I recall seeing this film the first time during its initial release during 1958, and to this day, remains one of my favourite British War films alongside Sink The Bismarck, Battle of Britain, and the Dam Busters just to name a few.
The story centres around a platoon of British soldiers who become accidentally detached from the main force retreating back to the French coast after the German Army breaches French defences around the Sedan area. After the platoon sergeant is killed in action Corporal John Mills takes charge and throughout many stirring adventures, he and his comrades finally reach the beaches where they spend a harrowing few days dodging the German Stuka Dive Bombers dropping their bombs amongst the sand dunes.
As a fine war film in its own right, I cannot rate this film too highly. It still stands up very well after all these years. Certainly, it is no Saving Private Ryan, it doesnt have to be; it is a great human story about the remnants of a large army struggling to survive against impossible odds.
The story is also enhanced by a group of sailor volunteers led by Bernard Lee who take their boats across the Channel to bring home the men stranded on the beaches, and this film is a testament to their courage and the "Little Ships" for which the miracle of Dunkirk is remembered.
The Dunkirk evacuation was a heroic defeat for the British Army, but it also allowed the army to fight another day. It is also a tribute to the courage of all the men who fought and died there.
This film should be in everyones collection. Good picture and sound.