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  1. #1
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    I just saw the film by Tony Richardson of the Charge of the Light Brigade, set in the Crimean War. I would like to find out more about the film and about the real historical event that originated it. Can anyone point me to a good website about it? I have tried some searches but found nothing significant. I just thought I would try this before hitting the library ;-)



    Thank you for reading this.

  2. #2
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    Read the book *The Reason Why* by Cecil Woodham-Smith:



    http://www.poetry-reviews.com/Reason_Whyth...0140012788.html

  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    But don't watch The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn & David Niven if you want anything like historical accuracy.



    The Curtiz version introduces a whole extra story to make the charge revenge for some act in India.



    The Richardson version romanticises it a bit, but it's closer to historical accuracy in that it was really all the fault of the people in charge arguing and refusing to speak to each other.



    BTW that was quite a day for the British Army. It was earlier that same day that The Thin Red Line of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders held fast against a charge by the Russian heavy cavalry. Between those two actions there was a successful charge by the British heavy cavalry which succeeded despite being outnumbered by the Russians - but they didn't get a poem written about them.



    Steve

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    Thank you very much for your kind responses. I have followed the leads you sent me. Best, Fernando.

  5. #5
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    I've just joined this site and I have a question that I hope somebody can answer for me. In the movie The Charge of the Light Brigade starring Trevor Howard can someone please tell me who the actress is who plays one of his officers wives. She catches his eye at a dance party and later ends up with her husband having dinner with Lord Cardigan, she then stays after everyone has gone and then she proceeds to have an "undressing" competition with Lord Cardigan. I know the actress but can't think of her name. Please help! Thank you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    Vanessa Redgrave.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Actually I think it's Jill Bennett who plays Mrs Duberly the wife of Peter Bowles in the film.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
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    Jill Bennett as Mrs. Duberly





    Vanessa Redgrave as Clarissa



    from Charge of the Light Brigade sah!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Goodness .... at first look I thought that pic of Vanessa was Emma Thompson!

  10. #10
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    It was indeed Jill Bennett, then the wife of playwright John Osborne who wrote the original script of Light Brigade, which is one of my all-time favourite films and candidate for the ultimate British film of the 60s.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
    It was indeed Jill Bennett, then the wife of playwright John Osborne who wrote the original script of Light Brigade, which is one of my all-time favourite films and candidate for the ultimate British film of the 60s.




    Can't fault a word of that statement Adrian

  12. #12
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    Adrian Turner and dpgmel, I've had this on my "re-visit" list for some time, but it often gets luke-warm reviews, any idea why ? Polite answers only ! By the way for anyone interested I can strongly recommend Terry Brighton's account of The Charge "Hellriders", published only two or three years ago.

  13. #13
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    Thank you so much everyone for answering so quickly and putting me out of my misery. A special thank-you to WearySloth - the picture said it all - the actress is definately Jill Bennett. Thank you all so much

  14. #14
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy bentley
    Adrian Turner and dpgmel, I've had this on my "re-visit" list for some time, but it often gets luke-warm reviews, any idea why ? Polite answers only ! By the way for anyone interested I can strongly recommend Terry Brighton's account of The Charge "Hellriders", published only two or three years ago.




    Billy, I think when COTLB was originally released the critics were expecting a typical 60's epic ( nothing wrong in that ) however what they actually got was a fusion of epic with 60's chic David Hemmings in the lead ( certainly nothing wrong with that ) and the middle cartoon section of Britannia etc riding to vanquish the Russian bear So instead of purely an epic retelling of the charge you also got a look at the squalor that the ordinary troopers had to live in and the floggings etc.



    IMHO it's a film whose reputation has grown, quite rightly, over the years and the performances from Messrs Howard, Gielgud and Andrews are all out of the top drawer.



    Thanks for the top regards " Hellriders " that has been on my Christmas wishlist for some time now so it's nice to have confirmation that it's a good book

  15. #15
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    This is what I wrote years ago for Radio Times:



    [B]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. AT



    I can't really add much to that, except that I think its impact increases every year as Britain clings on to its Imperial past and punches above its weight on the international stage. Also, the scene referred to by the OP above, as Bennett and Howard undress, is this film's equivalent to the legendary eating scene in Tom Jones, a film that I now regard as virtually unwatchable because of its hideous photography and technical tricksiness: it makes Michael Winner look like Bresson. Charge had a chequered history in the UK right from the start, as Richardson, wounded by the critics for Mademoiselle and Sailor from Gibraltar, refused to allow a press show, a tactic that badly misfired and led to the film having the stench of flop about it. One final thing: the film spawned a weird sequel - a restaurant called The Charge of the Light Brigade, just up the road from Claridge's, dressed in Crimean decor and with Lobster Balaclava on the menu for around thirty bob.

  16. #16
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
    This is what I wrote years ago for Radio Times:



    [B]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. AT



    I can't really add much to that, except that I think its impact increases every year as Britain clings on to its Imperial past and punches above its weight on the international stage. Also, the scene referred to by the OP above, as Bennett and Howard undress, is this film's equivalent to the legendary eating scene in Tom Jones, a film that I now regard as virtually unwatchable because of its hideous photography and technical tricksiness: it makes Michael Winner look like Bresson. Charge had a chequered history in the UK right from the start, as Richardson, wounded by the critics for Mademoiselle and Sailor from Gibraltar, refused to allow a press show, a tactic that badly misfired and led to the film having the stench of flop about it. One final thing: the film spawned a weird sequel - a restaurant called The Charge of the Light Brigade, just up the road from Claridge's, dressed in Crimean decor and with Lobster Balaclava on the menu for around thirty bob.


    Adrian, fascinating stuff thanks so much for posting that, I love your final anecdote, oh ! that the restaurant was still there

  17. #17
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    Much obliged to you both !

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    A hand written letter by 16 year old Private Olley is up for sale.



    For sale: a memory of the Charge of the Light Brigade | UK news | The Guardian

  19. #19
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    Many thanks EHV and fascinating stuff it is. It's very sad how many of the survivors of "Hell's Mile' were treated. Kipling wrote a poem about their plight: "The Last of the Light Brigade" and it is far different from the "Half a league, Half a League, Half a League onward" some of us know so well.

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