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96 of 96 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 21 months ago by Lord Anon


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96 of 96 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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32 of 32 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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28 of 28 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Miracle of the Little Ships, 14 Aug 2002
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [VHS] [1958] (VHS Tape)
The 1950s was a wonderful decade for British war movies, and this is one of them. John Mills plays a British soldier who is caught up in the long retreat through France back to the Dunkirk beaches after the German break through in May 1940. Alongside his companions, they struggle back to the beaches only to be held there for days before being evacuated by one of the "Little Ships". A fine war film, but dont expect realism seen in Saving Private Ryan. The beach scenes are well filmed, but dont show the real horrors the British and French soldiers endured during the 9 day evacuation. Picture and sound are both very good considering the film's age. If you like good old British war movies, then you have to buy this.
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16 of 16 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 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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not spoken about enough!, 25 Jun 2007
By 
S. Wilson "stuart_a_wilson" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
An absolute classic war film starring John Mills, with many memorable scenes. In particular when leaving an English battery in a wood to be attacked by Stukas and the horrific scenes on the beaches of Dunkirk. This film does what many war films of the time didn't and looked from the other side of war: retreat. Always on the back foot Mills squad are under massive pressure to escape the stranglehold that Germany was implementing on the British Expeditionary Force. and accurately portrays the general feeling of panic throughout the film.
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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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best underrated WW2 films, 9 April 2008
By 
alanf1135 "Al." (Greenock, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
There are 3 types of World War 2 films, the Hollywood blockbuster, the Noel Coward stiff upper lip variety and films like Dunkirk.

Films like this one, Canterbury tales, Millions like us and Went the day well did not deal in heroics but with the sacrifices and ordeals of ordinary people whose lives where touched by war. It was made the whole lot more honest as most of the films were made during the war and with later films by people who had served in the war.

There has been criticism that that the film was too slow and took to long to get to the evacuation where the action took place. I have to disagree. Although I am no expert on WW2 history, I have enough knowledge to know that the British response to the German aggression in the early stages of the war was in a shambles and this was portrayed throughout the film.

What I liked about the film was that it concentrated on the ordinary people, both civilians who had to deal with and respond to the disaster as it unfolded and a platoon of soldiers stranded behind enemy lines trying to make their way to the beaches for evacuation.

IMHO, the film worked well as every character had a small story to tell that contributed to getting the 'big picture' of the event in the same way as all the small ships that came together and formed the massive fleet which carried out the evacuation.

Worth watching to really understand the real sacrifices that ordinary people endured to ensure that we today have the freedoms we enjoy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dunkirk, 22 Aug 2004
By 
MR P K Emery (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dunkirk [VHS] [1958] (VHS Tape)
Brilliant! Historic film from WW2 showing true British 'grit' and shows the true meaning of the 'Dunkirk Spirit'. Keeps to events and Sir John Mills gives a very good performance.
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