Our Daily Trailer: HOW I WON THE WAR

Give us this day our daily trailer! Today is the 30th anniversary of the senseless murder of John Lennon. We could run a trailer from one of the great Beatles movies like HELP! or A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, but instead we’re perversely bringing you HOW I WON THE WAR, a WWII farce starring Lennon and future PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Michael Crawford.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, an event I remember with incredible clarity. It was the first time I had ever seen my father cry. It was also the first time I had seen Kingdom of the Spiders, which was playing on TV when I heard about the death. I was going to make that the trailer of the day but it seemed a little too self-indulgent for a 30th anniversary. Maybe next year.

The trailer of the day is the (rightfully) little seen movie How I Won the War, a WWII farce featuring Mr. Lennon, directed by Richard Lester - who had gotten the Beatles so right A Hard Day’s Night. You’ve surely heard the song A Day In the Life; the lyrics of the second verse are:

I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
but I just had to look
Having read the book.

That’s Lennon talking about this film, which was based on a book and didn’t do so hot at the box office.

How I Won the War is Lennon’s only non-Beatles film role, and is a real historical curiosity. It’s not a particularly good movie. What’s perhaps most interesting is that Lennon first started wearing his signature round eyeglass frames during the making of the movie.