One of the most impossible and ridiculously glorious moments in the age of set piece battle, the charge of the light brigade at Balaklava was immortalized in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous poem. In a stark film made painful by its historical accuracy, the idiocy and gross incompetence of an age where regiments were officered by a ludicrous aristocracy who had purchased their commissions and who seldom troubled themselves learning the arts of war is displayed in all its bloody horror. It is well and good that a film like this should stand as an example for those armchair generals (the film was made at the height of the Vietnam conflict) who still think war a game, but the greater risk is that those equally stupid doves who think war is never necessary under any circumstances will use such art to promote their cause.
This was a foolish charge led by a foolish lord in a stupid war started for questionable reasons. Men and animals died in yet another idiotic glorious campaign in the age where general populations thought war a wonderful adventure. It took nearly another century, until the end of the second world war, before most men finally realized the obverse is true. Still, be careful of the alluring argument of the utter pacifist. If we had listened to Gandhi, the Germans would have won the last great war.
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The Charge of the Light Brigade is a British war film made in 1968 by Woodfall Film Productions and distributed by United Artists (which held the rights to the 1936 film version at the time). It was directed by Tony Richardson and produced by Neil Hartley.
The screenplay was written by Charles Wood from a first draft (uncredited) by John Osborne. It aimed to be brutally authentic, based in part on the research in Cecil Woodham-Smith's The Reason Why (1953). The film included animations by Richard Williams, based on the contemporary graphic style of Punch Magazine, in order to explain the political events surrounding the battle. The music score was by John Addison and the cinematography by David Watkin.
The film starred Trevor Howard as Lord Cardigan, John Gielgud as Lord Raglan, and Vanessa Redgrave, Harry Andrews, Jill Bennett, David Hemmings, Ben Aris, Peter Bowles, Helen Cherry, Howard Marion-Crawford, T.P. McKenna and Donald Wolfit. It was also the movie debut of Natasha Richardson, who was aged four at the time of filming.
The film is about the famous foolishness of a military engagement during the Crimean War by the 'Light Brigade': a division of the British Army's cavalry which consisted of the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons, the 17th Lancers, and the 8th and 11th Hussars, and was commanded at the time by Major General the Earl of Cardigan.
The Brigade's aristocratic officers are depicted as incompetents who were more concerned with appearances than with substance, and who disdained doing the real work of training and leading their men. Critical to the historical events were the fact that the commanders on the hill above could see gun positions that the cavalry lower down could not, due to the hilly terrain as shown in the film's climax by a shift in lens optics by cinematographer David Watkin.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was nominated for six BAFTA Film Awards, but failed to win in any category.
The barracks scenes in the first half of the film were filmed at Aldershot in Hampshire, while the 'Crimea' scenes, including the Charge itself, were filmed in Turkey.
Trevor Howard - Lord Cardigan Vanessa Redgrave - Clarissa
John Gielgud - Lord Raglan Harry Andrews - Lord Lucan Jill Bennett - Mrs. Fanny Duberly David Hemmings - Capt. Nolan
Amazon link - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062790/
Film Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade_(1968_film)
Historical data wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade