Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain

3.8 9
Director: Guy Hamilton

Cast: Guy Hamilton, Harry Andrews, Trevor Howard, Michael Caine

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Guy Hamilton's Battle Of Britain (1969) was the first major failure for producer Harry Saltzman, who had enjoyed success for most of the 1960's between the James Bond movies (co-produced with Albert R. Broccoli) and the three Michael Caine-starring "Harry Palmer" spy movies. This disc is the best presentation that the movie has had since its year of release --…  See more details below

Overview

Guy Hamilton's Battle Of Britain (1969) was the first major failure for producer Harry Saltzman, who had enjoyed success for most of the 1960's between the James Bond movies (co-produced with Albert R. Broccoli) and the three Michael Caine-starring "Harry Palmer" spy movies. This disc is the best presentation that the movie has had since its year of release -- there was a letterboxed laserdisc edition released around 1990 that looked decent, but the new transfer runs circles around that laser set in clarity and detail as well as brightness and color. The fields of France as depicted here never looked greener, nor have the details of the planes ever seemed more enticing to the eye -- and when the action takes to the air, the viewer does almost get the feeling of being aloft, the picture is that sharp. The 2.35-to-1 letterboxed image captures the original Panavision picture and the black area below has been used to support the subtitling for the sequences involving the Germans in conversation. Daylight scenes or darker interior shots, there's a vast amount of picture information here to take in, and this is the kind of disc that could swing lingering skeptics over to the format. The audio is mastered well also, particularly the climactic "Battle In The Air" sequence, where the music is essential. None of this alters the fact that the movie is incredibly dull and slow-moving for much of its length. The 132 minute running time seems excessive, and director Guy Hamilton takes forever to get where he is going -- the fact that the 20 chapters are adequate to that running time is indicative of the pacing problems with the picture. Additionally, there is no annotation to speak of -- not even a paper insert with a list of chapters. The makers have left out some obvious supplementary material that could have been included -- Battle of Britain, like most other major United Artists productions of the period, was the subject of a 15-minute featurette that used to appear regularly on New York television (usually to fill time after baseball games that ran short or long), detailing the movie's production with extensive behind-the-scenes footage. Its inclusion would have made up for the lack of even the most basic essay about the film's history. The low price makes this disc attractive -- it retails for less than a third of what the laserdisc used to cost -- but the flaws in the original film, coupled with the perfunctory treatment of the disc extras negate some of that appeal. In terms of actual play, the disc opens automatically to a very simple two-layer menu with the "Play" option in the default position. The only bonus feature is the original five-minute trailer.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
05/20/2003
UPC:
0027616885760
Original Release:
1969
Rating:
G
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
2:12:00
Sales rank:
8,517

Special Features

Origional theatrical trailer; Origional theatrical english/german mono; English, french and spanish language subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harry Andrews Senior Civil Servant
Trevor Howard Air Vice Marshal Keith Park
Michael Caine Squadron Leader Canfield
Curd Jurgens Baron Von Richter
Ralph Richardson Sir David
Ian McShane Sgt. Pilot Andy
Laurence Olivier Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Kenneth More Group Capt. Baker
Michael Redgrave Air Vice Marshal Evill
Nigel Patrick Group Capt. Hope
Christopher Plummer Squadron Leader Colin Harvey
Robert Shaw Squadron Leader Skipper
Patrick Wymark Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory
Susannah York Section Officer Maggie Harvey
Michael Bates Warrant Officer Warrick
James Cosmo Jamie
Robert Flemyng Wing Cmdr. Willoughby
Barry Foster Squadron Leader Edwards
Edward Fox Pilot Officer Archie
W.G. Foxley Squadron Leader Evans
Sarah Lawson Skipper's Wife
Peter Hager Feldmarschall Kesselring
Wolf Harnisch Gen. Fink
Rolf Stiefel Adolf Hitler
Karl Otto Alberty Luftwaffe Chief of Staff
John Baskcomb Farmer
Isla Blair Mrs. Andy
Tom Chatto Willoughby's Asst. Controller
David Griffin Sgt. Pilot Chris
Jack Gwillim Senior Air Staff Officer
Duncan Lamont Flight Sgt. Arthur
Mark Malicz Pasco
Andre Maranne French NCO
Anthony Nicholls Minister
Nicholas Pennell Simon
Hein Reiss Reichmarschall Goering
Jean Waldon Jean-Jacques
Manfred Reddemann Maj. Falke
Alexander Allerson Maj. Brandt

Technical Credits
Guy Hamilton Director
Malcolm Arnold Score Composer
Bert Bates Editor
David Bracknill Cinematographer
Hans Brustellin Consultant/advisor
Maurice Carter Art Director
Derek Cracknell Asst. Director
Bert Davey Art Director
Gordon Everett Sound/Sound Designer
Benjamin Fisz Producer,Screenwriter
Franz Frodl Consultant/advisor
Adolf Galland Consultant/advisor
Ron Goodwin Score Composer
Wilford Greatorex Screenwriter
Bob Huke Cinematographer
William Hutchinson Art Director
James Kennaway Screenwriter
Jack Maxsted Art Director
Gordon K. McCallum Sound/Sound Designer
Gil Parrondo Art Director
Cliff John Richardson Special Effects
Glen Robinson Special Effects
Harry Saltzman Producer
Harry Slatzman Producer
Sydney Streeter Production Designer
Wally Veevers Special Effects
William Walton Score Composer
Freddie Young Cinematographer

