Customer Reviews


49 Reviews
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda and realism
A story of the tough days of the Second World War (when Britain stood alone and kept losing up to the time of approaching victory in the Western Desert, despite losses in the Far East) made just before the Allied landings in Normandy. A 'keep the spirits up and victory will be ours' effort which has the massive advantage of great screenwriting (Ambler and Ustinov) and...
Published on 8 Jan. 2003 by rob heath

versus
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The way we were
A splendid evocation of my father's generation.Ordinary men who accepted the discipline and uniformity of army life, obeyed orders and did their duty, while retaining their diversity and individualism. The truth is that the second world war was won by shop boys, car mechanics, clerks, bolier men, Oxford graduates,choral scholars teachers and park keepers, who, through the...
Published on 3 May 2006 by London reader


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda and realism, 8 Jan. 2003
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
A story of the tough days of the Second World War (when Britain stood alone and kept losing up to the time of approaching victory in the Western Desert, despite losses in the Far East) made just before the Allied landings in Normandy. A 'keep the spirits up and victory will be ours' effort which has the massive advantage of great screenwriting (Ambler and Ustinov) and acting (Niven, Ustinov, Holloway et al and the wonderfully pompous Raymond Huntley). Excellent characterizations of, largely, moaning new soldiers being knocked into shape by Sergeant Hartnell as they become a force to take on Jerry. The last scene as the platoon advance into enemy fire is one to inspire and terrify: the ordinary British Tommy could win but there would be a cost; terrible but worth bearing. Bloody marvellous stuff. Literally.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The way we were, 3 May 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
A splendid evocation of my father's generation.Ordinary men who accepted the discipline and uniformity of army life, obeyed orders and did their duty, while retaining their diversity and individualism. The truth is that the second world war was won by shop boys, car mechanics, clerks, bolier men, Oxford graduates,choral scholars teachers and park keepers, who, through the regimental system were moulded into infantrymen. The final scene as the diverse characters advance into the enemy fire, united in a common beleif in King, Country and regiment, yet still individuals, is one of the most moving in Brtiish cinema.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An understated classic, 30 July 2002
By 
Anthony Porter (Huddersfield, WEst Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Way Ahead [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is one of those rarely seen films that is a joy to behold.
From the director that made 'The Third Man' we have an often told tale of how a disparate group of recruits into the army are gradually molded together to become a team.
The Difference here though, as with all Brithish films of this period is the characterisation, everyone you meet in the film has one, and you learn about them, and in a way grow with them.
From their first meeting in the Army base to the closing scene as they unflinchingly advance on the rarely seen enemy this film is full of character and low key drama. It is a tribute to the common infantry man of WW2 and the bonds of friendship they formed.
If you are fans of WW2 films or Classic British films in general then watch this film it will not dissapoint.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 11 July 2007
By 
ray dorrity "ray dorrity" (New Forest, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
This movie shows what can be done when talents such as Ustinov and Ambler are told to make an Army training film and they then managed to come up with a classic like this.
It's the story of a diverse bunch of Brits grumbling their way through basic training, being put through their paces by David Niven and William Hartnell (who played the first Dr. Who) with the ultimate result in the end of being turned into a first rate fighting unit.
My favourite scene is the one just before the War starts, when David Niven as a T.A. private (that's a National Guardsman in "cousin-speak"), is being instructed in the use of a 1916 Lewis Gun by means of a large picture - The real thing would not have been available, and then being turned out of the training hall by a Dance Band arriving!
I like nmollo's comments above about not having seen a Brit war film where we are not portrayed as "crazy and eccentric".
Well apart from Los Angeles, UK probably has had more crazy and eccentric people than any other place on earth. Why else would we have put up with the weather when we could have emmigrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada or even the USA?
Great film. Worth watching over and over again.
Buy and enjoy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good Black & White WW2 film, 31 Jan. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
This movie follows the call up and training of various men, called up to fight in WW2.

It's interesting to see the men from different backgrounds, (the important business man, the travel agent and the labourer) all get lumbered into the same boat.

The men are portrayed well, not heroes nor idiots, just ordinary men.

They grumble and complain about how they are being treated unfairly, being shouted at and made to do pointless exercises. As the film goes on, you see the men bond before being shipped off to combat, this too is well done with the combat scenes being so understated as to be believable.

