|The Charge of the Light Brigade|
|Directed by||Tony Richardson|
|Written by|| Charles Wood |
|Produced by||Neil Hartley|
|Starring|| Trevor Howard |
|Edited by|| Kevin Brownlow |
|Music by||John Addison|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$1 million (US/ Canada rental) $3.2 million (total)|
The Charge of the Light Brigade is a 1968 British DeLuxe Color war film made by Woodfall Film Productions and distributed by United Artists, depicting parts of the Crimean War and the eponymous charge. It was directed by Tony Richardson and produced by Neil Hartley. Its animated credits and linking passages were created by Richard Williams, drawing on the satirical use of jingoistic images. This film also features Tony's daughters Natasha and Joely in their debut.
This film followed an earlier version The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
The film is about the folly of war, and the poor state of the British Army and its leadership during the Crimean War (1853–1856). Britain had not fought in a European theatre since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and the army had become sclerotic and bound by bureaucracy. Tactical and logistical methodology had not advanced in forty years, and the whole ethos of the army was bound in outmoded social values.
The anti-hero is a relatively competent officer, Captain Louis Nolan (David Hemmings). A veteran of the British Indian Army, Nolan is unusual in the hierarchy of his day both for having combat experience and for having acquired his commission through merited promotion as opposed to purchase. As such he regards many of his colleagues, who are mostly aristocratic dilettantes casual about squandering their subordinates' lives, with contempt.
Nolan's superior is the gruff Lord Cardigan (Trevor Howard), who treats the regiment under his command as his personal property and who dislikes Nolan as an "Indian" officer with a native Indian servant. Cardigan's men are typical of the common soldiers of their day; though reasonably well-equipped – compared with the Russians – they are also poorly trained and supplied. They endure squalid living conditions and are punished mercilessly for the slightest missteps in their duties. Nolan soon gets into a highly publicised feud with Cardigan, who is angry at him for ordering Moselle wine at a banquet where all guests were to drink champagne.
British forces are led by Lord Raglan (John Gielgud), a Waterloo veteran and an amiable, vague-minded man who proves a poor commander. Despite having been a disciple of the recently deceased Duke of Wellington for decades, he has not his military flair. As campaign preparations begin he is preoccupied with a bad mistake he made while allotting commands, requiring Lord Cardigan to lead the Light Cavalry Brigade under his equally unpleasant arch-rival and brother-in-law Lord Lucan (Harry Andrews), who has been appointed to command the Cavalry Division. Captain Nolan, enlisted as Raglan's aide, is glad to get away from Britain; it gives him an escape from the morally uneasy affair he has been having with Clarissa Morris (Vanessa Redgrave), the wife of his best friend William (Mark Burns). Also travelling with the British command is the 8th Hussars' paymaster's wife named Fanny Duberly (Jill Bennett), who wants to observe battle first-hand (and be near Lord Cardigan, with whom she is infatuated).
Britain and its ally France travel to the Crimea, where they march inland to attack the strategically important city of Sevastopol. Along the way the British forces are ravaged by cholera, an occurrence met with palpable indifference by their commanders. Captain Nolan, although no friend of his subordinates, is frightened to see the army's organisation fall apart as men are consumed by the disease. When the outbreak passes, British and French forces win at Alma, but Lord Raglan refuses to allow the cavalry to press the advantage, so concerned is he with keeping the cavalry as an undamaged reserve. As a result, the Russians reinforce the road to Sebastopol, necessitating a series of further battles before the British even reach the city. Back in England the press lies that the city is captured and Russia's government humbled. As the war progresses Lord Cardigan retires nightly to the yacht he keeps on the coastline to hold formal dinners, at one of which he seduces Mrs. Duberly.
