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Charge of the Light Brigade, The (1968, David Hemmings, Trevor Howard)

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Tony Richardson’s epic telling of the infamous Crimean cavalry charge immortalised by Tennyson is a who’s who of British talent, from Trevor Howard as Lord Cardigan and John Gielgud as Lord Raglan to David Hemmings as a lowly captain and Peter Bowles as a paymaster (female interest comes from Vanessa Redgrave as Hemmings’ mistress and Jill Bennett as Bowles’ wife with a roving eye for gold braid).

The film is unashamedly polemic, placing blame for the disaster on the top brass, but builds up to the fatal charge with a wonderfully cynical view of Victorian society from both the top and the bottom on the cusp of change. With Richard Williams’ animated pastiches of period cartoons linking the history and action, this sits comfortably alongside Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews in the director’s canon of work.

production details
UK / 139 minutes / 1968

Writers: John Osborne, Charles Wood
Poem: Alfred Lord Tennyson
Director: Tony Richardson

cast
Harry Andrews as Lord Lucan
Corin Redgrave as Capt. Featherstonhaugh
John Hallam as Officer
Laurence Harvey as Russian Prince (Uncredited)
Trevor Howard as Lord Cardigan
Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs Clarissa Morris
John Gielgud as Lord Raglan
Jill Bennett as Mrs. Fanny Duberly
David Hemmings as Capt. Louis Edward Nolan
Ben Aris as Lt. Maxse
Micky Baker as Trooper Metcalfe
Peter Bowles as Paymaster Capt. Duberly
Leo Britt as General Scarlett
Mark Burns as Captain Morris
John J. Carney as Trooper Mitchell
Helen Cherry as Lady Scarlett
Ambrose Coghill as Lt. Col. Douglas
Howard Marion-Crawford as Lt. Gen. Sir George Brown
Christopher Cunningham as Farrier
Mark Dignam as Gen. Airey
Mick Dillon as Highlander
Alan Dobie as Riding Master Mogg
Georges Douking as Marshall St. Arnaud
Clive Endersby as Trooper
Andrew Faulds as Quaker Preacher
Derek Fuke as Trooper
Willoughby Goddard as Squire
Derek Gray as Officer
Richard Graydon as Lord Bingham
Ian Hanson as Singing Trooper
Barbara Hicks as Mrs Duberly’s Maid
Ben Howard as Trumpeter Pridmore
Rachel Kempson as Mrs Codrington
T.P. McKenna as William Russel
Michael Miller as Maj.Gen.Sir Colin Campbell
Declan Mulholland as Farrier
Roger Mutton as Cornet Codrington
Valerie Newman as Mrs Mitchell
Roy Pattison as RSM
Norman Rossington as TSM Corbett

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