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The Dam Busters [DVD] [1955]

4.7 out of 5 stars 342 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Charles Carson, Stanley Van Beers
  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Writers: Guy Gibson, Paul Brickhill, R.C. Sherriff
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008V6YO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,304 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The true story of Dr Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave), whose invention of the 'Bouncing Bomb' is greeted with scepticism in the Second World War. However, RAF Wing Commander Guy Gibson proves the bomb's worth in a daring mission to destroy the German Ruhr Dams. Also starring Richard Todd and Ursula Jeans.

From Amazon.co.uk

Something of a cult item among British war movies (and brilliantly spoofed a few years back by a lager ad), The Dam Busters turns a minor World War II incident into a saga of heroic stiff-upper-lippery in the classic British style. A bombing raid is proposed on a strategically vital Ruhr dam, but its position is inaccessible. Enter eccentric inventor Dr Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave in best daffy professor mode) who comes up with a genius idea--a bomb that will bounce on water like a skimmed pebble. Naturally the top brass pooh-pooh it, but gallant Wing Commander Guy Gibson (Richard Todd) is persuaded, and between them flyer and boffin forge ahead. The touches of carefully understated emotion now verge on self-parody, but it's hard not to get caught up in the narrative sweep, especially when the bombers take off on their mission and Eric Coates' stirring march hits the soundtrack. The modelwork, state-of-the-art for its early 1950s period, still looks impressive, and the death of Gibson's beloved black Labrador (embarrassingly called Nigger) is a three-hanky moment to rival the shooting of Bambi's mum. --Philip Kemp --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Anyone who has only ever seen Michael Anderson's definitive 1954 war film on a muddy, soft television transmission or the previous standard definition DVD should prepare themselves to be floored when they sit down to watch this new 1080P Blu-Ray.

The visual presentation is nothing short of perfection, and I do not say such things lightly. To their credit, Optimum have got absolutely EVERYTHING right on this one.

Firstly, the frequent temptation with HD to crop films that were originally shot Academy down to fill a 16:9 frame has been resisted, with the film retaining its full original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, pillar-boxed within the 16:9 frame.

The clarity of the image is so stunning that I cannot imagine they used anything other than the original negative, which would mean that the film would have had to have undergone a full-blown restoration (not cheap!)

Grading is absolutely first rate, with a terrific grey scale and no discernible clipping of white areas of the image. I did notice some slight black crush on very dark jackets, but this may well just be my TV. The image is as sharp as a razor, with the amount of extra detail being revealed nothing short of staggering for a film made over fifty years ago.

Most importantly, this sharpness is entirely natural and I did not detect the slightest bit of artificial processing of any kind; no edge enhancement, no artificial sharpening and no DNR.

The image retains a wonderfully natural, film-like quality with grain present throughout, as it should be, but always mild and controlled, and never bothersome.
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19 Comments 228 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This is one of the best of British stiff-upper-lip War films, and pretty faithful to its factual subject. It tells the two stories - of the invention of the bouncing bomb which would do severe damage to the Ruhr dams, and of the raid which used those bombs to inflict that damage - well. Characterisation is good and the performances of Richard Todd as Guy Gibson and, particularly, Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis, the inventor, are entirely appropriate and convincing. While the special effects of the raid itself are very much 1954 and now unconvincing, the tests of the bomb are very well depicted and seem true to life. It is perhaps worth knowing that Todd, with John Mills and others one of the archetypal British-military-hero film actors of the 50s, found one scene difficult to play, and that the very last one, when he tells Wallis that he must go away and write to the parents and families of those who did not come back ; difficult because, as a wartime officer himself in reality, he had done that more often than he cared to remember. The film generally carries that stamp of authenticity and, as such, is a good deal more than just an exciting tale. Well worth watching
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Format: DVD
I have just read the review on the Dam Busters film on your website.
Having read this review I urge people to ignore the comments made by Philip Kemp as being a load of puerile nonsense. Comparing the death of Nigger(Guy Gibson's labrador) to the death of Bambi's Mum,is belittling the men who held this dog as a mascot. Guy Gibson firmly believed that had his crews found out about Nigger's death it would have been seen as bad luck and quite rightly so.
This was not a minor operation. It was a highly technical operation for the day, no radar, they had GEE not quite the same, flying at 100 feet across the channel and over Holland and Germany, and the 60 feet over the lakes to the dams.
In the context of the '40s the term "Nigger" did not have the conotation is has today. Does Philip Kemp fully realise the outside professionl expertise that is called upon in the making of this type of film. One can only do so much within a budget within the two hours allowed. It's a well known fact that film companies tend to embelish heroism and if Philip Kemp cannot recognise this as indicated by his trite statements he should get an education.
I know this film is revered amongst the vast majority of those who are knowledgeable before and after the fact. I would hate to think that a frivilous and sarcastic review would desuade people from buying such a wonderful and gratifying film that honours the participants(Commenwealth aircrew including one American who joined the Canadian Air Force) and a long lasting commeration to RAF Bomber Command and the durability of spirit as exhibited by the British people.
Simon Wainwright
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Format: VHS Tape
Richard Todd plays a convincing Guy Gibson and casting Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis was an excellent choice. A thoroughly entertaining and generally accurate portrayal of how Wallis' conviction that the main Ruhr dams could be breached was carried out. The film includes actual footage of the trials carried out on the English coast. Students of military history, as well as those who simply want a good yarn well told, will enjoy this. (Incidentally, as it is an historical account, I see no reason why references to terms that may be politically-incorrect today need to be erased. If that credo was adopted there would be few accurate historical records available in the year 2000).
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