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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best war films I've ever seen
I thought I knew the titles of just about all British war films (and had seen most of them), but for some reason I had never even heard of this one. This made me suspect that it wasn't very good, when I saw it advertised on Amazon, but I decided to buy it anyway, on the strength of the good reviews it seemed to be getting. How glad I am that I did! It is absolutely...
Published on 10 Feb. 2007 by Denis Smith

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Days That Shook the World! Victory Snatched From Disaster!
A surprisingly great war film, this movie tells two different stories. One is about a group of British soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, desperately trying to make their way to the French coast. Meanwhile, on the other side of the channel, English civilians bravely prepare to help with the mass evacuation at Dunkirk. Near the end, the two stories converge "Tarantino...
Published on 2 Dec. 2012 by Lord Anon


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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best war films I've ever seen, 10 Feb. 2007
By 
Denis Smith (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
I thought I knew the titles of just about all British war films (and had seen most of them), but for some reason I had never even heard of this one. This made me suspect that it wasn't very good, when I saw it advertised on Amazon, but I decided to buy it anyway, on the strength of the good reviews it seemed to be getting. How glad I am that I did! It is absolutely superb! It is brilliantly directed, so that it is gripping from first moment to last, and so utterly realistic and consistently interesting (it reminded me a little in that respect of the best parts of the recent "Band of Brothers"). I only ever bother to write reveiews of products that I think have been somewhat overlooked or under-appreciated, or which are surprisingly good, and "Dunkirk" falls into all those categories. It is, also, incidentally, educative, in that it deals with that part of World War II which has probably had least attention from film-makers, namely the early days leading up to the fall of France. What, precisely, was the British Expeditionary Force trying to do, and where did they get to before they were beaten back? You will get some idea of the answers to these questions from this film. You will, also, I think, get a pretty good idea of what it was like to be an infantryman at the time.

I must also mention the special effects. For a modern film they would be very good indeed, for a film made in the 1950s they are simply amazing - gunfire, bombs, explosions, ships sinking - all horribly realistic and terrifying. For anyone wondering whether or not to buy this film, hesitate no longer: it is simply one of the best war films ever made!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 20 May 2007
By 
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk (Oldham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
This film is superb, a masterpiece of editing. I used to use it as an example of narrative and visual flow. The film bounces from Home front to "battle" front, merges newsreel with marvellous studio and outdoor filming. Vignettes concentrate on individuals (fleeing civilians, generals and doomed soldiers) arced by the tale of a group of normal, everyday men; soldiers lost in the chaos and confusion of withdrawal and retreat, and boatowners manning the "little ships" in a heroic attempt to pull an army off the beach. The scenes on the jetty in Dunkirk and on the beaches are memorable. The overall effect is of a film that has the feel of docudrama. It is a long overlooked masterpiece of British Cinema.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine British War Film, 9 Feb. 2007
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
I recall seeing this film the first time during its initial release during 1958, and to this day, remains one of my favourite British War films alongside Sink The Bismarck, Battle of Britain, and the Dam Busters just to name a few.

The story centres around a platoon of British soldiers who become accidentally detached from the main force retreating back to the French coast after the German Army breaches French defences around the Sedan area. After the platoon sergeant is killed in action Corporal John Mills takes charge and throughout many stirring adventures, he and his comrades finally reach the beaches where they spend a harrowing few days dodging the German Stuka Dive Bombers dropping their bombs amongst the sand dunes.

As a fine war film in its own right, I cannot rate this film too highly. It still stands up very well after all these years. Certainly, it is no Saving Private Ryan, it doesnt have to be; it is a great human story about the remnants of a large army struggling to survive against impossible odds.

The story is also enhanced by a group of sailor volunteers led by Bernard Lee who take their boats across the Channel to bring home the men stranded on the beaches, and this film is a testament to their courage and the "Little Ships" for which the miracle of Dunkirk is remembered.

The Dunkirk evacuation was a heroic defeat for the British Army, but it also allowed the army to fight another day. It is also a tribute to the courage of all the men who fought and died there.

This film should be in everyones collection. Good picture and sound.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really moving film, 25 Mar. 2007
By 
Mr. S. Crook (Way out west) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this on TV years ago and have always wanted a copy on DVD. And, finally, it's here. The film in in excellent condition, in crisp clean B&W (don't be misled by the colour picture of John Mills).

They've handled the Dunkirk story from both the view of the troops trying to get home, and the small boats that went out to ferry them home and done a rather good job of it. The cast all act their pants off, and while some of the scenes do look a little artificial, others have a real air of 'being there'. The only major clunk is the mysterious transformation of a Blenheim into a Ju88 back to a Blenheim then, finally back to a Ju88...

My only disappointment is the complete absence of extra features on the DVD. Given the importance of the Dunkirk evacuation, a small documentary and some historical photographs would have been nice.

