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The Dam Busters (Special Edition) [DVD] [1955]

Michael Redgrave , Richard Todd , Michael Anderson    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
Price: 5.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Dam Busters (Special Edition) [DVD] [1955] + Reach For The Sky [DVD] + 633 Squadron [DVD] [1964]
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Redgrave, Richard Todd, Basil Sydney, Ursula Jeans, Derek Farr
  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Producers: Robert Clark, W. A. Whittaker
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Jun 2010
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0039LAQ7Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,386 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Something of a cult item among British war movies (and brilliantly spoofed a few years back by a lager ad), The Dam Busters turns a minor World War II incident into a saga of heroic stiff-upper-lippery in the classic British style. A bombing raid is proposed on a strategically vital Ruhr dam, but its position is inaccessible. Enter eccentric inventor Dr Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave in best daffy professor mode) who comes up with a genius idea--a bomb that will bounce on water like a skimmed pebble. Naturally the top brass pooh-pooh it, but gallant Wing Commander Guy Gibson (Richard Todd) is persuaded, and between them flyer and boffin forge ahead. The touches of carefully understated emotion now verge on self-parody, but it's hard not to get caught up in the narrative sweep, especially when the bombers take off on their mission and Eric Coates' stirring march hits the soundtrack. The modelwork, state-of-the-art for its early 1950s period, still looks impressive, and the death of Gibson's beloved black Labrador (embarrassingly called Nigger) is a three-hanky moment to rival the shooting of Bambi's mum. --Philip Kemp

Product Description

Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play.

Dr Barnes Wallis was possessed with a seemingly crazy idea - the creation of a bouncing bomb, designed to destroy the Ruhr dams and paralyse the enemy's industrial nerve centre. He fought persistent scepticism and disbelief that such a feat was possible though even with the matchless skill of RAF Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his squadron could such a mission succeed?


  • Actors Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Richard Todd, Nigel Stock, Robert Shaw, Richard Leech, George Baker, Patrick McGoohan, Bill Kerr & Laurence Naismith
  • Director Michael Anderson
  • Certificate Universal Suitable for All
  • Year 1954
  • Languages English
  • Duration 1 hour and 55 minutes (approx)
  • Region Region 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
201 of 202 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Anyone who has only ever seen Michael Anderson's definitive 1954 war film on a muddy, soft television transmission or the previous standard definition DVD should prepare themselves to be floored when they sit down to watch this new 1080P Blu-Ray.

The visual presentation is nothing short of perfection, and I do not say such things lightly. To their credit, Optimum have got absolutely EVERYTHING right on this one.

Firstly, the frequent temptation with HD to crop films that were originally shot Academy down to fill a 16:9 frame has been resisted, with the film retaining its full original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, pillar-boxed within the 16:9 frame.

The clarity of the image is so stunning that I cannot imagine they used anything other than the original negative, which would mean that the film would have had to have undergone a full-blown restoration (not cheap!)

Grading is absolutely first rate, with a terrific grey scale and no discernible clipping of white areas of the image. I did notice some slight black crush on very dark jackets, but this may well just be my TV. The image is as sharp as a razor, with the amount of extra detail being revealed nothing short of staggering for a film made over fifty years ago.

Most importantly, this sharpness is entirely natural and I did not detect the slightest bit of artificial processing of any kind; no edge enhancement, no artificial sharpening and no DNR.

