Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (22)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant
Luckily this has already been released on DVD here in Australia via the SBS network and what a corker of a movie it is. For those familiar with Mr Wellum's wonderful (and enormously popular) memoir, this television adaptation will be thoroughly enjoyed. It is different from the book though, diving straight into his posting with 92 Sqn and leaving out the training segment...
Published on 15 April 2011 by Smithy

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boy Wellum
Great movie (docudrama really) of the youngest Battle of Britain pilot. A must see for avaition nuts. I enjoyed but it was only an hour or so long and I thought a bit short,hence 3 stars.
Published on 5 Aug 2011 by The Aviator


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant, 15 April 2011
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
Luckily this has already been released on DVD here in Australia via the SBS network and what a corker of a movie it is. For those familiar with Mr Wellum's wonderful (and enormously popular) memoir, this television adaptation will be thoroughly enjoyed. It is different from the book though, diving straight into his posting with 92 Sqn and leaving out the training segment of the book, but this is not a bad thing considering the time constraints of putting this onto film. What we have here is a simply fantastic look at the life and experiences of a very young man thrown into the deep end of the most savage aerial conflict that mankind has waged. The aerial depictions are sublime from the sheer ecstatic joy of first flying a Spitfire to the savagery and suddenness of air combat. All of this is brilliantly conveyed - the first scramble scene alone is in itself one of the very best for conveying the tension and sudden explosive violence of Battle of Britain engagements.

All of this dramatic recreation benefits from the voice overs and musings of Mr Wellum himself and this adds to the personal nature of this adaptation. At the end of the day this is an astoundingly good look at the life of a young Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot and the best screen portrayal of the subject there is. Quite simply magnificent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Excellent, Excellent - did I say Excellent?, 1 July 2011
By 
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 'top shelf' movie DVD: I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially anyone who does not really know or understand why "so much is owed to so few" (Winston Churchill). The movie is very informative; I was a little hesitant that the movie would lean too much on the documentary aspect, however the minimal 'docco' insertions lead a lot of credibility to this film and balances it perfectly. To see Geoffery Wellum in his twilight years interviewed as to his recolections, this helps the viewer to step inside Geoff's ("call me Geoff")head and experience flying a Spitfire in ariel battles. What struick me the most with this film was how many of the questions that dogged Geoff as he flew and fought in 1940 are the same questions he still strives for answers today! I took flying lessons, flew solo and then some; to see and hear Geoff's reactions to his first solo in a Spitfire bought back to me the intense emotions when I first flew solo. His comments reminded me of what I shared with my wife upon landing "flying is like playing tag with the angels" and i felt a great kinship with Geoff (though I never experienced the terror of being shot at) and therefore this movie became quite emotional for me and I stand in absolute awe and appreciation at men like Geoff who fought for my freedom and the freedom of the world. Watch this movie and enjoy, I dare you to walk away from it underwhelmed, it won't happen!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Battle of Britain Story, 6 July 2011
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
Based on Geoffrey Wellum's book "First Light," First Light (Penguin World War II Collection) this film was released in time for the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. At the age of just 18, Geoffrey Wellum was one of the youngest Spitfire pilots to go into combat during the Battle of Britain. A boy, barely out of school, he exhibits the wide range of emotions as a combat pilot in this film. The film, as a document drama, perfectly mirrors the book's story, and perfectly captures the mood of the period. If you want some sense of what it was to experience combat in the air, this is the film to see. I have only admiration for Geoffrey and all the chaps who flew with the RAF during the war, and especially during the Battle of Britain. We must never forget their courage and sacrifice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving True Life Account of the Battle of Britain., 20 July 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
I started watching this with no expectations, and after 5 minutes I was totally hooked. It tells of the real life experiences of Geoffrey Wellum, the youngest Spitfire pilot of WW 2. It is from his memoir and he is featured in this film. Although it is a drama his pieces to camera are as moving as the film.

He gets posted and is taken under the wing of the Flight Commander; they all develop a really tight bond and have their own ways of dealing with loss. The aerial fight scenes are amazing, and the CGI is so good that I kept thinking it must be real planes - which I am sure there were for parts of the film. It is hard to say too much without being a plot spoiler, but it deals with his determination to prove himself, his love life and what happens when battle fatigue takes its toll.

I was genuinely moved by this film and felt very emotional at the end. It is so important to remember all of those who died in WW 2 and the Battle of Britain is to be especially so for it was when Britain stood alone. With the exception of volunteers from around the world, these were mostly young, lacking in experience and had not really had a chance to live their lives. Yet they all went up every time it was asked of them this is a great testament to those few men. I can not recommend highly enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing insight, 9 July 2011
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
The previous reviewers who have also given this five stars have said all the right things about this DVD. What more can I add?

