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Dunkirk [DVD]


Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Dunkirk [DVD] + Reach For The Sky [DVD] + The Cruel Sea (Digitally Restored) [DVD] (1953)
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Product details

  • Actors: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Robert Urquhart, Ray Jackson, Bernard Lee
  • Directors: Leslie Norman
  • Producers: Michael Balcon
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Whv
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FMG03O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,349 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Documentary-style film which tells two sides of the Dunkirk story. A British corporal (John Mills) finds himself responsible for getting his men back to Britain from the Dunkirk beaches, after their officer is killed and they are separated from the main allied forces. Meanwhile, a civilian reporter (Bernard Lee) follows the build-up to the eventual evacuation of British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Denis Smith on 10 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD
I thought I knew the titles of just about all British war films (and had seen most of them), but for some reason I had never even heard of this one. This made me suspect that it wasn't very good, when I saw it advertised on Amazon, but I decided to buy it anyway, on the strength of the good reviews it seemed to be getting. How glad I am that I did! It is absolutely superb! It is brilliantly directed, so that it is gripping from first moment to last, and so utterly realistic and consistently interesting (it reminded me a little in that respect of the best parts of the recent "Band of Brothers"). I only ever bother to write reveiews of products that I think have been somewhat overlooked or under-appreciated, or which are surprisingly good, and "Dunkirk" falls into all those categories. It is, also, incidentally, educative, in that it deals with that part of World War II which has probably had least attention from film-makers, namely the early days leading up to the fall of France. What, precisely, was the British Expeditionary Force trying to do, and where did they get to before they were beaten back? You will get some idea of the answers to these questions from this film. You will, also, I think, get a pretty good idea of what it was like to be an infantryman at the time.

I must also mention the special effects. For a modern film they would be very good indeed, for a film made in the 1950s they are simply amazing - gunfire, bombs, explosions, ships sinking - all horribly realistic and terrifying. For anyone wondering whether or not to buy this film, hesitate no longer: it is simply one of the best war films ever made!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk on 20 May 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is superb, a masterpiece of editing. I used to use it as an example of narrative and visual flow. The film bounces from Home front to "battle" front, merges newsreel with marvellous studio and outdoor filming. Vignettes concentrate on individuals (fleeing civilians, generals and doomed soldiers) arced by the tale of a group of normal, everyday men; soldiers lost in the chaos and confusion of withdrawal and retreat, and boatowners manning the "little ships" in a heroic attempt to pull an army off the beach. The scenes on the jetty in Dunkirk and on the beaches are memorable. The overall effect is of a film that has the feel of docudrama. It is a long overlooked masterpiece of British Cinema.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD
I recall seeing this film the first time during its initial release during 1958, and to this day, remains one of my favourite British War films alongside Sink The Bismarck, Battle of Britain, and the Dam Busters just to name a few.

The story centres around a platoon of British soldiers who become accidentally detached from the main force retreating back to the French coast after the German Army breaches French defences around the Sedan area. After the platoon sergeant is killed in action Corporal John Mills takes charge and throughout many stirring adventures, he and his comrades finally reach the beaches where they spend a harrowing few days dodging the German Stuka Dive Bombers dropping their bombs amongst the sand dunes.

As a fine war film in its own right, I cannot rate this film too highly. It still stands up very well after all these years. Certainly, it is no Saving Private Ryan, it doesnt have to be; it is a great human story about the remnants of a large army struggling to survive against impossible odds.

The story is also enhanced by a group of sailor volunteers led by Bernard Lee who take their boats across the Channel to bring home the men stranded on the beaches, and this film is a testament to their courage and the "Little Ships" for which the miracle of Dunkirk is remembered.

The Dunkirk evacuation was a heroic defeat for the British Army, but it also allowed the army to fight another day. It is also a tribute to the courage of all the men who fought and died there.

This film should be in everyones collection. Good picture and sound.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Wilson on 25 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
An absolute classic war film starring John Mills, with many memorable scenes. In particular when leaving an English battery in a wood to be attacked by Stukas and the horrific scenes on the beaches of Dunkirk. This film does what many war films of the time didn't and looked from the other side of war: retreat. Always on the back foot Mills squad are under massive pressure to escape the stranglehold that Germany was implementing on the British Expeditionary Force. and accurately portrays the general feeling of panic throughout the film.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By alanf1135 on 9 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are 3 types of World War 2 films, the Hollywood blockbuster, the Noel Coward stiff upper lip variety and films like Dunkirk.

Films like this one, Canterbury tales, Millions like us and Went the day well did not deal in heroics but with the sacrifices and ordeals of ordinary people whose lives where touched by war. It was made the whole lot more honest as most of the films were made during the war and with later films by people who had served in the war.

There has been criticism that that the film was too slow and took to long to get to the evacuation where the action took place. I have to disagree. Although I am no expert on WW2 history, I have enough knowledge to know that the British response to the German aggression in the early stages of the war was in a shambles and this was portrayed throughout the film.

What I liked about the film was that it concentrated on the ordinary people, both civilians who had to deal with and respond to the disaster as it unfolded and a platoon of soldiers stranded behind enemy lines trying to make their way to the beaches for evacuation.

IMHO, the film worked well as every character had a small story to tell that contributed to getting the 'big picture' of the event in the same way as all the small ships that came together and formed the massive fleet which carried out the evacuation.

Worth watching to really understand the real sacrifices that ordinary people endured to ensure that we today have the freedoms we enjoy.
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