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Oh! What a lovely war! KEN FOLLET´S BOOK (Chapters 10-14)

March 3, 2011

Last week I was reading one of the chapters of Ken Follett’s book, I do not remember which number, when I felt highly surprised by the scene about what happened in the battle camp at Christmas time. The scene took place in the battle camp on December 25th in 1914, when both parts spontaneously stopped fighting and spent the night together singing and sharing cigarettes and a drink. I was reading, when suddenly came to my mind a film that I saw a few months ago. I thought what an amazing coincidence this was.
I realized that this historical event was real when our classmate Vicent was talking about this in our Friday meeting. Vicent, who has a wide knowledge about  World War I, said that many books and also several films have related this historical event.
I would like you to give the references of some of the films. I am not sure but as far as I know the first version was directed by Richard Attenboroughand it was titled Oh¡ What a Lovely War. After the great sucess the film had, other directors made their own version. So there appeared a French version in 1968 titled Joyeux Noel directed by Christian Carrion.
I have chosen the links of the videos of these films to put in the blog; the first one is from the film Oh¡. What a lovely War, it is an English version and the second one is the Christian Carrion´s movie. I have to say that Joyeux Noel, despite the fact that is not in English,  is worthwhile. Critics considerer that what happens in the film would never have happened the way it did in the movie. One of the arguments I have found is this: “ No woman would have ever been permitted to get close to the front lines and enemy troops would have never been allowed in the opposing trenches. No one was that stupid. and one Christmas Carol that was not sung in the movie was O’ Tannenbaum or Christmas tree, which was actually sung by the Germans,among whom it was very popular”.  So after reading different reviews about the storyline I reach the conclusion that the movies are in fact more metaphoric than historic and what Cristian Carrion shows us is how just for one day human values can be beyond war.

For those who want to know more about what really happened I suggest they visit this website:

Anyway I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. And I hope you like the videos.

Videos of the Films:
Oh¡ What a lovely War by Richard Attenborough (1968)

Joyeux Noel by Christian Carrion

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2011 2:24 pm

    yes, it´s an amazing situation. I haven´t watched this film ,it would be a beautiful plan for this weekend with this lovely weather.

  2. Trini Sayas permalink
    March 4, 2011 7:47 pm

    What such deeply moving videos!!. I´ve loved them. After watching them I do feel very disappointed about war,maybe like all of you.
    So, do you think the first scene could take place?? I would like to think so.

  3. JEton permalink
    March 6, 2011 1:59 am

    This is briliant.. i love this movies..

  4. March 6, 2011 2:00 am

    This is briliant.. i love those movies..

  5. Anna Seguer permalink
    March 6, 2011 5:14 pm

    Hi Eulalia,
    I am very happy to read your article. It’s very interesting. I watched the second movie but I din’t know about the first one. I will try to watch it one day. By the way, I think “Joyeux Noël” is more beautiful than The fall of giants. I think Ken Follet is a kind of “thief” and an opportunist. Do you agree? I hope to see you soon. Regards. Anna

  6. marisa permalink
    March 6, 2011 10:18 pm

    Hi Eulalia

    congratulations on this post. I know what an effort you have made and therefore I have to say I feel very proud of you. I have loved the videos, thanks for sharing them with us. I specially like the one with the Scottish characters and the bagpipes, of course. Funny, what you have discovered about the coincidence between Fall of the Giants and these films.

  7. Vicent permalink
    March 7, 2011 1:26 am

    Hi Eulalia
    Congratulations, you did what I only thought. I mean that when we finished our class I thought about looking for movies or books which talked about this event. I was very interested in knowing the full truth. However, you did it, and you did a good work.
    After seeing theese videos you put in the blog, I thought directors were exaggerating. Under my point of view, a futbol match between soldiers from both sides, in the middle of the war, it seemed impossible. A trench full of Christmas trees…..well.., maybe, perhaps. I’ve had to clean my eyes, I’ve had to read twice. I was true! The link you put to learn more about is very interesting .
    Congratulations again. Tank you, this is like a present.

  8. eulaliape permalink
    March 7, 2011 8:47 pm

    Thank you everybody for your comments. Honestly when I saw the film I thought it was just ficcion. It seem difficult to believe that what happened could be true. The films I have mentioned are based in a real fact, but both plots had the director´s point of view; because are films not research about the War. In my opinion the same happens with Ken Follet´s book, the main purpose is enjoy the readers and sell as much books as possible. And I agree with Ana Seguer about Ken Follet, “he is a king of “thief” “, but a very clever one. I think he knows very well the best seller formula.

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