It's a wonderful film.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to Life, 21 Jan. 2007
By 
A. G. Lucas (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
What a great film.

The trek back to Dunkirk in the face of defeat is so well captured and the agony of the wait by the troops on the beach as each vessel that pulled up was attacked by Stuker dive bombers is wonderfully interpreted.

My old Dad was at Dunkirk and his description of those Stukers bombing not just ships and boats but troops on the beach, validates these scenes, in my mind making this film a true study of the spirit of the time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Blighty, 15 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
Dunkirk is a first-rate war drama about the fall of France in May 1940, the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force to the coastal town of Dunkirk, and "Operation Dynamo" - the subsequent heroic attempt (largely successful) to evacuate the British Army from the beaches and return them to England. Dunkirk was a "miracle of deliverance" (Churchill's phrase) snatched from the jaws of catastrophic defeat. With the British Army trapped on the beaches, hemmed in by the Wermacht and under near-constant bombardment from the Luftwaffe, a fleet of Royal Navy and small privately-owned vessels set sail across the channel to pull our boys back from disaster. Dunkirk tells the story of these events.

The film - shot in crisp black and white - has been made with the sort of solid skill and artistry which appears to be typical of British films of the fifties. Dunkirk is also infused with the sort of "social realism" which was becoming characteristic of films of this period. It does not flinch from showing us the nastiness of war, and it concentrates - not upon the officer class - but upon the lives and sacrifices of ordinary Britons. It clearly had enough of a budget to convey the scale of events, both large and small, at some length (the film comes in at just over two hours). It has excellent performances, a well-written and thoughtful script, and is very well directed. The ever-dependable John Mills is particularly good as Corporal "Tubby" Binns.

Like others who have written about this film, I approached it with some reluctance for the simple reason that I had never previously heard of it, or heard others refer to it, and so assumed that it wasn't much good. And like those others, I have found to my delight that I was wrong.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first blockbuster, 4 Jun. 2008
By 
This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
Like many other reviewers I came to this film by accident and almost reluctantly. It isn't the best known and, until now, was not widely viewed. But, if you need any persuading after reading all the five star reviews, this is a must-have for any serious viewer of the genre. I would make it compulsory viewing for all school-children over 16 both from a film-making point of view and as excellent history. It is rare for films to stick to the facts these days.We almost suspect other forms of foul play when they do. But this is also truly great cinema. In terms of pace, effects and detail it holds up very well against modern equivalents. In terms of humanity it ranks with the most moving war films. But it also shines in accuracy. Watch this film and then read the seminal "Dunkirk" by Hugh Sebag-Montefiori. If his incredibly well researched history hadn't been written forty years after the film was made, you would have sworn it was the template for the film. The acting is tremendous, the characters entirely believable and the storyline clear and effective. Up to now a massively under-rated film but most definitely a classic that will claim a place among the very best WWII films.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dunkirk, 10 Jan. 2010
By 
C. Forsyth "colinfor" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
This film is now 42 years old and the action sequencies are primitive enough to show that. However, it is still a very good story with a great British cast and and a pretty tight script. I can remember having nightmares after seeing this for the first time, aged 11, and it still gave me a slight chill on the back of the neck with some of the night scenes. The memory is a funny thing, isn't it?
The action scenes could put a lot of people off enjoying this film but I feel that if you need to fill a couple of hours with WWII, this will probably hit the mark.
I doubt I need explain the story suffice to say, a group of British soldiers are seperated from their company and a reluctant corporal leads them to the relative safety of a Dunkirk beach-head, where 300,000 British and French troops are awaiting evacuation back to Blighty.
An enjoyable film about an important period of our wartime history.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Time, 27 Jun. 2006
By 
M. Hall "a Brit" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the great UK produced WW11 films made. Why it has taken the studio so long to release the DVD version beggars belief. The acting is perfect for the time being captured, the action probably more real than most modern films and the story line a triumph of picturing the mood in 1940. A film not only to be enjoyed but watched also with care and study, John Mills is as excellent as ever, Bernard Lee hard nosed with a great love for country and Richard Attenborough the capitalist who learns what being a true patriot means. Remembering always that the story of the little boats, the miracle of Dunkirk was real and defeat in war was staring Britain in the face. Enjoy it is a classic.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wars are not won by evacuations", 14 July 2006
By 
M. P. Crowther "Writer-historian-student" (Aylesbury, Bucks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
Truly one of the greats and one of those films not dependent on a love story. A sterling performance by the late great Sir John Mills as well as great performances from Bernard Lee and Richard Attenborough. The film is lined with traces of humour but full of stirring emotion such as the scene where the navy officer thanks the boat owners for volunteering or when the medics on the beach have to choose who stays behind.

On top of this it has in my opinion one of the greatest and stirring [that word again] themes by Malcolm Arnold who re-used this theme for Heroes of Telemark.
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Dunkirk [DVD] [1958]
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