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136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!!!!
To say that the release of this film on DVD is long overdue, in my opinion, would be a gross understatement!

This is truly the definitive movie about the Battle of Britain. Ok, CGI technology can make a film look good, but after all said and done, it still isn't real is it? The aircraft in this film are, and again in my opinion, the real stars of this classic...
Published on 27 May 2004 by small-surprise

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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed
I have to admit to being terribly disappointed with this version. I already own an old VHS copy and the excellent DVD Special Edition and I had high hopes of this Blu-ray version being a significant improvement. How wrong I was, this version is grainy, slightly cropped with poor colour registration and with little more detial that on the DVD. It has none of the special...
Published on 20 Dec 2010 by JMD1


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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed, 20 Dec 2010
By 
JMD1 (Bute, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to admit to being terribly disappointed with this version. I already own an old VHS copy and the excellent DVD Special Edition and I had high hopes of this Blu-ray version being a significant improvement. How wrong I was, this version is grainy, slightly cropped with poor colour registration and with little more detial that on the DVD. It has none of the special features from the DVD release and no alternate soundtrack with the William Walton score. In fact, it has NO special features of any kind. There is also a very annoyong subtitle that appears at odd times that cannot be removed.

This film is badly in need of a full restoration to show up the details of the original release, instead we have a badly presented, poor quality version that is best avoided. If you want a good copy of this film, stick to the DVD.
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136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!!!!, 27 May 2004
This review is from: The Battle Of Britain (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
To say that the release of this film on DVD is long overdue, in my opinion, would be a gross understatement!

This is truly the definitive movie about the Battle of Britain. Ok, CGI technology can make a film look good, but after all said and done, it still isn't real is it? The aircraft in this film are, and again in my opinion, the real stars of this classic film. Once assembled for filming, the aircraft were the 35th largest air force in the world!

This truly is a masterpiece, the list of stars in this film is almost endless, Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Christopher Plummer, Curt Jurgens, Susannah York (what a babe!) Edward Fox and the always-excellent Robert Shaw, to name but a few. A very young Ian McShane (of Lovejoy fame) also stars as a young Flight Sergeant, who loses his family in horrific circumstances.

Added to that, the movie has been digitally re-mastered, so the picture quality and sound quality is as clear as it was when it was originally released back in 1969 (I was a wee 4yr old!)
There is also the added bonus that the original sound score, by the great Sir William Walton has been added back into the film, making it all the more gripping, and incredibly moving.

Being an ex-soldier, and having seen action, I have a rough idea what war can be like. Coupled to that is the fact that my late Grandfather who was a Canadian, flew and fought in the Battle of Britain, sadly he lost his life in 1944. I never got to know him, but the sense of pride that I have in him, and for all RAF pilots for what they achieved in those 19 hard weeks, in the summer of 1940, will stay with me, until my dying day.

The second disc is the one with all the amazing extras. There is an absolutely brilliant documentary about the Battle of Britain, and the making of the movie, narrated by Sir Michael Caine. This is the original documentary, which was shown on television in 1969 to coincide with the release of the film.
There are also some other extras on the second disc too, but if you want to know what they are... GO AND BUY IT! Why are you still sitting there eh?
What this all boils down to, is an excellent two disc DVD. The fact that it cost 16.99 in my opinion is well worth the money. If you are a WWII movie buff like myself, you will be falling over yourself to get this and add it to your collection.

