The War Game [DVD] 
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Peter Watkins' celebrated drama-documentary about an imagined 1965 nuclear attack on Kent. Vividly detailing the public and private consequences of nuclear hostility, the film refutes any idea that Britain might survive such an attack and offers a strong critique of the philosophy of nuclear deterrence. Although made for the BBC in 1965, the corporation refused to sanction any TV screenings of the film until 1985; however, it did find an audience on a 1966 cinema release, which also earned it the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. This edition also features Watkins' 'The Diary of an Unknown Soldier' (1959) and 'The War Game - The Controversy', a new documentary looking at the 'banning' of the film.
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Top Customer Reviews
As well as addressing the utterly destructive nature of nuclear war, it shows the totally inadequete state of Civil Defense procedures in the UK at that time. The latter was probably the main reason why it was banned by the BBC. Some of the scenes continue to be as startling as ever - a police firing squad executing two looters being one of them. Fortunately we never stepped across the nuclear threshold, although we came close on several occasions. I have always been a supporter of the nuclear deterrent and continue to be so - but this film should be seen by all. It's message remains relevant and it still has the immense power to shock and frighten.
What Watkins did in his film was nothing less than revolutionary; he described any "protection" against nuclear attack to be madness and the effects of even a single bomb to be so overwhelming as to make preparations pointless. This position was already known in government - as early as 1957 a white paper clearly stated there was no protection against nuclear attack.
Watkins' bleak, visionary film shows just how absurd the position was Britain had taken by the 1960s and that any attack with nuclear weapons would be devestating on an unprecedented scale. Civil defence was shown to be futile, nothing more than smoke and mirrors to be used in peacetime to try and convince the public to accept awesome risk.
If The War Game has a weakness it is in that Watkins massively underestimated the effects of nuclear attack on the UK. In his defence almost no one had seriously and critically researched the effects of nuclear attack on the UK at that time and that it would nearly 20 years later in his book, War Plan UK (Paladin Bks.), would journalist Duncan Campbell reveal just how devestating nuclear attack would be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent quality 'print' and an accurate portrayal of the direct and indirect effects of a low yield nuclear attack on the civilian population. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alex Stephens
The one point of sheer horror for me is when the bomb drops. As has been mentioned in other reviews, this is not so technically advanced, nor as graphic, as Threads, but this... Read morePublished on 18 Dec. 2013 by ibizahat
People have said that this was banned till 1980.This is not quite right,because my future wife and I crept in to see it at our local cinema(remember the highest grading for a film... Read morePublished on 15 Oct. 2012 by spky2000
of course, when this film came out, we lived in a more civilised time, with greater neighbourliness and social cohesion. It was a different age. Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2011 by veteran
Quick delivery, Good DVD, Good communications about the film, Many thanks for a good service, AAAAA, +++++.
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Being from a military family, born in Paderborn in 1980 whilst my Father was on active deployment at Barker Barracks, the Cold War was something I can still remember although of... Read morePublished on 26 May 2011 by Mr. W Gunn
This frightening yet compelling film, especially for its age, is now shown on continuous loop at the now open Hack Green Nuclear Bunker near Nantwich, Cheshire, UK and lasts around... Read morePublished on 6 Aug. 2010 by iBozz
I can only agree fully with everyone who says EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS FILM. I saw it on it's original release, YES it was disturbing, YES it made one fully aware of the REAL... Read morePublished on 6 May 2010 by William Anderson
It was only banned on the BBC. I saw this film in 1965 at my local cinema. It was shocking; almost a death sentance. Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2009 by Pipp n Pop