I watched this programme after experiencing "First Light" as a book. The book left me quite stunned to read of the struggle of a fairly ordinary young man trying to come to terms with flying, fitting in with his fellow pilots and staying alive whilst trying to destroy as many German planes as possible.

The DVD isn't some gung-ho hollywood production but a depiction of the fighter pilots world as experienced by Geoffrey Wellum, and it does a great job of giving us an insight into that world, though of course, we can never experience it.

Geoffrey Wellum adds his self-effacing words to the dramatisation and it is all the better for that. No gung ho speeches or rabid anti-natzi sentiment just an account of his life that at times causes the hair on the back of the neck to rise.

I'd probably recommend buying the book and the DVD and reading the book first. The DVD can never quite pass on the details and atmosphere that the book has and there are some parts of Geoffrey's account that are better explained in his writing - particularly for some sequences, for example, when chasing enemy planes in bad weather over the north sea. Currently the book has 138 customer reviews and a solid five stars. There's a very good reason for that.

At the moment the DVD has a solid five stars and four reviews. It has 134 more to go.

Highly recommended. Thank you so much for telling your story Geoffrey and for your bravery all those years ago. Your are a credit to your fellow airmen.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trully magnificent story retold in this BBC drama, 23 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. P. J. R. LEWIS (Llandudno N Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
Thankfully i caught this spell binding WW2 drama on BBC2 on the evening of the 22October 2011 and was able to watch it in magnificent HD.

On watching it one would think those beautifull Spitfires were a fairly common sight but unfortunately no.

All the costumes, vehicles and atmosphere of 1940 are captured to perfection as only the BBC know how and for those unfamiliar with what life was like for the young airmen its a dvd well worth watching.

Everything is handled magnificently and for the very first time on BBC television the colourfull language only increases ones enjoyment of the drama and that is a very rare event indeed.

It just showed how lucky or unlucky certain airmen were when nobody really knew if their time was up and if they were going to return.

Skill, judgement and extreme luck were the only thing that kept you alive and the story made me soon realise just how much who owe these young pilots for saving us from Nazi tyranny.

The airiel displays of the magnificent Spitfire are reason enough to purchase this lovely dvd but the story and the way it is told will make this BBC drama one to remember and enjoy during every viewing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIRST LIGHT IS WONDERFUL, 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
I have been waiting for this release for over a year.
I am a Battle of Britain buff and a WWII RAF reenactor.
This movie is a good combination of the exploration of Geoff Wellum's feelings and reactions to the events in which he found himself with some great Spitfire flying scenes as well.
The program is actually narrated by Sqd Ldr Wellum himself
I have actually watched it a couple times in the last two weeks.
My wife,who tolerates war movies actually liked this quite a bit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY BRAVE & VERY AFRAID, 19 Aug 2011
By 
Johncrouch "J.C." (SWITZERLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
A VERY GOOD AND INTENSE FILM WELL MADE & AS A PLUS A TRUE STORY WITH INTERVIEWS & COMMENTS BY THE MAN HIMSELF, GEOFFREY WELLUM. WE HAVE ALL HEARD I`M SURE OF THE VERY YOUNG MEN OF FIGHTER COMMAND, MANY ONLY 19 & 20 YEARS OLD WHO WANTED TO KICK JERRY WHERE IT HURTS THE MOST. THIS IS NOT A GUNG-HO FILM OF HOW JOHN WAYNE WON THE WAR ON HIS OWN SO TO SPEAK, IT IS ABOUT THE FEAR, DANGER, PALS KILLED IN ACTION, BEER IN THE MESS OR DOWN AT THE LOCAL PUB AND THE SHEAR GUTS THAT THESE "VERY" YOUNG MEN HAD IN OUR HOUR OF NEED, GOD BLESS THEM ALL AND LET US "NEVER FORGET" THE VERY HEAVY PRICE PAID FOR OUR FREEDOM !!!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first light, 22 Sep 2011
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
A brilliant insight into war in the air through a young man's eyes. Geoff Wellum rightly says "how could I ever forget". It must be an episode in his life forever etched on his mind.
This would be a very poingnant learning tool if it were to be used in schools. It is real history and should be treated as such.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boy Wellum, 5 Aug 2011
By 
This review is from: First Light (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
Great movie (docudrama really) of the youngest Battle of Britain pilot. A must see for avaition nuts. I enjoyed but it was only an hour or so long and I thought a bit short,hence 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

First Light (BBC) [DVD]
First Light (BBC) [DVD] by Matthew Whiteman (DVD - 2011)
14.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews