How I Won the War

Synopsis: This film features former Beatle John Lennon and Roy Kinnear as ill-fated enlisted men in under the inept command of Lieutenant Earnest Goodbody. The story unwinds mostly in flashbacks of Lieutenant Goodbody who has lower-class beginnings and education which make him a poor officer who commands one of the worst units of the army.
Genre: Comedy, War
Director(s): Richard Lester
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min


Third Troop, Fourth Musketeers.

Come on, come on.

Move yourselves.

Third Troop, Fourth Musketeers.

Come on, come on.

Come on.

Third Troop, Fourth Musketeers.


Inflating parties forward.

(releases air valve)


Follow me.

Paddles out.

Prepare to paddle.


(gun c*cks)

Yes, during the war,

I was a Musketeer myself.

We had one young John Thomas

ostensibly commanding.

More myself was the backbone, of course.

Of a dark night,

many of our officers... (clicks) some of their own men. You had to.

- (cash till rings)

- Yes, I will, squire.

Yeah, that's right, you was there.

After breakfasting in Paddington,

we was transferred to the Second Army

for Rhine and Other Rivers.

Ours was an infantry role though many

of us could swim only loosely, if at all.

- It was a complete cock-up.

- 144177 Musketeer Brazier S.

No, no, how I won the war.

The memoirs

of Lieutenant Ernest Goodbody.

("Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart")

Auf Wiedersehen

Auf Wiedersehen

We'll meet again, sweetheart

This lovely day

Has flown away

The time has come

To part


We'll kiss again

Like this again

Don't let the teardrops start

With love that's true

I'll wait for you

Auf Wiedersehen, sweetheart

I'll tell you nothing

but my name, rank and number.

My number is 131313.

Lieutenant of Musket Ernest Goodbody.

It all started in 1939.

I suppose it did for you too.

But then first things first.

War is without doubt

the noblest of games.

Finer, I think, Corporal of Musket.

Corporal of Musket Transom,

my troop sergeant and a good all-rounder.

Stay there. You, Juniper,

you're perfect where you are. Very square.

Musketeer Juniper, a joy to have

on any team, one of the original BEFs.

What they really thought of me,

I shall never know.

- I thought he was bleeding rubbish.

- I thought he was a bleeding tart.

Can I have you right out there

in the country, Gripweed?

Musketeer Gripweed, without whom these

memoirs would never have been written.

My faithful batman.

May I rub your ball, sir?

It gives me pleasure.

- Musketeer Drogue, I die in North Africa.

- Please.

We're gonna hang out the washing

on the Siegfried Line

I rallied to the flag in October 1939

and was immediately selected

as officer potential.

Every word of this film is written

in pencil in my own handwriting.

I owe my introduction to the art of war

to my instructors at No.212 OCTU.

In particular,

1431 Lieutenant Colonel Grapple,

later to be known as Grapple

of the Bedoo, who impressed me no end.

I took care to talk as far back

in the mouth as possible,

being a grammar school lad...

which made no difference.

I've always been treated

by the army as top drawer.

- (affected laughter)

- What did you say?

(laughs) Sir...

Never underrate the wily Pathan.

We are going onto the wily Pathan

and the use of anti-gas carpet.

- Ya... Ya...

- The Pathan lives in India.

India is a hot, strange country,

full of wily Pathans up to wily things.

Which is why I always wear spurs,

even in cold weather.

My advice is to keep your rifle strapped

to a suitable portion of your body.

A leg is good. Otherwise,

the wily Pathan will strip himself naked,

grease himself all over,

slippery as an eel,

make off with your rifle,

which is a crime. Any questions?

- Or can we take gas?

- Has the Pathan gone over to Hitler, sir?

- Grammar school boy?

- Sir.

No, he has not.

Too wily for that, the wily Pathan.

Then shall we be fighting him

in this war, sir?

Of course, the British army

has always fought the wily Pathan.

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Charles Wood

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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