The Virgin Soldiers (film)

The Virgin Soldiers is a 1969 British war comedy-drama film directed by John Dexter and starring Lynn Redgrave, Hywel Bennett, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Patrick and Rachel Kempson. It is set in 1950, during the Malayan Emergency, and is based on the novel of the same name by Leslie Thomas.

The Virgin Soldiers
British quad poster by John Stockle
Directed byJohn Dexter
Produced byLeslie Gilliat
Nat Sherrin
Written byJohn Hopkins
John McGrath
Ian La Frenais
Based onThe Virgin Soldiers by Leslie Thomas
StarringLynn Redgrave
Hywel Bennett
Nigel Davenport
Nigel Patrick
Rachel Kempson
Music byPeter Greenwell
CinematographyKenneth Higgins
Edited byThelma Connell
High Road Productions
Open Road Films
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • 15 October 1969 (1969-10-15)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film's popularity spawned a 1977 sequel, Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers.[1]


Private Brigg is a National Serviceman sent to Singapore during the Malayan Emergency along with a squad of naive new recruits. There he falls for Phillipa Raskin, the daughter of the Regimental Sergeant Major.


A young and uncredited David Bowie appears briefly as a soldier escorted out from behind a bar.


The Virgin Soldiers was the 17th most popular film at the UK box office in 1969.[2]


  1. "Leslie Thomas - obituary", Telegraph, 7 May 2014 accessed 7 May 2014
  2. "The World's Top Twenty Films." Sunday Times [London, England] 27 Sept. 1970: 27. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. accessed 5 Apr. 2014
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