Published on March 16th, 2007 | by Chris2
Battle of Britain (1969)
1969's Battle of Britain is a pretty academic and mechanical look at the escalation of German bombing attacks in 1940 which we all know as "the blitz." An all-star cast consisting of such names as Christopher Plummer, Michael Caine, Curt Jurgens, Laurence Olivier, Nigel Patrick, Robert Shaw, and more round it out.
But the real stars of this movie aren't flesh and blood at all, but the staggering number of aircraft (both real and F/X.) Matter of fact while watching this you come to realize that the people are just kind of a sideshow to the absolutely amazing dogfight and air battle scenes.
Spitfires, Hurricanes, Me-109s, Stukas, Heinkels... the list goes on, and there are lots of them. Lots of them seem to meet untimely demises as well, and I hope(!) they were replicas or prop pieces! The F/X here are really quite good for '69, as you can believe it when you're shown 100's of Luftwaffe bombers coming after London.
Like I said, the air battle scenes are where this movie shines. From the sound effects, to the incredible camera angles and views, to the pilot chatter, it's all good.
Especially interesting is the final battle scene, where the sound effects were removed and all you hear is the (albeit overly "pompous") musical soundtrack. It comes out as a magical "airplane" ballet of sorts.
To be honest the non-aircraft parts of the film are rather mechanical in nature. Even with such greats as Plummer, Caine, and Olivier, its obvious these scenes are just kind of "filler" for in between the raging sky conflicts.
There's also a lot of subtitled German, as we're shown the Nazi POV of things. I mean a lot of subtitles (which I didn't pick up on at first since I had the TV "zoomed" in to fill the letterbox across the screen!) And they're even more mechanical and academic than the Brits!
Overall, I doubt you'll see a more impressive assemblage of German and British WWII aircraft anywhere than this film. If you're a dogfight fan, or a fan of the more "methodical" war movies, this is a must see.
Battle Of Britain
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Featuring a "big stellar cast" (Variety), including Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Robert Shaw, Susannah York and Edward Fox, Battle of Britain is a spectacular retelling of a true story that shows courage at its inspiring best...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: G (General Audience)
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
- Michael Caine
- Trevor Howard
- Harry Andrews
- Curd Jürgens
- Ian McShane
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: Overall, I doubt you'll see a more impressive assemblage of German and British WWII aircraft anywhere than this film. If you're a dogfight fan, or a fan of the more "methodical" war movies, this is a must see.