A movie about World War I based on a stage musical of the same name, portraying the "Game of War", and focusing mainly on the members of the Smith family who go off to war. Much of the action in the movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers, and many scenes portray some of the more famous (and infamous) incidents of the war, including the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Christmas meeting between British and German soldiers in no-man's-land, and the wiping out by their own side of a force of Irish soldiers newly arrived at the front, after successfully capturing a ridge that had been contested for some time.Written by
Sonya Roberts <email@example.com>
The final scene involved the placing of over sixteen thousand crosses on the Sussex Downs. Each cross had to have a hole dug for it in order to hold it steady in the ground, and stop it from falling or being blown over. The helicopter aerial shot had to be filmed many times, due to problems with high winds and camera shake. See more »
The bayonets of the Band of the Irish Guards as they parade down the Brighton promenade appear to be for the L1A1 self loading rifle, first issued 1957 and still issued as standard by the time of the film, rather than the correct 1907 pattern bayonet for the Lee-Enfield No1 mkIII rifle (characterised by its longer blade length of 17" as opposed to the 8" of the L1A1's bayonet). See more »
[to a stretcher case with a bandaged head]
Don't worry. We'll soon have you back at the front.
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Opening credits prologue: The principal statements made by the historical characters in this film are based on documentary evidence and the words of the songs are those sung by the troops during the First World War See more »
Maggie Smith's depiction of Anticipation versus Reality
What struck me most about the film was Maggie Smith's remarkable transformation as she was at first an alluring young girl,- the Music Hall star as recruiting agent - the epitome of that era's romantic glorification of Going To Do Battle,then as the blood and death became evident, her character was transformed into a painted, ravaged whore.The heart-rending ending aside,the acres and acres of crosses dotting a hillside,her symbolism is what stays with us.My sister's-in-law first husband was next to Rudyard Kipling's son when he got blown up,and the sensitivity and denial of that time was such that the Kipling family only received notice that their son was "lost".This film managed to show just that attitude.And-- it resonates in today's view of the current lost cause.
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