Top positive review
History lives on with this perfect production
20 July 2018
Ever since the first of several viewings back in the 1950s, “The Dam Busters” has remained one of my favourite films, so this Special Edition BluRay/DVD box set was an essential item for my collection. But, overriding personal tastes, the film is an outstanding tribute to a triumphant moment in British history and a superior item of filmmaking.
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.