New Release: How I Won the War DVD

How I Won the War movie scene

John Lennon stars in Richard Lester's How I Won the War (1967).

How I Won the War, the 1967 anti-war comedy starring John Lennon and directed by Richard Lester (Petulia), received its DVD debut on March 20, 2011, courtesy of MGM Home Entertainment as part of the studio’s “Limited Edition Collection.” MGM’s titles are distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Lester and Lennon had a history before How I Won the War came along: The filmmaker directed Lennon in the Beatles classics A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help (1965). How I Won the War represents Lennon’s only non-Beatles theatrical movie.

The darkly comic film stars Michael Crawford (The Knack … And How to Get It) as inept British World War II commander Lieutenant Earnest Goodbody who, along with his squadron of Musketeer Gripweed (Lennon), Musketeer Juniper (Jack MacGowran, The Exorcist), Musketeer Clapper (Roy Kinnear, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and Sergeant Transom (Lee Montague, Brass Target), finds himself in a series of surreal battles and situations.

For a limited time, the Special Edition DVD comes with a commemorative booklet featuring an introductory letter from Yoko Ono that gives insight into Lennon’s experiences during the movie’s production, along with photos of Lennon in the film.

The March 20 release date, an unusual Sunday release for the DVD, was the anniversary of John and Yoko Ono’s “Bed-In” protesting the Vietnam War and their wedding.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.