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Piece Of Cake [DVD] [1988]

Boyd Gaines , Neil Dudgeon , Ian Toynton    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: £17.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Piece Of Cake [DVD] [1988] + Pathfinders - The Complete Series [DVD][1972]
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Product details

  • Actors: Boyd Gaines, Neil Dudgeon, Nathaniel Parker, Tom Burlinson, Tim Woodward
  • Directors: Ian Toynton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Simply Media
  • DVD Release Date: 18 May 2009
  • Run Time: 312 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,859 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

All six episodes of the TV drama series that follows the men of the RAF's Hornet Squadron through the early years of WWII. Set at the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, Hornet Squadron is redeployed to France, where its pilots sit out the 'Phoney War' in relative comfort. However, with the advent of the Luftwaffe's air campaign during the summer of 1940, the squadron's character quickly changes as the 'Battle of Britain' begins.

Product Description

Widely regarded as one of the very best television series about men at war ever produced in Britain, Piece of Cake follows the young Spitfire pilots of Hornet Squadron through the first year of World War Two. Led by flamboyant new Squadron Leader Rex, Hornet Squadron are despatched to France - but what starts out as a grand adventure for the untested young pilots soon turns into a raw and grim daily battle for survival. Stars Boyd Gaines, Neil Dudgeon, Tom Burlinson, Nat Parker, Tim Woodward, David Horovitch, Richard Hope, and Jeremy Northam.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Acted, but Perhaps Not a Masterpiece 22 Dec 2007
Even though I enjoyed this production on American television, its inclusion in "Masterpiece Theatre" made me question whether the producers' definition of the word "masterpiece" was not, in this case, hyperbolic. On the one hand, the series is more than competently acted, but on the other, it sprawls and does not really pick up momentum until episodes five and six, when the action in the air becomes riveting. Part of the trouble is that the episodes set in France during the "phony war" are by nature slow. This would not be a problem if the characters were fully developed (as they were in Kenneth Brannagh's "Fortunes of War"). Unfortunately, the characters in "Piece of Cake" are either left in an embryonic state (e.g., Jeremy Northam--a fine actor who does his best with what he has to work with, but whose persona, as written, is so undistinguished that I wasn't really interested in his romance with one of the French girls), or else they seem clichéd (e.g., the Yank whose cluelessness upsets the class conventions of the time--although I really liked the actor who played the part). Other characters are so persistently unpleasant that I shed no tears (except for the RAF and for England) when they were blown out of the air: e.g., the first squadron commander, Rex, who indulges in luxury as much as he indulges his opprobrious dog; and Moggie Cattermole, who is unrelenting in his bullying of everyone. In fact, the characters whom I found the most interesting were not the flyers, but the low-keyed young ex-Cambridge don and the adjutant, "Uncle," both of whom remain earth-bound in every sense of the expression. Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece Of Cake (DvD) 5 July 2007
Short of actually being there, this is the closest you will probabaly ever come, to the day to day experience of the pilots and officers of the RAF, who faced the enemy in the early days of the second world war.

