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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One-two-three-four-we don't want a nuclear war.....
A punchy British action flick from the same people who brought you punchy British action flicks "The Wild Geese" and "The Sea Wolves". SAS Captain Peter Skellern (Lewis Collins) is assigned to infiltrate an anti-nuclear terrorist group, the Revolution for Peace movement of the People's Lobby, as it prepares a spectacular publicity coup by taking top-level US and British...
Published on 26 July 2010 by Matthew Norton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forget the politics, it's just dreary and light on action
Inspired by the SAS's spectacular solution to the 1980's Iranian embassy siege in London, there's a decent 50-minute episode of The Professionals trying to escape from Who Dares Wins, but unfortunately producer Euan Lloyd is much more interested in turning it into a big political statement than delivering a satisfying torn-from-the-headlines exploitation flick. Which is a...
Published 7 months ago by Trevor Willsmer


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One-two-three-four-we don't want a nuclear war....., 26 July 2010
By 
Matthew Norton (Wolverhampton, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Who Dares Wins [1982] [DVD] (DVD)
A punchy British action flick from the same people who brought you punchy British action flicks "The Wild Geese" and "The Sea Wolves". SAS Captain Peter Skellern (Lewis Collins) is assigned to infiltrate an anti-nuclear terrorist group, the Revolution for Peace movement of the People's Lobby, as it prepares a spectacular publicity coup by taking top-level US and British dignataries hostage at a dinner in London and threatening to execute them unless a nuclear missile is fired - "in the name of peace" - at the US submarine base at Holy Loch. When negotiations stall and one of the hostages is killed, the SAS are sent in to rescue the others. That is the film in a nutshell. It isn't sophisticated, it isn't subtle, and if you are a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament then you may have a claim to feeling personally slighted. But as a solid action movie, "Who Dares Wins" is excellent - yes, it could very easily be taken as a feature-length episode of "The Professionals", although it would be unfair to say that Collins is merely reprising his Bodie role; Captain Skellern is for starters married (to Rosalind Lloyd) with a child, and while this doesn't stop him from being a complete tart for Queen and Country it does call for a little less smirking glibness than we got with the unattached, carefree Bodie. Skellern has more cares.
It is not action all-the-way, and this is to the film's advantage because, contrary to what some have said, "Who Dares Wins" is not gung-ho. The SAS are portrayed simply as a body of men doing the job they are ordered to do. Indeed, as the SAS Commanding Officer (a crisp Tony Doyle) explains in the early stages of the film: "When we are called to do a job, we have been likened to a surgeon cutting out a cancer. It is a filthy and difficult job. We don't like doing it, but it's our duty." The bulk of the film centres on Skellern's infiltration of the terrorist movement, and his "relationship" with its' leader Frankie Leith (Judy Davis). Those with little patience may thus find themselves fidgeting a bit, but there is ample reward when the action finally does begin, including of course the famous tracking shot with Skellern and SAS comrades charging down the corridor of the US Ambassador's residence. There is also a excellently staged single-shot sequence where a terrorist is standing guard on a balcony, and an SAS man abseils down and shoots him. Then there is the fate that awaits Frankie Leith, as she and Skellern stare down each other's gun barrels....
Along with those already mentioned, the high-grade cast includes Richard Widmark, Edward Woodward, John Duttine, Robert Webber, Patrick "Protect And Survive" Allen and Anna Ford as herself. The title music is ace, and the grimy early Eighties ambience that permeates the film is quite intoxicating. It also boasts a fantastic catfight between Mrs Skellern and a very boo-hiss Ingrid Pitt, as one of two terrorists who have taken Mrs Skellern and her baby daughter hostage. It's more vicious than outside Chicago Rock Cafe in Wolverhampton on a Friday night!
"Who Dares Wins." One of my favourite movies.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic nostalgia - uniquely British, 10 April 2010
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This review is from: Who Dares Wins [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I have loved this film for many years and to have the widescreen special edition is just great, all previous issues having been 4:3 format. As others have stated, this film just works almost DESPITE itself! By that I mean that that it isn't by any means a great film - the script often leaves much to be desired, and the plot is somewhat simplistic - but for all that it is fantastically entertaining and fun. I would say it is uniquely British and has a charm in the same sense as, for example, the "Carry On" movies. If you like British films in general, and particularly the more "vintage" variety, then you will almost certainly appreciate this. One of those comparatively rare instances when a fims supposed "failings" actually add something almost intangible but nevertheless greatly boost its entertainment value. In my opinion this is British cinema at its most entertaining.