Captain Nolan has been growing increasingly exasperated at the ineptitude of Raglan and the other officers, which has caused needless death and delay at every step. His emotions reach a tipping point when at the Battle of Balaclava, a Russian raiding party captures an improperly defended British fortification, carrying away several pieces of artillery. Lord Raglan is slow to respond, and Nolan demands he take steps to recover the valuable equipment. Raglan issues badly worded orders, that the cavalry leaders misinterpret. The British cavalrymen are in a valley that branches off in two directions; one contains the escaping raiders, the other an artillery battery and a sizeable reserve of Russian cavalry. Lord Raglan did not bother to mention this in his order, since the lie of the land is obvious from his high vantage point. Cardigan, at his lower level, can only see the valley with the cannons, and assumes that he must charge into this. When he queries the order, Nolan loses his temper and gestures vaguely with his arm, shouting "There, my Lord, is your enemy and there are your guns!" (these, or something close to them, were his actual words). As the cavalry advances into cannon fire Nolan – who has gained permission from his friend Morris to ride with Cardigan's light brigade as they chase the Russians – realises his mistake, but is killed by shrapnel as he attempts to warn Cardigan, who apparently ignores him. This is 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'.
The Light Brigade, torn apart by the cannons, clashes briefly with the Russians and then retreats. With most of his force dead or wounded, Lord Cardigan who led his men valiantly, is ironically unharmed, but he immediately begins bickering with the other officers about who must take the blame for the disaster.
Richard William's animations appeared in many scenes from the beginning to the end. At first, they were to glorify the British might and its honourable act to help the Ottomans in the war, while in the end was contrary. The film ends with a sketch drawing of a rotten dead horse of the light brigade.
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 19th century graphic style of Punch magazine, to explain the political events surrounding the battle. The music score was by John Addison and the cinematography by David Watkin.
In 2002, Osborne's unproduced original script was reworked into a radio play for BBC Radio 4. The original airing featured Charles Dance as Cardigan, Donald Sinden as Lucan, Joseph Fiennes as Nolan, Alec McCowen as Raglan and Lynne Miller as Fanny Duberly.
Laurence Harvey had originally purchased the film rights for The Reason Why for his own production company and Joseph E. Levine. At the conclusion of a lengthy settlement in Richardson's favour, Harvey demanded a role in the film. He was given the role of Prince Radziwill, a Polish officer with the Heavy Brigade, but his part was edited out of the completed film.This lawsuit led to a falling out between Tony Richardson and John Osborne, when the latter refused to alter his script for being too close to Woodham-Smith's book. Harvey is clearly visible in one scene that takes place in a London theatre and a performance of "Macbeth."
In his memoirs, Tony Richardson mentions approaching Rex Harrison to play Lord Cardigan. However, a newspaper erroneously reported that George C. Scott was being cast in the role. This news infuriated Harrison and he dropped out of the project, leaving Trevor Howard to be cast.
The director's daughters, Joely Richardson and Natasha Richardson, appeared in the film in very small uncredited roles.
The scene where troopers rush into position to salute Cardigan as he takes a morning walk with his dogs was shot at 6 Carlton House Terrace, St James's, London, a few doors along from the earl's actual London residence of 17 Carlton House Terrace.Other London street scenes were filmed in the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich. The Royal Mint, opposite the Tower of London, represented Horseguards, the headquarters of the Army.
The barracks scenes in the first half of the film were filmed at Beaumont Barracks in Aldershot in Hampshire,while the 'Crimea' scenes, including the Charge itself, were filmed in Turkey with the action sequences directed by Bob Simmons.
The film had two Royal charity benefits, on Wednesday, 10 and Thursday 11 April (the first attended by Prince Philip) before opening at the Odeon Leicester Square.
The film was not screened to critics in advance of its release with Richardson writing to The Times newspaper criticizing English critics as "spoilt and demanding children" and that they were "the most personal, the most superficial and with the least good will in the world".Despite this, the film received generally positive reviews but proved a box office bomb.
The film was produced during a time of public frustration over the Vietnam War, and it has been argued that in retrospect it can be seen as a warning against military interventions in other lands.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was nominated for six BAFTA Film Awards, but failed to win in any category.
