How I Won the War 1967
"How I Won The War" is an absurdist, fourth-wall-breaking take on the futility of armed conflict, based in part upon Patrick Ryan's 1963 comic novel of the same name.

Told in parallel with his eventual capture by German troops in Spring 1945 as the Allies close in on the Reich, the film focuses on British Lieutenant Ernest Goodbody, a complete incompetent in charge of a small band of men who view him with rightful disdain. He and his men are tasked with trekking far behind enemy lines in the African desert in order to prepare a perfect English cricket pitch for the coming British troops.

Facing multiple obstacles and calamities en route - many of their, or rather, Goodbody's, own making - the unit face dehydration, starvation, fuel shortage and death at enemy hands before they can fulfil their ultimate task.

Director: Richard Lester
Cast: Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear
Country: UK
Genre: Comedy, War

BD50, DVD9 | 1080p AVC, PAL | 01:50:36 | 39.6 Gb + 7.63 Gb
Language: English
Subtitles: English


-- Audio commentary by Neil Sinyard
In this new audio commentary, Sinyard talks about Lester's most personal and zaniest production, talking about the casting of the film, the references and differences to the original source material, and much more.

-- "Animated Genesis" 1952 animated short (22:10)
In this short by Joan Foldes and Peter Foldes using cutout animation, depicts creation and destruction along with giant spiders, enslaved humans, and the power and consequences of atomic energy in an abstract and colorful form.

-- "A Short Vision" 1956 animated short (6:34)
In this 1956 short by Joan Foldes and Peter Foldes, the terror of nuclear annihilation is presented much more head on with some fairly shocking images, considering that it was broadcast in 1956 on The Ed Sullivan Show.

-- "Head Rag Hop" 1970 short (3:12)
Romeo Nelson's doo wop song is animated to a kaleidoscopic series of still images, directed by Peter Turner

-- "Plod" 1971 short (20:37)
Starring Liverpool band The Scaffold, the short film was based on their stage production "P.C. Plod". Shot in Liverpool using the Vidtronics system combining film and video the comedy musical was for a long time thought lost, with former band member Mike McGear McCartney (brother of Paul) searching for a print. It was finally found in the BFI archives and presented here on video for the first time.

-- Trailers from Hell: Allan Arkush on "THE KNACK..and how to get it" (with optional original audio or commentary) (3:55)
The trailer for Lester's Palme d'Or winning film "THE KNACK..and how to get it" comes with an introduction and optional commentary by Allan Arkush who has fond memories seeing the film when he was a kid.

-- Trailers from Hell: John Landis on "The Bed Sitting Room" (with optional original audio or commentary) (3:42)
The trailer for Lester's post-apocalyptic comedy "The Bed Sitting Room" comes with an introduction and optional commentary by John Landis who compares the film to Monty Python sketches and how absurd it may be, is still relevant in the post-Fukushima age.

-- Richard Lester in Conversation with Steven Soderbergh (1999, audio only) (88:25)
In this audio recording of Lester moderated by Steven Soderbergh at the National Film Theatre, the pair discuss his lengthy career as a director, starting from early American television, moving to the United Kingdom, various topics regarding individual films including "How I Won the War" and much more. There are some interesting moments talked about including an awkward meeting with Harry Saltzman and the difficulties with hundreds of screaming girls during "A Hard Day's Night", as well as his admiration for Francois Truffaut and Jacques Tati.

-- Image Gallery (4:00)
Stills from the set in color and black and white.