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Films: A is for...

Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall

The film of the book of the war! Struggling manfully to match the genius of the book this doesn’t quite make it and despite his best efforts Jim Dale as Spike Milligan comes across as a bit of a smart arse (although it does fair a little better than Spike’s own readings of the book which came across even worse). There’s also a bit too much musing on the futility of the war and not enough chasing escaped pigs around old folks homes for our liking. Still, Spike himself and Pat Coombs as his mental parents Leo and Kitty are great and Arthur Lowe as moronic platoon commander Leather Suitcase is splendid, too. Bill ‘Oh, no!’ Maynard, Tony ‘git’ Booth, Bob Todd and Geoffrey Hughes make up the ranks. “Silence when you speak to an officer!”



  1. Lee James Turnock

    February 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    “I’m due a fresh sock…and a tin of Spam. Good book this.”

  2. Tom Ronson

    October 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Of course it’s no match for the book (or, come to think of it, any of the other six volumes of Milligan’s military memoirs), but as a piece of entertainment it’s largely fine. The books contain some incidents that would have seen the film receive an X rating back in 1973, so it’s not surprising that the makers opted for a more family-orientated approach. The cast are clearly having a ball, and there are some interesting directorial decisions that clearly resulted from the minimal budget – rather than showing us the Luftwaffe bombing London, this is represented by some recruits standing on a hill, silhouetted against the night sky, watching the homes of their families and loved ones being bombed. It’s a surprisingly touching moment.

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