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Aces High [DVD] [1976]

Malcolm McDowell , Christopher Plummer , Jack Gold    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: £8.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Aces High [DVD] [1976] + The Blue Max [DVD] + The Red Baron [DVD] [2008]
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Product details

  • Actors: Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Plummer, Simon Ward, Peter Firth, David Wood
  • Directors: Jack Gold
  • Writers: Cecil Lewis, Howard Barker, R.C. Sherriff
  • Producers: Basil Keys, Benjamin Fisz, Jacques Roitfeld
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Mono, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRNHTO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,504 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

New airforce recruit Peter Firth takes an instant dislike to his embittered squadron leader, Malcolm McDowell. But as the young pilot experiences the tensions and stresses of warfare, his dislike turns to admiration. The film features excellently photographed aerial dogfight sequences. Also starring Christopher Plummer and John Gielgud. An airborn remake of the 1930 trench-bound 'Journey's End'.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, SYNOPSIS: Malcolm McDowell plays a World War I air ace, in charge of the elite 76 Squadron. Outwardly a bastion of courage, McDowell dies a little every time one of his boys is killed. To steel his nerves, he takes to drink, which has an adverse effect on his abilities. Christopher Plummer staunchly portrays McDowell's commanding officer. Aces High is a remake of Journey's End (1930), which in turn was based on a play by R.C. Sheriff. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...Aces High

