The Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Tony Richardson (1968)

124min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The desperate charge of 1854, immortalised by Tennyson, is etched deep in our national psyche as a blunder of heroic proportions. Tony Richardson's film of the event was a failure on release, despite its Sergeant Pepper-like marketing. But it's a great, unsung masterpiece, filled with extraordinary set pieces and chillingly funny performances, notably from John Gielgud and Trevor Howard. It is a blistering satire on the British establishment - those bickering, blithering aristocrats who paid for their commissions and then picnicked as their men were mown down by Russian cannons. Richardson and his writer Charles Wood are less concerned with the "reason why" than with the social context, a theme mirrored by Richard Williams's witty cartoon sequences. And the charge itself, brilliantly edited by Kevin Brownlow and Hugh Raggett, evokes the terrible carnage as pure chaos. A stunner in every way.

Summary

Historical drama set during the Crimean War, in which British military commanders order a disastrous attack on Russian gun positions, causing the needless slaughter of hundreds of cavalrymen. Starring David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard and Harry Andrews.

Cast & Crew

Lord Cardigan Trevor Howard
Capt Nolan David Hemmings
Clarissa Codrington Vanessa Redgrave
Lord Raglan John Gielgud
Lord Lucan Harry Andrews
Mrs Duberly Jill Bennett
Paymaster Duberly Peter Bowles
Capt Featherstonhaugh Corin Redgrave
William Russel TP McKenna
Director Tony Richardson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD
Drama