British lines and Nolan fell down dead there and not in the middle of the field. See more »

Quotes

Lord Cardigan: Well, here goes the last of the Brudenells. The Brigade will advance ! Trumpeter, walk march !
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits roll over a drawing of a dead horse, with the buzzing of flies in the soundtrack. See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the cinema version was complete the 1993 UK video release was cut by 7 secs to edit footage of horse-falls. The 2008 Optimum DVD has the cuts length extended to 14 secs and features the 6 minutes shorter print as mentioned below. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood U.K.: Northern Lights (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

My Heart's In The Highlands
(uncredited)
Traditional
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Arranged by John Addison
Sung by a tenor Scottish soldier in a Crimean camp
See more »

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User Reviews

 
History Or Cinema ?
8 November 2004 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

I first saw THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE in the late 1970s when it was broadcast on the Sunday night " Film Of The Week " slot . I liked it as a young child , then saw it several years later and wasn't quite taken with it mainly down to the fact that the first half is very slow and the second half is grim and depressing

After just seeing it again about ten minutes ago I still hold my second opinion . I will congratulate ( With reservations ) the production team for making a very British type of historical epic , this is far more accurate than say ZULU which was ironically directed and co-written by a Hollywood film maker for a Hollywood studio and in that film Cy Endfield showed that perhaps you have to rewrite history ever so slightly to make a classic epic movie based upon actual events . Unfortunately by being as accurate as possible as a history lesson THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE resembles the critically panned ZULU DAWN rather than ZULU which is in many film critics top ten movies including mine

We learn that many British officers in the Victorian British army bought themselves their rank causing serious friction with officers who were totally professional soldiers who achieved their rank through talent . We learn how calvarymen train , we learn what goes on in the officers mess , we learn that the Crimean war was the first conflict to get major press coverage but all this does tend to hold the story up . It may run for just over two hours but the movie feels much longer .

A cast member ( I can't remember which one ) was interviewed several years ago and she mentioned the production team's eye for detail so much that many of the cast honestly thought they'd been transported back to the mid 19th century . She also mentioned packed crowds watching the film in cinemas on opening night but the crowds had totally disappeared within a couple of days . You can't help but feel the attention to historical detail had everything to do with the poor box office . I guess the audience were expecting something in the vein of ZULU

As I said I will congratulate the production team for their accuracy in fine detail but bewarned it is top heavy with social comment and if you have little interest in history you might want to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster instead


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