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAGITTARIUS RISING MEETS JOURNIES END 11 Feb 2006
Format:DVD
The opening scenes show our "Ace" GRESHAM telling his old house that "We are caning them. You will want to cane them too when your turn comes. I only hope it isn't all over before you get the opportunity"
The film revolves around, and tries to recapture, the life of a scout squadron " somewhere in France" 6 months after "Bloody April 1917" during the First World War. I first watched this film as a child in the early 80's and even at that tender age, found it rather moving given the fact that the aim is not to glamourise war but to demonise it. For RFC purists, there are a few anomilies, mainly that 76 Squadron RFC was never used as a fighter squadron. That aside, The story was well constructed, the cast impressive and nearly 20 years later, I still feel this is a film that can be watched over and again A firm favourite in mine and Pete Tarski's eyes. Thanks for reading my review.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting War Drama 25 Mar 2006
Format:DVD
Aces High is one of very few films about World War One air combat. I also believe that it is the best. It is intense, yet its laid back scenes are very good as well. I've owned this on VHS for years, and have finally replaced my well worn tape with this DVD release. Whilst devoid of special features (not even a trailer), this is worth the price simply to watch this very good film. I did notice at least one little part of the film which is cut from the DVD. It is in the French restaurant scene, and a risque joke by Wade appears to have been cut out.
Otherwise, the DVD is nice. The picture is slightly blemished, put not distractingly so. On the whole, this is a very good buy, and comes highly reccomended. If you liked The Blue Max, you'll like this (in fact, some footage from the Blue Max is used in this picture).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best WW1 films around! 15 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Aces High is a film which, like so many great films, was adapted from a book. The film shows how futile the western front fighting was, and how men were giving of thier lives and all to often dying, for no real gain. The film features a young boy, just turned seventeen named Peter Croft, who "pulls strings" to get into the squadron which his old school house captain commands, only to find that war has made the man so hard and brittle a first, but kind in the old way he was before the war. The starting scene is excellent, with Major John Gresham (Malcom McDowell) coming back to his old school to get more recruites to feed the ever hungry western front. But the sceen interlinks with Gresham out in France, and this helps to show how contradictive propoganda is of real war. There are some interesting scene changes, like when the school master enters the school hall, and the command to stand is given, Gresham is seen to stand, and then the scene changes to him standing up in his SE5 (fighter plane) to change the ammo' drum for his Lewis Gun. Some of the prop aircraft used for filming are not the actual planes being portrayed, so the enthusiast is let down there, but the film is great barring this, and can be watched over and over again.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flying with 76 Squadron 31 May 2004
By KC
Format:DVD
Aces High is a gripping tale of the war over the trenches in 1917. Following Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Plummer and Peter Firth into the air prepare for some of the best biplane action filmed in Britain. Though not accurate in every way (don't look too closely at the SE5s) it is still a great war film that captures the pluck and daring of the British knights of the air.
2nd Lieutenant Croft is assigned to Maj. Gresham's 76 Squadron RFC and has to deal with the death of comrades and squadron life in the Great War. With 15 hours training (4 of them on SE5s!) he must quickly adapt to the realities of aerial warfare and the changes brought on by war in his idol and former school house captain Maj. Gresham. If you've seen Blackadder 4 then think 20 minuters and you're on the mark.
The DVD release is slightly disappointing, hence the rating, as it has no special features whatsoever. Only a chapter menu, actually. The sound is mono, the picture quality average. Basically, buy it for the film: that's what I did and I haven't regretted it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
"We are caning them," says a boastful Major John Gresham of the Germans when he visits his old school, of which he had been a house captain a few years earlier. It is clear that his young and hopelessly naive audience, especially Stephen Croft, approve of his words, and the smile on his face is evidence of someone who idolizes this RFC major, a symbol of Englishness in war.
Such is the opening for this World War I film, which, like "The Blue Max" (1966) before it, examines the way in which war shapes people. Malcolm McDowell is excellent as the CO of 76 Squadron, RFC, especially where the difference in personality between the "recruiter" (at his school) and the hard-bitten veteran who has seen a good many young people like Croft die like flies - and for what? A few inches of mud in no man's land?
Gresham is appalled when Croft (Peter Firth) arrives at 76 Squadron in May 1917, for he is now about to realise that his white lies about "caning" the Germans are about to be revealed. Serving as a "link" between the two men is "Uncle", ably played by Christopher Plummer, who can see only too well the gaping void in personality. Gresham effectively dismisses Croft's attitude as gross naivety and is not at all prepared to wet-nurse him.
To add to his difficulties, Crawford (Simon Ward) is cracking up and is prepared to desert. Gresham confronts the would-be deserter with the stark reality that, if he tries anything, he wouldn't hesitate to have him shot. Yet it is clear that the major sympathizes with the lieutenant - if only everyone could just pack up and go home, there wouldn't be any more war.
The fact that "Day 1" to "Day 7" go by in just under two hours shows how time goes by so quickly that one barely has time to digest what is going on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
super
Published 9 days ago by bikerskawasaki500
5.0 out of 5 stars recaptures a time in our history when Great Britain could rightly...
recaptures a time in our history when Great Britain could rightly uphold that iconic description. Certainly as a film well made and produced to an extremely high standard.
Published 1 month ago by John Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film
I have had this film on a VHS tape for about 15 years and have watched it numerous times. It was about time I upgraded it to DVD - hence making this purchase
Published 2 months ago by ploppy
3.0 out of 5 stars aces high
the story was a bit weak. It was a bit predictable and didn't have any gripping points to make you want to see it again. It just didn't
grab me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by leslie beaumont
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable, but also a bit boring, replacing the black humour, dashing...
I managed to finish watching this film, but I found it disappointing. Watchable, but nothing more. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maciej
5.0 out of 5 stars Aces high
This is a great ww1 movie and there are not that many of them made. Well worth a look. Great cast and great performances.
Published 6 months ago by Interested party
3.0 out of 5 stars Pales in comparison to The Blue Max
This is a rather 'stiff' WW I drama concerning British pilots and their exploits in combat. The flying/combat scenes are pretty well done but the actions of the flyers when they... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kanenberg
1.0 out of 5 stars It's dross and shouldn't have been made.
An update of the 1920's play "Journey's End" and apart from using colour film and more evolved film technique it has little to offer. Read more
Published 11 months ago by D. Hough
5.0 out of 5 stars Top viewing
A very entertaining film with an air of authenticity with excellent aerial shots, almost living history, a reminder of the futility of war
Published 12 months ago by tourit
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
This is one of my all time favourite films ... it was recently on ITV4 or something ... 3 Sundays in a row ... I watched it every time ... recommended
Published 13 months ago by Tony King
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