GET IT!! I promise you will not regret it!
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107 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definative depiction of war in the air, 2 July 2008
By 
Hood1941 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This film is a winner on three counts. It brings together most of the best actors of a generation, it uses the real aircraft which took part and it was overseen from a historical perspective by pilots who flew in the battle, (Stanford Tuck, Douglas Bader and Adolph Galland amongst them).
It tells the story of the summer of 1940 with peerless aerial photography (no naff pearl habor CGI) and superbly well staged ground action such as the London Blitz and the airfield attack. I found all of the central characters thoroughly believable with the performances of Sir Larry as 'Stuffy' Dowding and Robert Shaw's Squadron leader being outstanding. This is a film I can drag out and watch every 18 months or so and it never fails to enthrall and move me. There should have been more Hurricanes than Spits and the Me 109's shouldn't have had Merlin engines, but what the hell. It's well directed, beautifully shot and above all it's FACTUAL!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary people fighting in extraordinary circumstances, 11 Jun 2004
This review is from: Battle Of Britain [VHS] (VHS Tape)
It was certainly no small effort technically to make this highly memorable war film just 28-29 years after the event. "Battle of Britain" sees one of the most decisive battles of history from both the British and German perspectives.
Indeed, unlike other "dual-perspective" films like "The Bridge at Remagen" (1968), where the Germans apparently speak to each other in English (which had no basis in reality), the German scenes immerse the viewer in a 100 percent German-language environment, something which pleases a linguist and military aviation enthusiast like myself. (The same applies to "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (1970), where the Japanese actors speak only Japanese.) The only thing that has always rankled with me, however, is the utterly inaccurate English subtitles which sometimes hardly reflected what the German actors (including Goering lookalike, Hein Riess, playing - who else - Goering) were saying in their dialogues. Of course, if you don't speak German, that's no worry, and won't spoil your enjoyment of this thumpingly good movie.
One may shake one's head at the fact that one has to witness a seemingly troubled marriage between Colin and Maggie Harvey (Christopher Plummer and Susannah York) as a sub-plot. Yet the thoroughly anti-Nazi attitude of a firebrand squadron leader (Robert Shaw), who angrily tells an RAF police corporal to "give [a shot-down enemy bomber pilot] a b****y shovel" to fill in a bomb crater at Duxford airfield, conveys both the hatred he feels for the Germans in attacking his country and the strain he is under for having to go up several times a day to lead his very young pilots to face a numerically superior enemy air force - kudos to Shaw for a no-holds-barred performance.
Unlike "Reach For The Sky" (1956), this film does not follow one or several particular characters throughout, though they do re-occur. This is an effective way to show that people from all social backgrounds were united in a common cause - to prevent the Luftwaffe from destroying the RAF in a prelude to an invasion of Britain - and, to the film-makers' credit, also included scenes away from the air battle, such as firemen battling against the flames, a bomb disposal squad in London, and, memorably, Maggie's total shock at seeing the dead bodies of her fellow airwomen draped in tarpaulins after the air raid on Duxford.
The film also showed that these characters were human and had things on their mind other than trying to defeat the Germans - such as the aforementioned Harvey marriage and Sergeant-Pilot Andy's (a very young Ian McShane) shock at seeing his family killed in an air raid.
Overall, Fisz and Saltzman do an excellent job in presenting a film about ordinary people battling against an enemy in extraordinary circumstances, and they manage to have the (British) lion's share of the film, with high-ranking RAF officers like Park (Trevor Howard) and Dowding (Laurence Olivier) having little, yet significant, screen time.
A classic must-see for enthusiasts of military aviation.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film restored to it's full glory (Special Edition), 24 May 2004
By 
Mr J Nelmes (Stirling, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Battle Of Britain (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I have always been a fan of this film and have been impatiently waiting for a DVD release for some time. When I found out that MGM were releasing this film on DVD, I was delighted followed by some irritation when I found out the RRP (19.99), as the film was out in the US for $8. Yet another special edition second disc of bits and pieces with a hiked up price tag.
I hereby apologise to MGM for such unkind thoughts, because this edition is superb. The US version is in mono, where this release has 5.1 & DTS (it is excellent) and for fans of William Walton (they only used about 5 minutes of his score in the original film, Ron Goodwin supplying the rest), the soundtrack with the full Walton score as an alternative. The picture has also been restored and has a full anamorphic 2.35:1 picture.
It is a well worn cliché, but in summer 1940, Britain stood alone, facing the might of the Luftwaffe and the German army which had swept all aside. The Battle of Britain is one of the pivotal moments in the history of this country, and I believe that this film does it justice. The cast are excellent but particularly Laurence Olivier as Hugh Dowding and Robert Shaw as Squadron Leader Skipper. The film has been well researched and manages to weave all aspects of the battle into the film.
Some of the special effects are a little bit dated, but this was made 35 years ago, and they do not detract from the story. But what makes this film convincing are the real aircraft used to make it. Various reports suggest that when assembled, the aircraft were anywhere between the 11th and 35th biggest air force in the world. The aerial battles are just excellent, and the shots of bombers and fighters in formation over the real life locations in 1940, give a powerful sense of authenticity. When I think about scenes like the flight of Me109’s breaking to attack a flight of Spitfires, and compare it to the awful unrealistic Battle of Britain CGI scenes used in Pearl Harbour (which was an awful film in itself), I cannot help but think that this film is something special. I have read reviews from some “rivet counters” who state that the German Bombers are not authentic. This is true as the aircraft were built by CASA in Spain for the Spanish Air Force after the war, but you do not notice.
I cannot recommend this film enough and at last the DVD version lets us see it in all its glory.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie that can never be made again, 13 Mar 2004
By 
Gisli Jokull Gislason "Jokull" (Iceland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Battle Of Britain (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Finally an old classic rereleased.
Done in the style of A bidge too far and The Longest Day this movie sets forth a part of history in the context of a feature movie.
It has a lot of characters and storylines, some historic and some personal that are no longer seen in mainstream movies today and this might confuse some younger or more impatient viewers.
For the War Movie enthusiast it is a must. The turning points in The Battle of Britain are made clear, and the conflict quite accurately described with attention payed to the pilots and radar operatives as well as flight command and all those women moving tokens across maps in place of modern computer displays. You will feel sorry for the Polish Volunteers, feel the sacrifice of both sides as fewer and fewer vetran pilots return from the fray as well as getting a glimps of what terror bombing of cities means. If you have or enjoyed The Longest Day and a Bridge too far then this one stands in the same category.
Most of all it is a must for the WWII warplane fan, in this film there are no computer generated scenes, only dozens of the real aircraft flying in the sky, something that was possible in 1969 but can never be done again since there are too few aircraft left in such good condition. A true gem.
I have seen the region 1 DVD and have every reason to belive that the region 2 disc will be of good quality and for those who have it on VHS this is a welcome widescreen ratio.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic DVD for the British, 17 Oct 2005
By 
This review is from: The Battle Of Britain (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
It's great to see a film which has a massive top notch cast list all contributing, frankly, extended cameos. The plot is loose, basically it's the Battle of Britain! I'd never heard of this film and picked it up cheap, and really enjoyed it.
The remastered DTS sound is fantastic and the recreation of the blitz is quite atmospheric, if you overlook 60's sfx technology.
Overall a great British 'King & Country' movie that sheds a ray of light upon the massive contribution made by all during that time.
And it doesn't demonise the Germans, which is nice to see.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!, 7 Mar 2007
By 
Geoffrey Millar (Brunswick Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Battle Of Britain (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I can't add much to other reviewers, except to say that I cannot imagine how the producers of this film made any money! The spectacle, quality and care displayed throughout the film display the spending of many pounds, pesetas and dollars. But it was worth it and the film works brilliantly.

