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The Dam Busters [Blu-ray] 
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(Jun 04, 2018)
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A BRAND NEW RESTORATION – COMMEMORATING THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL WWII RAID
A much-loved British classic, Michael Anderson’s 1955 drama captures the tension and bravery of an audacious raid on the centre of Nazi Germany’s industrial complex and the quintessentially English combination of inventiveness and dogged determination.
Split into two distinct sections, the film deals first with the fraught, but the ultimately successful development of a new bomb, by Dr. Barnes N. Wallis(Michael Redgrave). The second deals with the mission itself during the British raid on the Ruhr Dams, and its associated costs for the enemy and for the British airmen.
Adapted by R.C. Sherriff from Paul Brickhill’s book “Enemy Coast Ahead” and featuring superlative special effects photography by Gilbert Taylor (to say nothing of Eric Coates’ stirring theme tune), The Dam Busters was Britain’s biggest box office success of 1955.
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Some argue that this raid had little impact on the war effort. I argue that it had a HUGE impact, but one that isn't known to most. Because the Germans diverted substantial slave labour to repairing these dams, the defences along the French coast, and particularly at Normandy, were not yet finished in detail. If they had been fully prepared, the outcome on the invasion beaches would/could have been quite different. This is why the raids on the dams were instrumental in reducing the war and potentially in outright winning the war. Thanks to Barnes Wallis' persistent in overcoming massive doubt and bureaucratic hindrances, he may have opened the door to winning the war by securing the beaches ahead of the invasion.
The story should be well familiar to many: Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis, the scientist who developed the bouncing bomb, and Richard Todd as the much decorated Guy Gibson who led the raid that destroyed the Ruhr Valley dams and slowed down Germany’s war effort but, tragically, also losing the lives of 53 airmen. Both stars never overplay their roles, giving their treatments with reserve and much “Britishness” (no apologies to the pc brigade) in word and deed while director Michael Anderson, on the eve of his equally impressive career, presents the film backed with much research and superb aerial photography, made greater by shooting in black & white, rather than colour (which would have glamorized the story), and restored to perfection in two different film ratios.
Just as the film overwhelms, so do the mass of Special Features. Here authentic history takes its place alongside the film production with documentaries on Sir Barnes Wallis, 617 Squadron and the Dam Busters reunion, among other items, accompanied by a 64 page booklet, crammed with photographs, newspaper reprints, reproductions of Wallis’ notes and more.
Quite simply, “The Dam Busters” Special Edition well compliments history with film production and, as such, should be equally pleasing to film enthusiasts and historians.
The picture quality is amazingly sharpe, hard to believe the original is over 60 years old.
This will be played over and over again, love it!
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