David: A black satire perhaps running overlong with other ideas, The Charge of the Light Brigade presages a spate of dark, disillusioned and memorably bleak films from the following year 1969. What does this say about the realities of 1968? London’s Swinging 60s were as dead as America’s Summer of Love and it appears the young boomers came out of it a cynical lot. This telling of the famous, doomed, British cavalry charge takes us through the process of producing cannon fodder, from the recruitment of street urchins to their transformation into gold-buttoned mounties of imperial glory. Then, with one blunder from overconfident under-experienced aristocrats of bought rank, they are the legendary riders into the valley of death. It’s a reminder that war is most famous for its disasters. A stellar 60s British cast is present, featuring what must be Trevor Howard’s greatest role.
Jules: Is warfare a matter of duty, ambition, or efficient management? Tonal confusion meets tragicomedy in this anti-war epic.