The image retains a wonderfully natural, film-like quality with grain present throughout, as it should be, but always mild and controlled, and never bothersome.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Richard Todd plays a convincing Guy Gibson and casting Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis was an excellent choice. A thoroughly entertaining and generally accurate portrayal of how Wallis' conviction that the main Ruhr dams could be breached was carried out. The film includes actual footage of the trials carried out on the English coast. Students of military history, as well as those who simply want a good yarn well told, will enjoy this. (Incidentally, as it is an historical account, I see no reason why references to terms that may be politically-incorrect today need to be erased. If that credo was adopted there would be few accurate historical records available in the year 2000).
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80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of British - an impressive film 19 Dec 2006
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is one of the best of British stiff-upper-lip War films, and pretty faithful to its factual subject. It tells the two stories - of the invention of the bouncing bomb which would do severe damage to the Ruhr dams, and of the raid which used those bombs to inflict that damage - well. Characterisation is good and the performances of Richard Todd as Guy Gibson and, particularly, Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis, the inventor, are entirely appropriate and convincing. While the special effects of the raid itself are very much 1954 and now unconvincing, the tests of the bomb are very well depicted and seem true to life. It is perhaps worth knowing that Todd, with John Mills and others one of the archetypal British-military-hero film actors of the 50s, found one scene difficult to play, and that the very last one, when he tells Wallis that he must go away and write to the parents and families of those who did not come back ; difficult because, as a wartime officer himself in reality, he had done that more often than he cared to remember. The film generally carries that stamp of authenticity and, as such, is a good deal more than just an exciting tale. Well worth watching
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definate War Movie 6 April 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There can be few people who have never seen this superb war film recounting the design of the Bouncing bomb which was designed specifically for one purpose to burst the dams of the Rhur valley in Germany and thus cripple the industrial manufacturing base of the country.

Wing Commander Guy Gibson awarded the VC for his command of 617 squadron played really well by Richard Todd.

Recently on reading Guy Gibsons early 60s paperback autobiography about Bomber Command entitled "Enemy Coast Ahead" and now thankfully back in print after many years, the enactment of scenes in the film are very true to life having been given no embelishments to improve the story.

Every single scene in the film is relevant to the story even down to Gibson and fellow officer watching the West end production in London, coming up with the ingenious idea of using searchlight beams to accurately assertain the correct height of his aircraft whilst in flight

The tension,huge loss of life with eight Lancasters with the eight crew failing to return and the now famous Dambusters March.

Possibly the special effects now well over 50 years old may appear dated but nothing detracts from making the Dambusters one of the most convincing and accurate depictions of true wartime events.

You might be interested to know that behind the visitor centre just outside Rhayader in Mid Wales Elan Valley is the actual remains of Barnes Wallaces coffer dam used to test the neccessary explosive charge needed to breach the Rhur dams.

After seeing an article about it in my daily newspaper i desided to go and see it for myself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars they have have made a good job of it too
Classic WW2 war film,digitally re-mastered.Considering it was made in 1955,they have have made a good job of it too.Excellent value at this price too.
Published 11 days ago by Terry Mackender
5.0 out of 5 stars Dvd
Bought for a friend
Published 15 days ago by christine lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars `Dam Busters' Special Anniversary Blu-Ray: superb restoration of a...
The reputation of this classic 1954 British film directed by Michael Anderson has endured through the decades and grown stronger in recent years. Read more
Published 15 days ago by The Guardian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Made a visit on my Motorcycle tour A good reminder
Published 17 days ago by Peter Carter
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Forgot I did not have a multi DVD player. Got one now and will set it up soon.
Published 27 days ago by Elizabeth Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic piece of history and excellent film
Great film, some Pythagorus theorem (the lights) taught to me when I saw it as age 10.

It's still brilliant. Read more
Published 1 month ago by CjW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived on time, no problems. Ideal
Published 1 month ago by Simon Button
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good film
Published 1 month ago by Y. C. Ashford
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to be said here - great classic about an (albeit cruel for the...
Nothing to be said here - great classic about an (albeit cruel for the Germans) inevitably necessary event. Such was WW2!
Published 1 month ago by Miss Ellen M Behrens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 1 month ago by Paul
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Discussion Replies Latest Post
Guy Gibsons Dog 12 28 May 2014
Sub Tirles on the non-blu ray version of the Dam Busters 0 17 May 2013
Film was made in 1954, NOT 1945 2 16 May 2013
SUBTITLES 4 10 Oct 2011
Dam Busters region code? 4 3 Aug 2011
Is the DVD version digitally remastered?? 0 17 Sep 2010
Guy Gibsons dog 9 4 Jul 2010
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