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78 of 78 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

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42 of 42 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


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top British war film, 1 Feb 2009
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
The first Carry on film was Carry on sergeant and William Hartnell was the sergeant in that who was retiring and in this film he was cast as the sergeant. He was obviously type cast until he became the first doctor who.

As I have said elsewhere all war films if not all films are the Dirty dozen. We get to see the group and are introduced to them they train then go on the mission. The mission has its set backs and we see their personalities and either they success in the end or only a few come back.

This film is a great example of this type of story. even better than most because it was made during the war and served as a propaganda film. All the class differences are shown with Niven as the officer but claimed he was a Sergeant at Dunkirk. The archetypical sergeant moulding the cross section of British society into a fighting machine.

John Laurie doing his best as a dour Scotsman of which he became the epitome in Dad Army'. Raymond Huntley as the posh shop worker who has been called up.

The team are forged and they sail to war. They get sunk and arrive in North Africa for the real fighting. By this time the team is working well they have forged a citizen army into a fighting unit.

No one gets killed and they defeat the Bosch who have now decided to retreat and our unit goes forward into the fog of war.

Great propaganda film and I can see why it was popular at the time. It was as true a portrayal of war as would be allowed. All the characters were carrying out their required role.

Top British war film.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great propaganda movie, 29 Jun 2007
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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).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was an immortal squad but it is immortal, 21 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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There is a lot more depth to this movie than you would expect. Yes it is a [biased] movie. But it portrayed the beginning of the breakdown of the class system in England. David Nine plays a junior officer than was from a civilian brigade and now must learn to get along with his Sergeant and men. He goes from aloofness to comrade by the end of the movie. There is plenty of action as the troop transport that they are on gets torpedoed. And they even get to fix bayonets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rather special, 24 Jun 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars shipping and packaging excellent as always, 3 July 2014
By 
C. Melloni - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
shipping and packaging excellent as always!Movie too be seen yet,I have a complete collection now and many of them will be seen during the next holidays!!CM
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4.0 out of 5 stars a rare british war film, a set of individuals ..., 2 July 2014
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This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
a rare british war film, a set of individuals and misfits attend boot training
during the 2 nd world war , david niven plays the company co who becomes
unpopular as a stand offish officer who later becomes respected as he leads
his men through thick and thin
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 17 May 2014
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This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
rattling good film - not often the pleb soldiers are given a part in winning WW2 - too often it appears only the officer class won WW2
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5.0 out of 5 stars Iconic, 2 April 2014
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Mr. Christopher Harris "Chris in Brum" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
This is an iconic mid-war film. It's basically a piece of propaganda aimed at boosting morale and sending the message "We will win if we all pull together". It's full of all the stock actors of the period and it's very nicely done. Ok it's not the greatest story ever told but it's a very enjoyable watch.

Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wartime film, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
A good quality B/W film from the 40s that includes many known faces from later films and TV. Worth a watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars David Niven Action Hero, 30 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Way Ahead [DVD] (DVD)
David Niven and the rest including John Laurie and Stanley Holloway saving the world from Nazism might seem a little far-fetched but this propaganda piece is a consistently exciting, superbly acted and staged piece with neatly delineated characters and some really effective action sequences. Never obvious or unsubtle and with a chorus of Chelsea pensioners like Corporal Jones off Dads Army reminiscing about the Sudan etc. Niven is convincingly humane officer and William Hartnell does his blueprint Sergeant with equal skill. Well-scripted throughout and tense. Takes its time to get to Africa but all the more effective because of the meticulous build-up. Another great film by Carol Reed.
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The Way Ahead [DVD]
The Way Ahead [DVD] by Carol Reed (DVD - 2004)
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