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Richard Lester's How I Won the War on dual format in May

25 Aoril 2019

Co-starring John Lennon in his only non-musical big screen performance, How I Won the War is both a biting satire on the madness of war and a merciless lampoon of the popular war-movie genre. Surreal, farcical, strange and fantastically infused with life by Richard Lester’s sharp and stylish direction, this unique and influential black comedy is presented here on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

It will be released by the BFI as a dual format edition, packaged with extras including a new commentary by Richard Lester authority Neil Sinyard, Richard Lester in Conversation with Steven Soderbergh, an audio interview from 1999 and the long-thought lost short film Plod (1971), a fusion of poetry and pop music starring The Scaffold and shot on the streets of Liverpool.

In How I Won the War, the hapless but relentlessly optimistic Lieutenant Goodbody (Michael Crawford) enthusiastically leads his troops in a series of dreadful debacles on the battlefields of the Second World War – before receiving orders to install a cricket pitch behind enemy lines. John Lennon, who plays Gripweed, not only had an army regulation haircut for the part, but was also given what was to become his signature accessory, a pair of National Health ‘granny glasses’.

How I Won the War dual format cover

How I Won the War will be released in the UK as a dual format edition (Blu-ray & DVD) by the BFI on 20 May 2019 at the RRP of £19.99.

Special features:

  • Animated Genesis (1952, 22 mins) and A Short Vision (1956, 7 mins): stylish, striking, outstanding anti-war animations
  • Head Rag Hop (1970, 3 mins): bold jazz-soundtracked Pop-art abstraction
  • Plod (1971, 21 mins): long thought lost, this absurdist anti-authoritarian fusion of poetry and pop music was shot on the streets of Liverpool, and stars supreme sound-satirists The Scaffold 
  • Trailers From Hell: Allan Arkush on THE KNACK…and how to get it (1965/2014, 4 mins)and John Landis on The Bed Sitting Room (1969/2014, 4 mins)
  • Richard Lester in Conversation with Steven Soderbergh (1999, 88 mins, audio only): the director discusses his career in an interview recorded at the NFT
  • New feature commentary by Richard Lester authority Neil Sinyard
  • Illustrated booklet with two new essays, film credits and notes on all the extras (first pressing only)