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3.8 out of 5 stars
39
3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 16 April 2009
Very good DVD with actual footage from WW2 Fleet Air Arm carrier action.
Excellent footage of Fairey Swordfish and Fulmar aircraft. Good story line of how the British fought the Italians - on the lines of Taranto but day light raids.
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on 17 July 2009
This film features the 1940 Fleet Air Arm aircraft and doctrines and allows you to see how the FAA intended to use the Fairey Fulmar fighter, Blackburn Skua "dive" bomber [shallow-dive actually - Churchill's WWI-vintage "technical air advisors" had advised him that dive bombing was "impossible" (even though the Germans, Americans, and Japanese were obviously doing it) so they weren't allowed to actually "dive" when attacking] , and Fairey Swordfish torpedo planes in a semi-fictional strike against the Italians. The cast is good, the story is good but typical for a WW2 film and highlights the FAA "getting respect" from the traditional battleship admirals. Also featured is the H.M.S. Ark Royal, Junkers F.13 passenger plane ("the grandmother of all the Junkers") and some not-so-well modelled Italian planes (Breda BR.88, Fiat G.50, etc).
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on 16 September 2010
"Ships with Wings" an Ealing Studios fictional warfilm and is made in close cooperation with the Admiraltyand War Office advice for public morale; copyright 1941 a black and white film made just under 3years into WWll.

It opens with a Captain & and an Admiral at a launch for an aircraft carrier and the reparte between them. The Admiral is sceptical and the Captain enthusiastic, seeing the potential of aircraft at sea, hence title of the film. Well structured dialogue and informative of an argument contemporeanous to the time, over where the budget got spent. 3million for an aircraft carrier! Wow inflation ...sure the RN would like a bill these days that small.

It is a somewhat 'suspend belief' on the overall storyline, but it is only the peg to hang some fine model making and film footage of real ships; a morale boosting movie for the wartime audience and some great one-liners.

A carefully crafted story for and of its time; patriotic theme music and some short and light singing performances seamlessly slotted in with relevance to the scenes with John Clements as Lt Stacey and Ann Todd as an actress dating Lt. Stacey who is a Fleet Air Arm pilot.

Gentle properganda for the purpose of national confidence building in the fight against the enemy laying out the new aircraft carrier benefits, along with indications of duty and selfless courage. Not over done and the writers sensitively give a balance of what would be acceptable and comforting to the audiences, who by that time in 1941 would be effected personally by the casualities and death toll of the war and would be in no mood to swallow glazed patriotism.

Even the moral example of the 'best pilot' Lt Stacey who is court martialled for disobeying orders and cowardice is drummed out of RN. (War is serious and so is the Senior Service - not about dare devils)Then the storyline begins, he ends up flying a 1 plane route in the med for a Greek owner, the germans invade the island and naturally, both ex Lt Stracey and the greek owner do their duty for their country and the allies. (Watch out for the very moving speech of resistance the greek makes to the Germans).

Great model shots of the Italian and German base planes and the dam which the RN have to destroy. Great ship and flying film footage mixed in with set and model shots - rather slick for the technology and time.

A wonderfully crafted film that is a lesson in model making for film and splicing of film footage expert craftsmanship. It is obviously a piece of mass media history and social history of film making, as the spec for the writers, must have in wartime, read something like:

Good storyline
good dialogue with wit
glamour
love interest
Best foot forward for the RN
morale booster for the nation
moral sensibility of wartime duty
respectful acknowledgement of the fallen and the audience who have lost
someone who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Wonderful bookmarker for how times and manners have changed and not for the better.
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on 3 February 2014
I should say this is a terrible film, but it is also wonderful. Made during WWII when there was no such thing as CGI it IS a bit..... naff. But it is great propaganda.
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on 10 February 2014
Excellent movie although somewhat dated, Great cast and acting. I enjoyed every minute of it. Glad to see some of these oldies dragged out from under the cobwebs. :-)
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on 19 April 2017
Cant fly so may be submarines
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on 3 August 2014
Good value as always
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on 29 January 2011
I brought this for a Christmas present for my Dad as he loves the old war films, He was very pleased with it.
Will be buying plenty more for him. A must for all Old war films fans.
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on 1 January 2010
Very interesting as a contrast with later war time films. This one shows the officer class very much in charge and shows clearly the class distinction of the time. For example, a young officer conspires with a young seaman to gain access to the Link Trainer in exchange for a compass. When discovered, the seaman is made to return the compass and taken off to be caned, much to the amusement of the oficers. Later wartime films show a much more egalitarian society and the contrast is interesting.

The end of the film showing a dam being destroyed by a single aircraft diving on to it is interesting when compared with the real dam busters raid!
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on 8 May 2015
Not an exciting film, poor acting and unlikely action, too much involvement of the officer class that I found annoying.Nevertheless it contained
interesting footage of the aircraft carriers and Fleet Air Arm planes of the era.
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