As a footnote to those who do not realise it, the Blue-ray issue also contains an identical issue on DVD, and this is what the "2 disc" reference is about. Somewhat confusing, as no mention is made of this in the product decription on Amazon or for that matter on the front of the disc case! I suspect most people will therefore think that it is simply a Blue-ray release! Very odd marketing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forget the politics, it's just dreary and light on action, 17 Aug. 2014
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Inspired by the SAS's spectacular solution to the 1980's Iranian embassy siege in London, there's a decent 50-minute episode of The Professionals trying to escape from Who Dares Wins, but unfortunately producer Euan Lloyd is much more interested in turning it into a big political statement than delivering a satisfying torn-from-the-headlines exploitation flick. Which is a big problem for someone with as bizarre and confused political views as Lloyd - this was, after all, a man who made a film about mercenaries killing innocent people to rescue Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison because people should stop going on about Nazi war crimes that happened years ago. This time his target is the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament: he may change their name to the People's Lobby for legal reasons, but makes sure the symbolism is all at the forefront, even down to casting Kenneth Griffith as a Bruce Kent figure and shooting scenes at some of their ban the bomb rallies. In Lloyd's book the CND were a bigger menace than any of the legitimate terrorist groups he could have chosen for his baddies, a bunch of kill-crazy homicidal fanatics and bad performance artists backed by a consortium of those natural allies Arab terrorists, neo-Nazis, Christians, Marxists and the Labour Party and determined to start World War Three by firing a nuclear missile at the Holy Loch submarine base in Scotland "in the name of peace." And unfortunately all too often it's the Daily Mail politics which occupy centre-stage rather than action scenes, which are fairly few and far between, turning what should have been a decent Boys Own adventure film along the lines of his earlier The Wild Geese into something that even the UK Independence Party might think was a bit too silly for one of their party political broadcasts.

What makes it all the more curious is that the screenplay is by Reginald Rose, who wrote the hand wringing liberal classic Twelve Angry Men and that it attracted Judy Davis, still the darling of the left-wing Australian indie scene to play its fanatical psychotic rich-bitch villainess (though she promptly disowned the film afterwards, which makes you wonder if she ever bothered to read the script before she turned up for work). To be fair, when it forgets the politics Rose gives her and leading man Lewis Collins some decent dialogue when they're flirting, but it's hard to shake the phrase polishing a turd from your mind when it's back to the politics and the paper-thin plotting. What plot there is sees Collins SAS man - who naturally can afford the kind of London Mews house that goes for several million these days on a captain's pay - going undercover with Davis' group to find out what their plan is, which he resolutely fails to do because the film's more interested in Daily Mail editorialising than spy work. That their plan will involve a siege is self-evident from the start, settling for the American ambassador's residence (or the main administration building at Pinewood Studios as it's better known) instead of an embassy while Ingrid Pitt's comically short-tempered neo-Nazi uber-bitch holds Collins' wife and child hostage to ensure his co-operation. There is finally some action at the end - though not before yet more political debates that end with Davis openly declaring that she's an idiot - but it's not really exciting enough to compensate for all the jaw-jaw along the way.

This being the 80s and work in British films being hard to come by, it attracts a decent supporting cast: Edward Woodward, John Duttine and special guest hostages Robert Widmark and Robert Webber to try to help get a US distribution deal, and it's competently staged, but it often looks surprisingly cheap without ever being particularly cheerful. Ironically, back in the days when Super 8mm was still the way most people collected films to watch at home, a three-reeler 35-minute cutdown version was released that dispensed with all the padding and tedious politicking and worked rather well. The fact that you never missed the 90 minutes that were cut out pretty much says it all. The SAS deserve a better film than this. And so did audiences.

