29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Timely release for an excellent piece of history,
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This review is from: The Pathe Collection -The Battle Of Ypres [DVD] (DVD)
I've had two versions of this film for a few years now but this lovingly restored version is, by far, the best of them all. The soundtrack is a little '1950s Western' at times but, with the added sound effects, it brings the film alive. Yes, the acting is a little wooden but that's only to be expected from real soldiers recreating the battles they fought in four years after the event. We should congratulate Strike Force and Cherry Red for bringing this historic film to a wider audience. It's a noble successor to Battle of The Somme (albeit that The Somme contains genuine footage filmed during the war).
The only minor quibble is that they didn't take the opportunity to correct a couple of examples of poor continuity. For example, we see Captain Robertson VC nobly falling in battle whilst leading his tanks into action. About 5 minutes later (and interrupting an assault on a pill box), we see him laying out the tapes on the night before he was killed. This faithfully follows the sequence of the original British Pathe film (which was probably the intention) but would have slightly improved continuity had it been corrected (as it was in a US release of an abbreviated version of the film). There is a similar anomaly earlier in the film.
That niggle aside, this is a magnificent effort on the part of all involved. I now look forward to a similar treatment of Mons (1924) and Zeebrugge (1922).
Almost forgot......the bonus feature is a cut-down version of the IWM's film 'Ypres - The Shell Shattered City of Flanders'. The original film runs to 49 minutes and is a hotch-potch of footage, seemingly put together at random. The producers of the DVD have distilled the footage down and grouped it under titles which try and give a sense to the subject matter. The extent of the devastation caused is still quite shocking. It's a shame it couldn't have been combined with the recent footage of the ruins of Ypres filmed from the air, or with another IWM film 'Eight Years After' which shows Ypres during its rebuilding.
Excellent.....go out and buy it.