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Dunkirk [DVD]

76 customer reviews

Price: £19.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Dunkirk [DVD] + The Cruel Sea (Digitally Restored) [DVD] (1953) + Reach For The Sky [DVD]
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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 (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FMG03O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,390 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

105 of 106 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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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Crook on 25 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this on TV years ago and have always wanted a copy on DVD. And, finally, it's here. The film in in excellent condition, in crisp clean B&W (don't be misled by the colour picture of John Mills).

They've handled the Dunkirk story from both the view of the troops trying to get home, and the small boats that went out to ferry them home and done a rather good job of it. The cast all act their pants off, and while some of the scenes do look a little artificial, others have a real air of 'being there'. The only major clunk is the mysterious transformation of a Blenheim into a Ju88 back to a Blenheim then, finally back to a Ju88...

My only disappointment is the complete absence of extra features on the DVD. Given the importance of the Dunkirk evacuation, a small documentary and some historical photographs would have been nice.

It's a wonderful film.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A. G. Lucas on 21 Jan. 2007
Format: DVD
What a great film.

The trek back to Dunkirk in the face of defeat is so well captured and the agony of the wait by the troops on the beach as each vessel that pulled up was attacked by Stuker dive bombers is wonderfully interpreted.

My old Dad was at Dunkirk and his description of those Stukers bombing not just ships and boats but troops on the beach, validates these scenes, in my mind making this film a true study of the spirit of the time.
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