Arrow's 2012 Blu-ray reissue is a decent transfer, though the film was never particularly good looking or likely to impress on Blu-ray, and includes trailers, and audio commentarty by the director, booklet and, on the Blu-ray disc, a standard definition transfer of Collins' last film.

Boasting a meaningless title that seems solely designed to sound a bit like a then-recent Arnold Schwarzenegger hit, 1988's The Commander is the last of a trio of German-Italian mercenary movies that Lewis Collins made with Antonio Marghereti (aka Anthony M. Dawson) that began when he was still being talked of as a potential James Bond but seemed a straight-to-video afterthought after Timothy Dalton got the part (as did Collin's big screen career: this was his last feature). It's one of those by the numbers action films that manages to be both uninvolving yet surprisingly easy to keep watching - the action scenes aren't particularly good, the characterisation beyond basic (one of the mercenaries has a beard, another has a beard and a bandana, one has a hat and John Steiner `az a beret ahnd a Fronch aksunt) and the plot makes little sense, but it's a surprisingly good looking film that has a good eye for its Thai locations and enough colourful explosions spread throughout the film to keep boredom at bay. Collins is hired by Lee Van Cleef's shifty ex-mercenary-cum-drug-dealer to cause a bit of destruction in his main supplier's Cambodian compound to show him who's boss while Manfred Lehman's spy has that kind of only-in-the-movies overnight plastic surgery that leaves no scars, requires no healing and makes him look exactly like one of Collins' old comrades so he can tag along to find out the identity of a DEA mole that's conveniently on a CD-ROM in the compound that, among others, Donald Pleasance's spymaster wants to get his hands on before anyone else can get a look at it. There are no surprises and it's all very derivative - at one point when trucks are driving through the jungle you even get shots accompanied by synth scoring reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's work on Sorcerer a decade earlier - but it goes over old ground efficiently enough for it to wash over you inoffensively enough.