This is not a war film. This is an insight. Without doubt the best dramatised document of the RAF at that time (1939-41).
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent production 11 April 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wonderfully authentic, brillantly made and good type casting of the -nice and nasty - humans taking part. Stunning backgrounds help make a good film in it's own right. Then comes the icing on the cake. The original story was made about a Hurricane squadron and the trials and tribulations match that aircraft. However, the aeroplane stars are match too strong for the part but who cares as we watch those glorious Mark Nine Spitfires flown by some of the best aerobatic pilots of the day. (Never before in the field of human video have so many been represented - successfully - by so few) Luftwaffe squadrons can count their luck that they did not meet that crew in 1940. A Television mini series allowed the producers far more time than cinema does and they have used it well. My new DVD will replace the original (worn out) VHS!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately does honour 15 April 2008
I seem to remember this was criticized as showing some of the 'few' in a bad light. This series is based on a book of Derek Robinson and all his books have a cynical dark feel and wit about them. Moggy Catermole (Neil Dudgeon) provides most of this with his sardonic comments. After he has bailed out and his Spitfire crashes into some houses killing civilians his retort to the intelligence officer is something like ' A disaster, for whom ? I'm still here ... Oiks , they can't fly spitfires can they'. There are some good characters in this. 'Flash' Gordon ( Nathaniel Parker) who after losing is wife, loses most his sanity as well. Chris Hart is the professional American.
This is worth buying just for the last episode alone, when on the 7th September the Luftwaffe launched it's biggest raid on Britain and the 'few' fought back. Not all the characters survive. Sad and glorious this does do the
'few' justice, warts and all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem 12 Dec 2009
I bought this by pure accident when looking for the book of the same name. It brought back memories of watching this on a Sunday evening. How well it was adapted from the book. The only minor technical difference being in the book the squadron had Hurricanes and in the TV series, they were Spitfire from later version than used at the start of the war. Overlooking this, the whole story of Hornet squadron, its pilots, officers and their personal lives, class distinction and battle tactics from the outbreak of the Second World War, through the Phoney war and into the latter stage of the Battle of Britain, is portrayed really well and held good to the book. The acting was great with and it shows how well UK TV produced some great adaptations of more recent history, rather than the current adaptation of Georgian/Victorian dramas being shown. This I would say is the UK version of Band of Brothers, for the RAF before and during the Battle of Britain. Anyone who has read about the early stages of the Second World War and the RAF, I think would find this a good DVD to watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noble effort 11 Jan 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A stout hearted effort to bring Derek Robinson's blistering novel of World War II fighter pilots to the screen. The source material is a cracking antidote to the hero worship paperbacks so common. Instead it has a cast of venal, foolish, selfish, fearful - but also human and engaging - characters thrown into a very badly organised air war. The 80s series is saddled with many compromises, the jumpy script, Spitfires instead of Hurricanes and UK TV production values which are slightly embarassing compared to the HBO mega blockbusters. But its still a standout effort, preserving the flavour of the book and hog-heaven for anyone who thrills to the sound of a Merlin engine. The lack of extras is also a pity, as the making of would be an absorbing tale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Series
This was a great series which I watched over a period of three evenings. Well done flying scenes, great interactive characters, and a story that unfolded in a predictable, but... Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Bruce Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment
Brilliant series, really good story, characters and filming. We enjoyed it very much and bought this copy for a friend's birthday as he is very interested in anything to do with... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Hayseed
1.0 out of 5 stars In Derek Robinson's excellent books, Hornet Squadron flew HURRICANES
In Derek Robinson's excellent books, Hornet Squadron flew HURRICANES, so I was somewhat disappointed to discover the producers had gone for Spitfires instead, compounding the old... Read more
Published 1 month ago by I. A. Dickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Tallyho!
Quite simply superb. I vaguely remembered watching this back in the eighties when i was a kid. Decided to get the DVD after recently reading Derek Robinson's book of the same... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Glenn P. Arnold
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by Raghildur Ólafsdóttir
4.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Cake
Not the most slick production, but good acting from most, and spot-on costumes at accurate locations made this a pleasant watching experience, where it was easy to get drawn in to... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mara
5.0 out of 5 stars A food present
I bought this for my brother-in-law for Christmas. He sat up all night watching it and he absolutely loves it!
Published 20 months ago by Maria
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD
This is a set of DVD's about a fictional squadron, during WW2. The antics the pilots get up to are feasible, without being OTT. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. E. Bray
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Nostalgia
Really chuffed to find this on the browse - remembering it from my youth! A good interpretation of the book (Except for them using Spits instead of Hurricanes - but then its the... Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2010 by Major Defect
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying by the seat of their pants
OK lets get the critical bits out of the way first! Those in the know will tell you that most if not all of the spitfires shown are much later generation planes and weren't around... Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2010 by peter upton
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