For plot purposes, the film incorrectly portrays its protagonist Captain Nolan at the centre of the 'black bottle' affair, when Moselle wine was ordered for a guest rather than the champagne that Lord Cardigan had required. The wine was served in a black bottle, causing Cardigan to assume that the officers were consuming beer, a drink for enlisted men. The officer actually concerned was Captain John Reynolds.
In the film all of the Light Brigade regiments are outfitted with cherry coloured breeches when only the 11th Hussars wore breeches of that colour. Officers and troopers of the other four regiments wore dark blue breeches, with double yellow stripes, or in the case of the 17th Lancers, double white stripes. In one scene a single trooper of the 17th is correctly attired.[ citation needed ]
The film's depiction of the Battle of Balaclava shows the initial Russian attack on the redoubts and of course the Charge of the Light Brigade, but elides both the stand of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders (the "Thin Red Line") and the Charge of the Heavy Brigade. According to director Tony Richardson, the Heavy Brigade scene was filmed but later cut at the studio's behest.
Likewise, Fanny Duberly is shown to be seduced by Lord Cardigan; although she was in the Crimea, she did not have an affair with Cardigan.
The film was criticised for presenting the impulsive and haughty Captain Louis Nolan in a generally positive light,[ citation needed ] as well portraying the adventurous Fanny Duberly as unfaithful and eager for carnage.
The Battle of the Alma was a battle in the Crimean War between an allied expeditionary force and Russian forces defending the Crimean Peninsula on 20 September 1854. The allies had made a surprise landing in Crimea on 14 September. The allied commanders, Maréchal Jacques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud and Lord Raglan, then marched toward the strategically important port city of Sevastopol, 45 km (28 mi) away. Russian commander Prince Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov rushed his available forces to the last natural defensive position before the city, the Alma Heights, south of the Alma River.
Field Marshal FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan,, known before 1852 as Lord FitzRoy Somerset, was a British Army officer. When a junior officer, he served in the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign, latterly as military secretary to the Duke of Wellington. He also took part in politics as Tory Member of Parliament for Truro, before becoming Master-General of the Ordnance. He became commander of the British troops sent to the Crimea in 1854: his primary objective was to defend Constantinople, and he was also ordered to besiege the Russian Port of Sevastopol. After an early success at the Battle of Alma, a failure to deliver orders with sufficient clarity caused the fateful Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. Despite further success at the Battle of Inkerman, a poorly coordinated allied assault on Sevastopol in June 1855 was a complete failure. Raglan died later that month, after suffering from dysentery and depression.
Lieutenant-General James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan,, styled as Lord Cardigan, was an officer in the British Army who commanded the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. He led the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava.
The 11th Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army established in 1715. It saw service for three centuries including the First World War and Second World War but then amalgamated with the 10th Royal Hussars to form the Royal Hussars in 1969.
The Battle of Balaclava, fought on 25 October 1854 during the Crimean War, was part of the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55), an Allied attempt to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia's principal naval base on the Black Sea. The engagement followed the earlier Allied victory in September at the Battle of the Alma, where the Russian General Menshikov had positioned his army in an attempt to stop the Allies progressing south towards their strategic goal. Alma was the first major encounter fought in the Crimean Peninsula since the Allied landings at Kalamita Bay on 14 September, and was a clear battlefield success; but a tardy pursuit by the Allies failed to gain a decisive victory, allowing the Russians to regroup, recover and prepare their defence.
Field Marshal George Charles Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan,, styled Lord Bingham before 1839, was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat and British Army officer. He was one of three men, along with Captain Nolan and Lord Raglan, responsible for the fateful order during the Battle of Balaclava in October 1854 that led to the Light Brigade commander, The Earl of Cardigan, leading the Charge of the Light Brigade. He was subsequently promoted to field marshal.
Louis Edward Nolan was a British Army officer and cavalry tactician best known for his role and death in the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. Born to a minor diplomatic official and his wife, Nolan was educated at the Austrian Inhaber Pioneer School at Tulln, where he was noted as an enthusiastic horseman and military theorist. After early graduation he was commissioned as a subaltern in the 10th Austrian Hussar regiment, serving in Austria, Hungary and on the Polish frontier, where he again became known for his horsemanship and was promoted to senior lieutenant. Due to the nepotism inherent in the Austro-Hungarian armed forces, Nolan succeeded in transferring to the British Army as a Cornet in the 15th Light Dragoons.
