Monday, 14 November 2011

In the trenches of public opinion ...

Very interesting article on the BBC website today concerning Oh! What a Lovely War, the Joan Littlewood stage show about the First World War which, according to the article led to a major change in the public's attitude towards the great war. Former BBC radio producer Charles Chilton wrote the original treatment which, when picked up by theatre producer Joan Littlewood and put on at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, it was a major cultural event:
"Littlewood gave the show a new political bite, as befitted a nation growing tired of deference. The family of Field Marshal Douglas Haig wanted to stop the show reaching the West End, claiming the portrayal of him was a crude caricature."
Of course, Oh! What a Lovely War was subsequently produced by Len Deighton in 1969 (he also wrote the script). Richard Attenborough starred in the movie which - with its cast comprising the creme de la creme - presented a coruscating view of the "donkeys" who led the British "lions" in such catastrophes as Verdun and Paschendaele.

Interestingly, however, the article fails to reference Deighton's connection to this movie.

1 comment:

  1. I've had the film version of this one in my to-watch queue for awhile now. It sounds so high-concept that it can't help but work on some level.