This film was used at Sandhurst for many years to help train new officers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy or Eccentric!, 23 Mar. 2006
By 
nmollo (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
“The Way Ahead” is a wonderful addition to the History of film. I am sure the Director took the material given to him and changed it beyond recognition. What would normally have been a run of the mill propaganda film has in the hands of Lewis Carol become a touching and poinenint reminder of World War Two.
The acting is first class. David Niven adds the hollywood dash and they’re off to war. Surprisingly few people die in this war that Lewis Carol is shooting yet he has obviously been given command of most of the British Army stationed in England. As the tanks, armoured cars and men featured are the real deal. The cast are, of course, professional seasoned actors. Quite old some of them.
The script co written with Peter Ustinoff is intelligent and you do find yourself caring for these drafted men. The final advance is haunting.
The battle scene is impressive in it recreation and at points reminded me of the first reel of “Saving Private Ryan”. Which only goes to prove that Directors have been shooting great Battle scenes for almost a century.
The “Way Ahead” is a good war film yet it has not dispelled a lingering and nagging thought. I have yet to see a war film where the British don’t come across as crazy and eccentric.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Warm and Touching Tribute to the British Army Infantryman., 21 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
The perfect companion for all film enthusiasts is: THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

A rousing flag-waving war drama about the British Army, that was shot during the war and originated as a training film. The story is by Eric Ambler and is written by Ambler and Peter Ustinov. Director Carol Reed ("Bank Holiday"/"Odd Man Out"/"The Third Man") focuses on a group of ordinary civilian recruits (salesman, office manager, plumber and fireman), who undergo a rigorous basic training under no-nonsense veteran Sergeant Fletcher (William Hartnell).

The officer in charge is nice guy Lt. Jim Perry (David Niven), a car mechanic in civilian life promoted through the ranks, who realizes that he must back his tough-minded sergeant so these quarrelsome recruits would get a good training for combat. It leads to the recruits setting sail for their first battle experience, as they land in North Africa and feel combat ready to go up against the enemy.

It's shot in a semi-documentary style, which keeps it realistic. It has a warm charm and a mild sense of humor, that makes it an easy film to like. The Immortal Battalion was released in London on D-day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great propaganda movie, 29 Jun. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
One of those with characters drawn from disparate backgrounds who end up pulling together. They spend the first half of the film whingeing about absolutely everything (they remind me of some colleagues I have known). How's Captain Niven going to cope with this management problem? He happens to turn up at the house where the "boys" have been going for tea and baths and, over the cucumber sandwiches, they discover he's a good chap really. I'd like to have seen more of the "wives' club". Niven is desperate to put on a concert but the platoon are initially too bolshy to play. A bit of an in-joke, as Stanley Holloway was a music-hall comedian famous for his recitations (the terrible fate of young Albert...) and eventually reveals his lovely singing voice as they croon Lily of Laguna in a godforsaken bar with Rommel not too far away. One of the most interesting characters is Evan Lloyd, the gloomy Welshman who unlike the others doesn't have much of a back story. Has he been soured by a life of telling people the council can't repair their gutters or install a bath? Of course, given the movie's origins as a training film, he could be there to show trainees that the unlikeliest recruits may be officer material. But with William Hartnell as Sergeant you can't go far wrong - he reprised this role in Carry on Sergeant which is a more light-hearted go at the same plot (no war and nobody dies, but the end, with the gang marching past to brass instruments played by thick-legged girls, still makes me cry).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rather special, 24 Jun. 2013
By 
robert stirling (tarn,s.w.france) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
It is sometimes hard to view films or listen to music without first placing the subject in its context: This film was made during WW2 and served as a pretty realistic account of basic training and the recruits first action in anger.

I have previously reviewedFull Metal Jacket: Deluxe Edition DVDwhere I stated that Kubrick had missed the opportunity of creating something even more special. By ommiting most of the recruits from the 1st half of his film and changing the 2nd half into an action war story,he lost the continuity that had been built painstakenly.

Not so here."THE WAY AHEAD" flows seamlessly to its conclusion which was left open: we were not to know whom of our recruits survived the opening battle.

Made in 1944/5 (the last years of the war), the makers were not to know the conflict would finish so soon after the film was released.

The cast were outstanding,most of whom went on to have long and successful careers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest, 25 Jan. 2008
By 
Denis Smith (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the most affecting films I have ever seen, and makes me wonder how I could have passed so many years of life and never seen it before. It's difficult to pin down why it is so good - after all, to simply describe the bare bones of the plot would not make it sound anything special - but I think the sheer quality of the script is probably the most important thing. That is not, however, the only good thing about it: the direction, acting, and even the special effects are all exceptionally good. Above all, every character in the story is so realistic, and interesting to the viewer. As for David Niven's performance, that is close to perfection. If I had to mention just one specific scene from the film, I think it would be that unforgettable moment when, in a run-down bar, somewhere in the Western Sahara, the men start singing 'Lily of Laguna'. That must surely be one of the most memorable scenes ever put on celluloid. If that scene doesn't move you, nothing will. If, like me until a few weeks ago, you have never seen this film, buy it now, and experience a beautiful piece of cinematic history, made in England during the dark days of World War II.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Way Ahead [DVD]
The Way Ahead [DVD] by Carol Reed (DVD - 2004)
£3.30
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews