The War Game

"Excellent"

The War Game Review


1965 was a tricky time to be making a mock documentary about the perils of nuclear war. Ask Peter Watkins: His devastating, 50-minute docudrama about what a nuclear strike on England might be like was so horrific that it was banned by the BBC (which had funded it's creation) for 20 years.

The narration doesn't pretend that what we're seeing is real. Watkins carefully sets up the fact that we're watching a hypothetical examination of the future. But on screen, these don't look like actors. These look like real people, burned, scarred, dismembered, and homeless, thanks to radioactive fallout and the chaos that follows from a nuclear strike.

Though it's in black and white, The War Game has a frightening realism to it, such that it's indistinguishable from actual documentary footage from any recent conflict with civilian casualties. You can imagine the effect this might have had on viewers in the highly paranoid '60s, had they been allowed to actually see it.

Today, the film retains much of its power, though several similar films produced in its wake may have robbed The War Game of some of its fire. Still, especially considering the experience will set you back less than an hour, it's highly worth investing your time in.

The DVD comes on the same disc as Watkins' Culloden, another faux documentary about the last war fought on British soil, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's attempt to recapture the throne met with tragic defeat. Featuring interviews with the "soldiers" and footage of the battle, it's an anachronistic delight.

The DVD features commentary on both films (from outside experts).



The War Game

Facts and Figures

Run time: 48 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 7th February 1967

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Peter Watkins

Producer: Peter Watkins

Starring: as Commentator

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.