The extras-free slightly censored version (a cockfight has been cut) is a mostly decent 1.85:1widescreen print, though it suffers from some obvious DNR in places.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who dares wins, 24 Nov. 2002
By 
Chris (Cardiff, South Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Who Dares Wins [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
What a piece of Vintage Film. Anyone who stayed up for the the 9.00 showing each Sunday night of "The Professionals" and still watches them now with fondness will appreciate this film most. Equally fond thoughts will be harboured if you remeber vivdly the scenes of LIVE feed when the Iranian embassy was liberated by the real Men in Black. Namely "the Regiment" or Special Air Squadron(SAS). It is not meant to be the ultimate action film and was probably on a similar budget to The Professionals series but what they manage to capture is the same era and feelings that made you proud, wright or Wrong!, that we posess the means within this small miliatary power we now are, to take on the Baddies and prevail. With all that is written about the exploits of good old British Soldier during the world wars it`s a very satisfying to know that what we once were we still are in smaller number.
The film is a fabulous mixture of SAS action and delivered in a BOND way as we see a mock up training sequence behind the gates at Hereford and a view of the hostage room within the Killing house. Where no other than Mrs.Thatcher and Royal couples have been put through the paces of how to keep still when the SAS decide to enter to bring the terrorists impromptu dinner party to an end.
Buy this DVD it is a thrill to watch and feels very much like the Sweeney films in a nostalgic way, a sort of Top Flite episode of the Professionals. The climactic end sequence is second to none and stirrs the spirit and hairs on the back of the neck. Especially when Lewis Collins leads the troops down the corridor of the embassy to some fabulous back music.
BUY IT!!!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Action Film., 30 Aug. 2009
By 
P. W. Charnley (United Kingdom.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Superb action film. The casting was perfect and the primary aspects of the movie came across as being believable and authentic, some certainly leapt from the pages of a comic book. But 'Who Dares Wins' was thoroughly enjoyed by most who saw it though, predictably, it was loathed by the critics who invariably operate from the self loathing, left wing, anti-establishment premiss of the modern intelligentsia. Any novel or film depicting fringe groups or minorities being represented by zealots and unhinged fanatics who pose a serious threat to the lives of the majority, and who are subsequently defeated by an organisation or individual employed to protect and stand up for them, has not got a hope in hell in the eyes, and with the pens, of such people in the mainstream media. See it and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 80s classic, 9 Feb. 2014
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A CLASSIC FROM 80s cinema the late Lewis Collins is brilliant in this film good story good action a must for any collection
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Collins............, 24 Mar. 2013
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Lewis Collins manages to make the best from a terrible script as SAS Captain Peter Skellen in an unlikely tale of VIP hostages being taken by a CND-type organisation objecting to nuclear weapons on British soil. The film isn't improved by Blu-ray, which appears to be quite poor in today's world of full HD and re-mastered TV and film coming from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Collins was probably typecast after his stint in the popular The Professionals series, but in my opinion he was an underrated actor and probably the best James Bond we never had. Judy Davis does well as the cute, American activist and Richard Widmark is believable as the US Secretary of State, but Edward Woodward never looks comfortable as the Police Commander. Roy Budd's musical score is good and Euan Lloyd's productions are usually entertaining movies, but this one lacks something. Worth watching though, but don't buy the Blu-ray if you're expecting a visually stunning entertainment experience.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrorism Never Sleeps, 25 July 2002
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Who Dares Wins.
Inspired by the SAS rescue of hostages at the besieged Iranian Embassy in May 1980 (itself the subject of a recent BBC2 documentary), this film received sniffy reviews at the time of its release, presumably out of some kind of inverted snobbery about "Good Guys" winning by force (why was this OK in The Magnificent Seven?) or in reaction to an alleged glamorisation of gratuitous violence. In truth, though undoubtedly violent, it is a very good action movie that has dated little, revolving about the incredible capabilities of 22 Regiment, the Special Air Service, to carry out what it calls Counter-Revolutionary Warfare. And, if this movie is remotely authentic (and it probably is), how incredible their tactics are.
In fact, the military expertise shown here is told in an almost understated, typically British way. The innumerable comic-book-style Delta Force movies are not in even a neighbouring league. It also touches on some very serious issues - witness, for example, the argument between captor Judy Davis and hostage American Secretary of State Richard Widmark about the rights and wrongs of countries having nuclear weapons in the name of peace and defence of democracy. Who, you might ask, are the real terrorists?
Lewis Collins stars as the cool but deadly SAS officer who has to infiltrate the terrorist anti-nuclear gang, Judy Davis as the gang's leader, John Duttine as her Marxist-revolutionary sidekick, Tony Doyle as the SAS chief and Edward Woodward, particularly fine as the calm but authoritative police commander. The nature of rescuing hostages with ultimate force is debated briefly but importantly by the latter two. Who knows when we will next be faced with this issue again?
But the real star of the movie is the reputation of the SAS itself. The climax of the movie is a jaw-dropping tour-de-force. Should you ever need them, you'll be grateful they're on your side. In a sense, considering the global political climate today, we need them all the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars why good brits dont beleive in rambo, 12 April 2012
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This review is from: Who Dares Wins [1982] [DVD] (DVD)
a well presented brit action story of the early 80s released in the patriotic wake of the falklands war.
lewis collins an all british hero, shows that you did not have to put up with too much rambo drivel from over the pond.
in short a gem.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pure 80's hokum - and all the better for it !, 14 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: Who Dares Wins [1982] [DVD] (DVD)
For all those viewers of a certain age (ie who remember watching the storming of the iranian embassy live) this a thrilling blast-from-the past . i remember it being around the time of the brilliant "harrys game" , when the world was black and white , not various shades of grey - every schoolboy wanted to be in the SAS after seeing this - in the same way everyone wanted to be a hacker after seeing War Games . For those who loved war games , red dawn , firefox etc this is nirvana - yes the script is pretty laughable , the political ideology somewhat dodgy and almost completely unbelievable (yes we're going to kill 2 american v.i.p's on brecon beacons and "no-one's going to miss you !") but feel the nostalgia !
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