There's something about this film that's so irresistible, despite its grandiose manipulation. Maybe because it recounts the greatest air battle in history, achieving the greatest aerial battle in film history. Maybe because it has such a terrific cast (Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curt Jurgens, Laurence Olivier, Nigel Patrick, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Robert Shaw, Patrick Wymark, and Edward Fox). Maybe because it's so technically well-made, thanks to the Bond team of producer Harry Saltzman and director Guy Hamilton and the great cinematographer Freddie Young. Or maybe because there is something truly riveting about watching the British kick the Nazis back to Germany. --Bill Desowitz, Amazon.com
Guy Hamilton's classic war film looks at how England defended itself from the German aerial onslaught of the summer of 1940. Laurence Olivier plays Sir Hugh Dowding, the air chief marshal whose fleet outmanouevre the Luftwaffe, despite a numerical disadvantage; and those few to whom so many owed so much are portrayed by an all-star cast including Michael Caine, Kenneth More and Ralph Richardson. Despite its pro-British slant, the authenticity of the film's impressive flying sequences was guaranteed by the technical advice of Adolf Galland, one of the Nazi's most celebrated World War 2 pilots.