Cinema: The Reason Why

"Theirs not to make reply,/Theirs not to reason why,/Theirs but to do and die." It is necessary to remind oneself these days that Tennyson wrote those lines with a straight face. For the poet laureate, the gallant but futile attack at Balaclava was a testimony to human courage. Aided by the hindsight of history, Director Tony Richardson sees the event in another light. His film version of The Charge of the Light Brigade, based in part on Cecil Woodham-Smith's brilliant study, The Reason Why, is a polemical attack on the futility of war and...

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