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4.4 out of 5 stars178
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 April 2010
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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on 26 July 2010
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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on 24 November 2002
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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 October 2015
Who Dares Wins is a brilliant film, and this is a wonderful release from Arrow.

You get a nice little booklet, plus a revisable cover, and loads of bonus features.

The Blu-ray is very nice, and for the age of the film it gets a 4/5,
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on 30 August 2009
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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on 25 July 2002
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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on 19 March 2001
Who Dares Wins is a vastly underated film. The action sequences and the soundtrack are superb and it features a great cast of British character actors. Some of the script and acting is dodgy, but it's hardly unique in that respect. It's a shame Universal simply used the old Polygram video master as their source as a new remaster with an interview etc. would have done this film justice.
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on 25 January 2004
The whole thing about the film is not to take it too seriously. I enjoyed the action pieces in the movie, especially the rescue of Skellerns wife at the mews. I always disapprove of love interests in this kind of film, to me it smacks of trying to appeal to too many types of viewer. At the end of the day this is a good guy versus bad guy military action movie. But again don't take the whole thing too seriously. Its just a shoot em up flick with the good guys winning. I enjoyed it!
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on 5 June 2003
Great film, a real 80s classic starring Lewis Collins of the Professionals and feeling a little like an extended episode of the classic 70s/early 80s series. Buy it on DVD for quality, but be warned that the special features are rubbish (a poorly written textual history of the SAS that you scroll through in a drudgery, as your eyes start to burn from the super-high resolution); and more importantly that the film itself comes in TV format rather than widescreen. Why? It had a cinematic release so was clearly made in cinemascope format, so what's the beef?
Dear lord, boys, re-release this film in widescreen! I'll buy it again. You lot should maybe wait and see if they do before you fork out your cash.
4 for the film, 1 for the DVD.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 June 2012
Captain Peter Skellen is drummed out of the SAS for being a tough as a goats knee. His skills and obvious contempt for authority mark him as an ideal candidate to help a fringe terrorist group capture and hold a stately home full of visiting American dignitaries. Their mission accomplished, they threaten to kill hostages if the authorities dont set off a Nuclear explosion. Skellen's in deep and what's more, the terrorists tumble his game and kidnap his family to ensure his compliance. These terrorists should've watched the footage of the Iranian Embassy siege two years earlier, if they had, they'd have seen their assured fate as Skellen and his black clad unit take them apart. This isn't an action picture and I think that put lots of people off as they associated Lewis with the Professionals action series. I like to think of it as an espionage tale with a very classy slice of action in the final reel. It's a slick production and Lewis Collins is brilliant in the role, the rest of the cast is made up of well known faces and proper actors. Some of the cinematography's a treat; the Welsh mountains look magestic, there's a dark foreboding sky above a Hereford training area and even the music is tough. The source material the Tiptoe Boys is darker, more detailed and a great read.
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