Richard Lester Richard Corliss - Essay

Richard Corliss

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

How I Won the War is, at its best, a stinging study of war's corruption, a stringent depicting of war's large lies—stratagems, if you like—and small ones…. How I Won the War shows the moral side [of war]. And it is … a brave film….

Lester could have been braver—if he had made a film condemning the American position in Vietnam, for example (War does contain one gratuitous reference to the current police action), or the Israeli military mystique in the Middle Eastern War—but we are not asking the man to slit his cinematic wrists as a gesture of protest. If he has not gone far enough in satirizing war, he has at least gone further than any other commercial...

(The entire section is 631 words.)