This film version of George Bernard Shaw's satirical take on the American Revolution had a troubled production history (with a director change in mid-production), but nevertheless boasts a cutting performance by Laurence Olivier. Shaw's tale depicts his version of how the British lost the American colonies: because of a stupid mistake at the War Office someone forgot to tell Lord North to join up with General "Gentleman" Johnny Burgoyne (Laurence Olivier) and smash the rebels. Burt Lancaster is on hand as the Rev. Anthony Anderson, a peace-loving parson who ends up becoming a belligerent firebrand of a rebel. Also is tow is Kirk Douglas as Dirk Dungeon, who, in typical Shawvian irony, starts out as a unrepentant, cowardly scamp and ends up as the personification of Christian virtues.
by Paul Brenner synopsis