The film has its fair share of cliches and British class-consciousness, etc but that doesn't affect overall enjoyment. The casting is excellent, except of course that most of the pilots look too old; while this can't be helped, remember that most of the pilots were under 25, in many cases, under 20.

The extras are of high quality and very much worth watching a few times, the 'making of' feature in particular giving viewers a rich appreciation of what was involved in the film, particularly in shooting the aerial sequences.

By the way, if you've seen Dark Blue World, you'll recognise some of the flying sequences from Battle of Britain.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Widescreen epic still awaits widescreen release!, 17 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Battle Of Britain [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Why oh why is this, probably the biggest movie ever made in Britain, one with a growing and loyal following, one with some of the greatest aerial photography ever filmed, still not available in Widescreen? Why do MGM keep releasing it in pan and scan on VHS when it's fans want it in widescreen? It even says filmed in Panavision on the video box cover! Even a widescreen VHS version would be something. Better still where is the DVD with extras such as the alternate score by Sir William Walton? If you are a fan of beautiful aircraft, a great score, superb and unmatched aerial photography, and the kind of A list cast the likes of which can never be repeated or equalled, then buy this movie. The events of 1940 have been rightly documented and commemorated in many subsequent programmes. This movie has a massive story to tell. Watch it as much as a dramatised documentary as a drama but admire it for it's scope and remember that when it was made most of the aircraft featured had to be lovingly restored to get them back in the air in the days before there were so many airworthy historic aircraft available or the interest in preserving them. Come on MGM make my and many others day, lets have another version to admire. If "A Bridge Too Far", "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and last year's 'Pearl Harbor' are good enough for a widescreen release, surely "Battle"'s DVD widescreen debut is long overdue!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE critical time, 6 Mar 2006
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Battle Of Britain [VHS] (VHS Tape)
How much could your life change in three months? To view of the events of the Summer of 1940 as the pivotal time of the 20th Century is no exaggeration. This film shows the RAF defying the pre-eminent military power in the Western World from June to mid-September. Poorly supported by the politicians and divided by tactical disputes, the RAF was essentially the weapon of one man, Air Marshal Dowding. Olivier's portrayal of this tormented leader is magnificent. Keith Park, played by Trevor Howard, is Dowding's point man in the defence of the British Isles. In their airborne clashes, the pilots are unable to see how desperately Dowding is attempting to preserve them.
Hamilton broke away from the traditional false heroics of Hollywood war films in making "Battle." In addition to conveying the problems besetting the opposing forces, he brings life to all the characters he presents us. Although renaming some of participants [Adolf Galland becomes "Falke" and Werner Moelders "Foehn"] Hamilton maintains a strong sense of realism throughout. Not all the pilots are solitary heroes, but instead are represented by family men, terrified men, driven men. They have jobs to do, and both sides strive to achieve their utmost. The solitary aircraft, wandering through the English night to inadvertently ditch its bombs on London changed the course of war forever. We never learn Major Brandt's ultimate fate. Although most of the roles in this film are but cameos, Hein Reis as Reichsmarschall Goering is outstanding. He conveys the vacillation of Luftwaffe tacticians with lively accuracy.
It's easy to criticize 'war films' on any number of grounds. Apart from false portrayals, a charge invalid in this case, there's always the technical aspect. The Bf109 fighters, for example, are clearly not the E-3 model used in 1940. Once the U.S. was driven into the war, it became a 'crusade' for moral values. During the Battle, however, the real issue was simply survival and Hamilton has conveyed that aspect beautifully. The challenge faced by the RAF was real and immediate and this film should be treasured as a reminder of what the Allies faced in that desperate summer. On the lighter side, it's a fine display of beautiful aircraft no longer seen in the sky. If your local airshow is rained out, you can always run BATTLE OF BRITAIN! [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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