Talk:Oh! What a Lovely War
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A very minor participant's first-hand testimony
I am posting here for protocol, as I had a minor hand in the film preparation and knew the circles of the Theatre Workshop The background to the Theatre Workshop was as described. The UK had no assistance in recovering after WWII, and rationing continued until 1955 - in fact, it was surrepticiously continued by luxury taxation and price policy until the 1960s, long after it had disappeared almost everywhere else. For example, the first UK supermarkets and fridges did not appear until 1960, and it was normal for housewives to order their needs and accept what they were given, without having much say in the selection, until 1963. This was paired with an extremely doctrinaire governmental style, quintessentially that of the Public_information_films, rightly mocked by Harry Enfield's [Cholmondley-Warner]. In many respects, the military Colonel Blimps had never released their grip on the population acquired in WWII, demonstrated by the absence of male fashion as seen in the prerequisite short-back-and-sides. However, the credibility of this approach to a more complex cold-war world was fading, firstly after the inconsequential resolution of the Korean War, and then the failures of Suez and Malaysia, and the close-run-thing of the Cuban Missile Crisis followed by the assassination of John_F._Kennedy was used as an opening by the American Military to become involved in the Vietnam War - the British left considered there was a relationship between the three. The simultaneous Profumo Affair triggered the collapse of the Conservative government and the rise of socialist policy, allied with the social dynamic of the Beatles at the cutting edge of a pop culture which would rapidly coalesce as the Swinging Sixties, released the post-war generation from the grasp of frankly sadistic so-called Majors who were functionally unemployable other than as schoolmasters. Within this cultural framework, therefore, the nascent Theatre Workshop finally found its day. In 1956, Michael Croft, the Head of English at Alleyns School, was seconded to develop http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Alleyn's intention to support youth theatre, and started work with the Royal Court Theatre in the birth of the Angry Young Men. The three fora worked together as described within the overall umbrella of the Theatre Workshop to develop Oh! What a Lovely War as a reaction partially to the Cold War, partially to the continuation of the McCarthyite right in the Vietnam War, and partially as a historical memory of working-class London. Although Alleyns had a very active Cadet Force Unit, it also had an active social service function for those not engaged in the former, and a healthy debate between the two. Alleyns had already had considerable involvement in the film counter-culture through alumni such as David Hemmings and Michael York (actor) (a Bear Pit associate, albeit not a pupil), and in supporting films like If.... (most of the armoury!) and The Lord of the Flies (Tank Yetzes, the victim "Piggy" in the 1963 film, was a pupil), and this triggered the thought of filming what had become a very successful stage show. The filming was done on a shoestring, but took on a life of its own, none of the actors being paid, having the privilege of putting down a marker for the future. Amongst the resources used were the Alleyns School Cadet Force resources (uniforms in store dating back to the time of WW1 were used as models) - I had the job of digging them out, fifty years worth of concentyrated mothballs. Filming was undertaken in the early summer of 1969, and as the dates fell conveniently for some free publicity, the prominent members of the cast travelled down to Brighton in costume on a period charabanc as part of the London to Brighton veteran car run: they stopped past Alleyns, en route from Stratford to Clapham Common, to thank us for our work at an unconscionably early hour, given that this sub-teen had had to traverse South London under his own steam to be there! Moreover, a certain number of rifles used in the film are of a WWII vintage (the barrel of the Lee Enfield No 4 protrudes beyond the end of the forestock) and had to be quietly recovered at great speed when British Army security was boosted following the restarting of IRA troubles with the August 1969 riots.
cuts in DVD?
Are parts of the DVD release missing? Having just watched it, my memory of seeing it previously was the the song 'Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser' was sung in the music hall as well as by the French on the carrousel, and that there was a scene where the French threaten a revolt, then follow their officers over the trenches while the sound of their voices switches gradually to the baa-ing of sheep.
Oh, Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser
Europe took a stick and made him sore
On his throne he likes to sit
But when we are done with it
He won't sit upon it any more
El Ingles 00:02, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Personal Conversation with Lord Attenborough
During a trip to Cape Town, South Africa, in November, 1995, I happened to be dining alone one evening in a small, exclusive bistro. When I scanned the sparsely populated tables, I saw Lord Attenborough facing me with his party about 20 feet away. Our eyes met at one point and we both raised our wine glasses in a toast. I continued on with my excellent meal and when I got up to leave about an hour later, Lord Attenborough also stood and walked toward me. He introduced himself (as if he needed introduction) and we spoke for about five minutes. I told him that I had always wanted to tell him that one of my favorite pieces of his work was Oh, What a Lovely War! He bowed his head almost as if embarrassed and said, "Oh, that was such a long time ago..." We shook hands and parted. My comment was never to diminish any of his later works (Ghandi, Cry Freedom, A Bridge Too Far, etc.), but to honor his early work and the ensemble cast.Lmcelhiney (talk) 19:42, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Is it really necessary to state that it's not the guy who wasn't born for another 7 years appearing in this film?