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4.3 out of 5 stars25
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2009
For Those In Peril is a film I suspect many people will have never seen or even heard of. Yet it is directed by Charles Crichton ( Lavender Hill Mob and later A Fish Called Wanda ), was written by Richard Hillary ( who wrote the classic The Last Enemy, and would be dead by the time the film was released ), has, as a screen writer, Harry Watt ( Target For Tonight) and as a side line stars, in an early unaccredited role, James Robertson Justice.
The story is in a semi- documentary style about the R.A.F. Air Sea Rescue service. The boats are the real stars, there is plenty of great footage of the high speed launches (whalebacks) at sea 'thundering' along at speed, (similar in style to the later John Ford film `They Were Expendable '). The RAF boats are gamely supported by RN Mls, with plenty of hardware footage. Best other bits, after the boats, is a Supermarine Walrus taking off, next to the camera, circling back and flying away, in one take, taking about 42 seconds ( not that I've time it!!). There is another brief shot of the ASR boats being attacked by German aircraft ( really RAF Spitfires/Mustangs) very, very low on a choppy sea.
The downside is the acting which is a bit 'ropey' in places. For example there is a 'Noel Coward' Spitfire pilot who is ` orbiting for a fix`, but the worst is at the end when one of the characters dies, he is just left on the floor, forgotten and I assume people having to walk around him.
I videoed this film, about 20 years ago when it was shown on Channel 4 in its Britain At War series and the print they used was damaged. This copy is ( for its age ) almost perfect and I'd like to commend Optimum HE for this on a `limited appeal' film.
Finally it is worth remembering that I think only about 25% of allied crews that ditched in the sea were rescued alive.
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on 20 November 2009
I'm a fan of Ealing studios black and white war drama. This is one of my special. Much different to all the rest black and white war drama films, touching a most forgotten but important aspect of the WWII war which was sea reascue of pilots in the channel. It is a must to see, short in length however quite a gripping especially when you realise you're in the middle of a mine field! Hope you enjoy it as I did.
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on 4 July 2010
A film made closely with Admiralty - Ealing Studios typically understated, of its time. No glory or glamourising. A gritty story too.

Yes characters have their flaws - they must have had in WWll, but that generation all knew "stuff happens" and weeping and moaning didn't help anything, best to keep on cracking. They do in this film.

Love the rival banter between the RN and RAF Rescue teams, none of the present day sneering, as that used to mark one out as 'a bad'n'. These days, its an accolade.

The modesty in this film, and of the time, lends the film its poignancy; that heartfelt understatement of reverence rather than selfish, unrestrained and hysterical emotionalism of these present times.

Anyone who has had the privilege of either people in their family or meeting such men, will definitely recognise the characters and no doubt
will experience prickles in their eyes and lump in the throat.
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on 25 March 2010
An unusual film, shot during World War 2 about the little heralded RAF Air Sea Rescue Service. A basic plot, with good 'stiff upper-lip'acting from the cast, but the real stars are the boats themselves and the type of work they and their crews were called upon to do during those dark days. Coupled with the movie 'The Sea Shall Not have Them', both are a tribute and acknowledgement to the men who served in this service.
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There are only two movies that show the work of the RAF's least-known section, that of the Air Rescue Service. This is one and 'The Sea Shall Not Have Them' is the other. Both are little-known now and neither is easily available.

The service, as it was then used fast light power-boats rather similar to the more famous motor torpedo boats, but with rather less fire power. They did not have RADAR and used radio and maps to find the downed flyers.

A fighter or bomber flying over the North Sea or the English Channel may well come under attack from the Germans. A plane that may have been on a raid could easily be severely damaged and some of its crew killed or wounded. For the pilot of a fighter, he would for the main part be alone in his aircraft and if shot down he would have a Mae West lifejacket but probably not an inflatable dinghy as there would rarely be room for one. A bomber may have one or two dinghies to accommodate its crew of seven or more.

Without a dinghy, the sea was unbelievably cold and survival often one of minutes rather than hours. In a dinghy, it could be hours or a day os so, but not usually days. The cost of training a pilot was high and losses of pilots and planes almost unsustainable. If a plane could not be recovered, hopefully, its pilot could be.

It wasn't only Allied airmen who would be rescued; a significant number of enemy crews were also saved from the sea. Nowadays, helicopters are used, but it was not a commonly seen craft and not then used by the Allies. A few years later, in the Korean war, they were commonplace.

Although neither of these movies is expressly about the men of the Rescue service but more so the downed airmen, both give an impression just how welcome a sight they then must have been. They were often the difference between survival and a frozen death.

A very good film but rarely seen on TV, ever! It is one of the many retrospective 'war hero' movies of the mid-50s.
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on 23 August 2013
This film was based on a real event in which my late father participated .He and the actual boat crew were also used on set as advisors and of course manned the boats.
I had a VHS cassette copy previously and this dvd will support it and continue to provide some precious memories
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on 15 November 2011
Although typical of the starchy acting of the time, this is a film that I treasure and would recommend to anyone.
About 100 years ago (seems like it) I served in the Air/Sea Rescue service out of RAF Mount Batten, opposite Plymouth. It is a sailing club now.
I often used to wonder why, as soon as an aircraft ditched in the sea, someone in authority decreed that the weather should worsen.
A similar style of film, of course, is The Sea Shall Not Have Them. I was the wireless operator on both the launches featured in that film at different times -2559 and 2561.
Happy (and tough), memories.
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on 21 December 2010
Both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy given a far too short tribute (was it cut for release?) David Farrar as O/C and Ralph Michael as a grudging ex-flyer, who sees `pilots in boats' as poor fare until the real action starts and he is forced to make the decisions and take command. Strong but realistic action and plenty of it - this film packs it in, left me wanting more.
A war film made when the war was still going on and this action was mirrored in truth.
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on 20 January 2015
Super movie - to me- a semi documentary film about the Air Sea Rescue unit. It was more interesting as it appears to be made at Newhaven harbour, just down the road from me. Was amazed seeing that a Walrus flying boat was still in operation and that boats were not operated by the Navy but by the RAF. A film rarely seen on TV but a great war movie - such brave men.
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on 9 June 2015
A great little British classic about the Air Sea Rescue service, rescuing downed pilots in the English Channel...well worth a look & a good addition to any wartime DVD collection...
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