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Battle of Britain [1969] [DVD]

257 customer reviews

Price: £4.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Battle of Britain [1969] [DVD] + The Dam Busters (Special Edition) [DVD] [1955] + 633 Squadron [DVD] [1964]
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Product details

  • Actors: Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curd Jürgens, Ian McShane
  • Directors: Guy Hamilton
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Widescreen, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 23 April 2007
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UA9VOQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,710 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

144 of 153 people found the following review helpful By "small-surprise" on 27 May 2004
Format: DVD
To say that the release of this film on DVD is long overdue, in my opinion, would be a gross understatement!

This is truly the definitive movie about the Battle of Britain. Ok, CGI technology can make a film look good, but after all said and done, it still isn't real is it? The aircraft in this film are, and again in my opinion, the real stars of this classic film. Once assembled for filming, the aircraft were the 35th largest air force in the world!

This truly is a masterpiece, the list of stars in this film is almost endless, Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Christopher Plummer, Curt Jurgens, Susannah York (what a babe!) Edward Fox and the always-excellent Robert Shaw, to name but a few. A very young Ian McShane (of Lovejoy fame) also stars as a young Flight Sergeant, who loses his family in horrific circumstances.

Added to that, the movie has been digitally re-mastered, so the picture quality and sound quality is as clear as it was when it was originally released back in 1969 (I was a wee 4yr old!)
There is also the added bonus that the original sound score, by the great Sir William Walton has been added back into the film, making it all the more gripping, and incredibly moving.

Being an ex-soldier, and having seen action, I have a rough idea what war can be like. Coupled to that is the fact that my late Grandfather who was a Canadian, flew and fought in the Battle of Britain, sadly he lost his life in 1944. I never got to know him, but the sense of pride that I have in him, and for all RAF pilots for what they achieved in those 19 hard weeks, in the summer of 1940, will stay with me, until my dying day.

The second disc is the one with all the amazing extras.
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109 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Hood1941 on 2 July 2008
Format: DVD
This film is a winner on three counts. It brings together most of the best actors of a generation, it uses the real aircraft which took part and it was overseen from a historical perspective by pilots who flew in the battle, (Stanford Tuck, Douglas Bader and Adolph Galland amongst them).
It tells the story of the summer of 1940 with peerless aerial photography (no naff pearl habor CGI) and superbly well staged ground action such as the London Blitz and the airfield attack. I found all of the central characters thoroughly believable with the performances of Sir Larry as 'Stuffy' Dowding and Robert Shaw's Squadron leader being outstanding. This is a film I can drag out and watch every 18 months or so and it never fails to enthrall and move me. There should have been more Hurricanes than Spits and the Me 109's shouldn't have had Merlin engines, but what the hell. It's well directed, beautifully shot and above all it's FACTUAL!
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By JMD1 on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have to admit to being terribly disappointed with this version. I already own an old VHS copy and the excellent DVD Special Edition and I had high hopes of this Blu-ray version being a significant improvement. How wrong I was, this version is grainy, slightly cropped with poor colour registration and with little more detial that on the DVD. It has none of the special features from the DVD release and no alternate soundtrack with the William Walton score. In fact, it has NO special features of any kind. There is also a very annoyong subtitle that appears at odd times that cannot be removed.

This film is badly in need of a full restoration to show up the details of the original release, instead we have a badly presented, poor quality version that is best avoided. If you want a good copy of this film, stick to the DVD.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Mr J Nelmes on 24 May 2004
Format: DVD
I have always been a fan of this film and have been impatiently waiting for a DVD release for some time. When I found out that MGM were releasing this film on DVD, I was delighted followed by some irritation when I found out the RRP (£19.99), as the film was out in the US for $8. Yet another special edition second disc of bits and pieces with a hiked up price tag.
I hereby apologise to MGM for such unkind thoughts, because this edition is superb. The US version is in mono, where this release has 5.1 & DTS (it is excellent) and for fans of William Walton (they only used about 5 minutes of his score in the original film, Ron Goodwin supplying the rest), the soundtrack with the full Walton score as an alternative. The picture has also been restored and has a full anamorphic 2.35:1 picture.
It is a well worn cliché, but in summer 1940, Britain stood alone, facing the might of the Luftwaffe and the German army which had swept all aside. The Battle of Britain is one of the pivotal moments in the history of this country, and I believe that this film does it justice. The cast are excellent but particularly Laurence Olivier as Hugh Dowding and Robert Shaw as Squadron Leader Skipper. The film has been well researched and manages to weave all aspects of the battle into the film.
Some of the special effects are a little bit dated, but this was made 35 years ago, and they do not detract from the story. But what makes this film convincing are the real aircraft used to make it. Various reports suggest that when assembled, the aircraft were anywhere between the 11th and 35th biggest air force in the world. The aerial battles are just excellent, and the shots of bombers and fighters in formation over the real life locations in 1940, give a powerful sense of authenticity.
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