The 17th Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1759 and notable for its participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. The regiment was amalgamated with the 21st Lancers to form the 17th/21st Lancers in 1922.
Charles Wooden VC was a German-born soldier in the British Army and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Samuel Parkes VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Parkes was awarded his VC for his actions during the Charge of the Light Brigade.
General Sir James Yorke Scarlett was a British Army officer and hero of the Crimean War who led the Charge of the Heavy Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854.
Flashman at the Charge is a 1973 novel by George MacDonald Fraser. It is the fourth of the Flashman novels. Playboy magazine serialised Flashman at the Charge in 1973 in their April, May and June issues. The serialisation is unabridged, including most of the notes and appendixes and features a few illustrations, collages from various paintings and pictures to depict a period montage of the Charge and Crimea.
The Charge of the Light Brigade is a 1936 American historical adventure film from Warner Bros., starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. It was directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Samuel Bischoff, with Hal B. Wallis as executive producer, from a screenplay by Michael Jacoby and Rowland Leigh, from a story by Michael Jacoby based on the 1854 poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The music score was composed by Max Steiner, his first for Warner Bros., and the cinematography was by Sol Polito. Scenes were shot at the following California locations: Lone Pine, Sherwood Lake, Lasky Mesa, Chatsworth and Sonora. The Sierra Nevada mountains were used for the Khyber Pass scenes.
Frances Isabella Duberly was an English soldier’s wife who wrote a journal of her experiences on campaign in the Crimean War and the Indian Rebellion of 1857 which was afterwards published. Her husband, Captain Henry Duberly, was paymaster to the 8th Royal Irish Hussars, part of the British light cavalry that took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Duberly's journal of her time in the Crimea was published as Journal Kept During the Russian War. It not only includes eye-witness accounts, but is also a record of gossip and rumours circulating in the British Army.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a failed military action involving the British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. Lord Raglan had intended to send the Light Brigade to prevent the Russians from removing captured guns from overrun Turkish positions, a task for which the light cavalry were well-suited. However, there was miscommunication in the chain of command and the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire. The Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, but they were forced to retreat immediately, and the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.
The Charge of the Light Brigade is a 1912 American silent historical drama film directed by J. Searle Dawley. Produced by Edison Studios, the film portrays the disastrous yet inspiring military attack in October 1854 by British light cavalry against Russian artillery positions in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. Director Dawley also wrote the scenario for this production, adapting it in part from the famous 1854 narrative poem about the charge by British poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who completed his poem just six weeks after the actual event. The film's action scenes and landscape footage were shot between late August and early September 1912, while Dawley and his company of players and crew were on location in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In order to produce a sizable and believable recreation of the charge, the director needed a very large number of horsemen. Fortunately for Dawley, the commander of United States Army cavalry at Fort D. A. Russell at Cheyenne agreed to provide "about 800" troopers and "their trained mounts" to the Edison project.
Balaclava is a 1928 British silent war film directed by Maurice Elvey and Milton Rosmer and starring Cyril McLaglen, Benita Hume, Alf Goddard, Harold Huth, and Wally Patch. A British army officer is cashiered, and re-enlists as a private to take part in the Crimean War and succeeds in capturing a top Russian spy. The film climaxes with the Charge of the Light Brigade. It was made by Gainsborough Pictures with David Lean working as a production assistant. The charge sequences were filmed on the Long Valley in Aldershot in Hampshire.
Lieutenant-Colonel William Morris, CB was a British Army officer who rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Somerset John Gough-Calthorpe, 7th Baron Calthorpe,, was a British soldier and politician.
General William Hampton Parlby was a senior British Army officer, who served in British cavalry regiments in India and the Crimean War.
I don't know on what authority Mrs Duberly can be accused of misconduct, but if none exists (and I have heard of none) then her portrayal in the film is inexcusable
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968 film)|