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How I Won The War

Richard Lester, popular purveyor of under cranked knees-bent running about in The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night (1964), took on a more sombre mantle for this ‘self-alienating’ war epic wherein clueless lieutenant Michael Crawford supervises the construction of an army cricket pitch in war-torn North Africa. The aim was to undercut the then roaring trade in exciting WWII pictures with a dose of anti-jingoistic reality, but such trick as having John Lennon and Roy Kinnear deliver sober homilies straight to camera, and dead soldiers silently rejoining the platoon coated in coloured paint, preached that little bit too hard, and the gung ho tide remained stubbornly unturned.

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