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Yesterday's Enemy [DVD] [2010]

Stanley Baker , Guy Rolfe , Val Guest    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: 4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Yesterday's Enemy [DVD] [2010] + Red Beret [DVD] [1954] + Theirs Is The Glory [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Stanley Baker, Guy Rolfe
  • Directors: Val Guest
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: 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: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct 2010
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZVC56Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,155 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Val Guest (The Day the Earth Caught Fire, Stop Me Before I Kill!) directs this black and white scope film about a band of British soldiers in an enemy-held village. Cut off by the Japanese advance into Burma, Captain Langford (Stanley Baker, Zulu) and his men seek refuge and attempt to gain information about an upcoming Japanese attack. When his interrogation fails to produce results, Langford horrifies war correspondent Max Anderson (Leo McKern, A Man for All Seasons) and a missionary (Guy Rolfe, Mr. Sardonicus) by ordering two innocent villagers to be killed in an attempt to persuade an informer to talk. But Langford’s harsh methods come back to haunt him when, after the Japanese retake the village, they too resort to senseless murders in their effort to get his cooperation.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This is an excellent wartime drama, set in the Burmese jungle, directed by the ever-reliable Val Guest. The brilliant Stanley Baker stars as Captain Alan Langford, a soldier who has to face two major moral dilemmas when he and his men take over a small village following a shoot-out with some Japanese soldiers.

The first dilemma occurs when the captain has to decide whether or not to execute two of the villagers in order to force an informer (Wolf Morris) to give him some vital information. The question is .... Can sacrificing two innocent people be justified it if means that many more lives will be saved in the long term? Then later, when the tables are turned and the captain and his men are captured by the Japanese, he has to choose whether to talk or else witness the execution of his own men.

This is a well-crafted and superbly-acted film that does not just feature scenes of combat but also examines the human aspect of war and the difficult decisions people in command sometimes have to make. The first-rate cast, headed by Stanley Baker, also includes Guy Rolfe, Leo McKern, Gordon Jackson, Bryan Forbes, David Lodge and Burt Kwouk. Apart from this impressive cast list, one of the main things that struck me about this film was the complete lack of music. However, I thought that enough tension was created without the need for any music and I found that I did not really miss it when I watched this film.

This DVD presents this 1959 black and white film in its original Megascope ratio of 2.35:1 and includes an excellent 24 page collectors booklet. If you have only ever seen some of Hammer's horror movies then I urge you to check out Yesterday's Enemy as it proves that Hammer could also make very good films in other genres as well.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BAFT nominated performance by Sir Stanley Baker. 30 July 2010
Format:DVD
Well, I was astonished by how good this film is. Made by Hammer Films in 1959 and despite being shot entirely on set in England it has a deep sense of the grime, heat and fear of the Borneo jungle during WWII.

What really holds it together and creates the powerful generator for this film is a gritty, untheatrical,unsentimental performance by Sir Stanley Baker. He creates a 3 dimensional character and (Amazingly for a top ranked star) never tries to get the audience to "like him". "Manly Stanley" was just that... in the 1950's when Britain's top male stars were Kenneth Moore, Dirk Bogarde and Jack Hawkins he

You can see how he kicked open the door for British leading men to be tough working class "ordinary" people.

Other fine performances from Guy Rolfe and Leo McKern make this absorbing film seem way too short. The director Val Guest struggled to have the film released without any soundtrack music and this really helps the atmosphere and leaves it up the the actors to create tension without music bailing them out. There are quite a few unexpected twists and surprises too.

The subject matter in 1959 was rather brave and controversial so well done Hammer! And well done "Old Vineger Face" as he was lovingly known!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little movie. 23 Feb 2011
By Bobby Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this one, a blast from the past in more ways than one. First up I loved the way the studio managed to re-create a Burmese jungle scene, complete with exotic bird noises and bamboo huts, it looked totally realistic. The acting, as one might expect from messrs Stanley Baker and Gordon Jackson is nothing less than superb. The plot concerns a stranded British patrol who stumble on some important Jap troop movements that need to be got back to the Allies. The movie hinges on the moral aspect of war, as first both the British and then the Japs, adopt questionable morals to gain the upper hand. A very good movie indeed, although it should be pointed out that the Japanese Army did not have MP40 sub-machine-guns during the war.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story 8 Nov 2010
By UK Filmbuff TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Tense, brutal and dangerous! A very gripping film. The acting is first class and the story is brutal and shows the realities of war. Don't expect a happy ending; lots of war stories don't have one and neither does this one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit "stagey" 27 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Take away the action scenes (slogging through the Jungle and having a small, nasty battle or two) and much of this could have beeen performed on the stage. That in itself is not a huge criticism, there is meant to be a feeling of claustrophobia and entrapment in a horrible situation; but it does tend to make a need for par excellence performances from all concerned; happily no-one is an out and out dud but Stanley Baker and Gordon Jackson have to carry things along rather a lot.

The film is set in the jungles of Burma in WWII, a long-range British patrol is desperately trying to make its way back to friendly lines (with wounded) when it comes across a village occupied by the Japanese; most of the villagers are entirely neutral and are understandibly terrified by the fighting, however there is a quisling in their midst. Baker as the surviving senior officer is faced with the moral dilemma of threatening death if information is not forthcoming. The roles are reversed when the village is re-taken by the Japanese and Baker is similarly threatened.

I am happy to have the film in my collection and it will be watched more than twice but it really doesn't quite make it beyond the 3 - 3 1/2 star rating for me despite Stanley Baker and Gordon Jackson's laudable efforts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard as Nails jungle drama
This is a good Hammer production, obviously short on budget with regards to location and props (Japanese using German sub-machine guns), but it handles the question of what is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Josh
5.0 out of 5 stars this way,dad(or similar)
Superb underrated war movie,a far cry from the stiff upper lip films of the time.It's that good and well acted that you forget it's completely studio bound and that some of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gorgal Windsor
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 says it all.
Whist not the traditional B&W war film I like the idea behind the film. I would recommend that you give this film a go.
Published 4 months ago by Richard S Burne
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic
Stanely Bakers performance is sublime, though fiction, a remarkable film to watch, with a good supporting cast, making it enjoyable too
Published 4 months ago by GARY SHEPHERD
2.0 out of 5 stars DVD
Again am sorry but this was the worst war movie I have ever watched, it shows up the British as thick to do what they did in that film we would have lost the war, it was just... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Robert Rae Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good quality DVD
Excellent DVD showing a very entertaining film.

The story line meet every expectation and gave a true representation, as expected.
Published 8 months ago by DERRICK G PROSSER
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncle Was in the Chindits
A brilliant surprise. A great claustrophobic piece with convincing performances all round and Stanley Baker (SIR Stanley Baker) justifying his (forgotten man) status in a morally... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mario
4.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday's Enemy DVD
An interesting film reminding one of the war heroes and atrocities committed by the military . Good acting by Stanley Baker.
Published 10 months ago by alan
4.0 out of 5 stars 1958 BBC Original was better...
Having bought an earlier DVD version of this film and read the reviews posted here, I thought I would mention that the film was based on an earlier teleplay by Peter R. Read more
Published 10 months ago by osc
3.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday's Enemy
A typical black and white 'B' rated film but well worth watching. Stanley Baker and crew act very well in this early movie. Another war film for my collection.
Published 11 months ago by Mr. F. J. Kent
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