Read More

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Evacuate Immediately [8:45]
2. Main Title/Preparations [4:08]
3. What's Stopping you? [7:43]
4. Bad Odds and Prayers [10:31]
5. The German Strategy [5:36]
6. First the Radar... [5:28]
7. ... Then the Airfields [7:46]
8. Assessing the Toll [:26]
9. An Easy Victory [4:17]
10. They're Coming Back [5:15]
11. Just Blew Up! [7:37]
12. Losing/Shy Interlude [6:11]
13. Bombs Over Berlin [:34]
14. London is Burning [5:28]
15. Language Barriers [7:02]
16. A Big German Blunder [10:07]
17. Objective: Destroy the RAF [1:10]
18. Bad News & Good Flyers [1:42]
19. The Right Numbers [6:42]
20. End of the Beggining [7:53]

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Battle of Britain 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a student of the engagement I found this movie to be very authoritative and well made with a few flaws. First, the movie demonstrates why live action plays better than CGI where the temptation is to jazz up the physics to a level where the audience visually senses the movement is not realistic. There are a few hokey explosion effects, compared to today, and some of the aircraft destroyed are too obviously shells but the decision to film this epoch in the air with actual period aircraft gives it a realism that is compelling. The film is a bit jingoistic, it is a paean to the British victory, but it captures the essence of this David vs. Goliath story. Even with it's flaws it is still a well made film about the Battle.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though elements of the film are dated (for example some of the optical compositing and at least on painted "explosion"), this is the finest air combat movie ever produced. The call went out to the warbird community for pilots and aircraft to participate in 1967, and enough aircraft of enough types (and in good enough condition) that this film represents a fair representation of the "real" events. Many of the pilots who flew in Battle of Britain flew during the war. In the same sense that "wings" gives a reasonable picture of the time of WWI (not as it necessarily was objectively, but as the people living the events saw it, Battle of Britain captures the early years of WWII. BTD, I didn't think the acting was that stilted for the 1960s, and my recollection of people who lived through that period was that they were, by modern standards, very emotionally closed. Again, none of these things were engineered into the film, in the manner of "Gods and Generals" or "Saving Private Ryan", but were organic to the production and the time it was done. The actual Battle was closer in time to the people making this film than the first gulf war is to us now. BTW, it's *Air Vice Marshal* Sir Hugh Dowding. Whoever wrote the blurb demoted him by at least 6 levels. Air Vice Marshall is equivelent to lieutenant general, "flight commander" is not an RAF rank, but flight lieutenant is equivelent to a USAF captain. Wing Commander a little better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All star cast, wonderful visuals, I felt as if I was in those planes!!
CrusaderGA More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest war films of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST SPECTACULAR AIR COMBAT FOOTAGE EVER FILMED. UNFORTUNATELY THE LACK OF A COHESIVE SCRIPT AND DIRECTION BOGS THE FILM DOWN. THERE ARE FEW MOMENTS OF REAL TENSION IN THE FILM, A RIDICULOUS LOVE STORY AND STILTED DIALOG. ''A BRIDGE TOO FAR'' AND ''THE LONGEST DAY'' BOTH SHOW HOW ENSEMBLE CASTS CAN BE HANDLED WHEN THERE IS A GOOD SCRIPT AND DIRECTION. MAKE NO MISTAKE, YOU WILL NEVER SEE MORE REAL AIRCRAFT ON THE SCREEN IN ANY OTHER FILM. IF YOU ARE AN AVIATION FAN, AS I AM, YOU WILL SIT THROUGH THE DULL TO GET TO THE ELEMENTS WORTH SEEING. REGARDING THE DVD RELEASE,THERE ARE SOME REAL PROBLEMS. FIRST AND MOST OBVIOUS IS THE REMOVAL OF THE ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TITLES AND THEIR REPLACEMENT WITH CHEESEY TV MOVIE STYLE TITLES. NEXT THE MISSING MUSIC CREDIT FOR RON GOODWIN, THE MISSING HISTORICAL REFERENCE TITLES THROUGHOUT THE FILM, THE DECISION TO SUB-TITLE VIRTUALLY EVERY WORD OF DIALOG IN THE FILM AND MIS-QUOTE AND MIS-SPELL SOME OF THEM, OMIT THE GERMAN CASUALTY FIGURES FROM THE END OF THE FILM AND UNBELIEVEABLY REPLACE WISTON CHURCHILL'S FAMOUS QUOTE: ''NEVER BEFORE IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN CONFLICT HAS SO MUCH BEEN OWED BY SO MANY TO SO FEW.'' WITH A MUCH MORE CONFUSING CHURCHILL QUOTE UNDERSCORED BY SOME INNOCUOUS ELEVATOR MUSIC RATHER THAN RON GOODWIN'S THEMATIC BATTLE OF BRITAIN HYMN. 5 STARS FOR THE FLYING AND THE RELATED STORIES OF THE PILOTS, NEGATIVE 3 STARS FOR ALL SCENES WITH SUSANNAH YORK 4 STARS FOR THE BLITZ, 0 STARS FOR OVERALL DIRECTION, AVERAGE THEM TO ABOUT A 2. TRULY UNFORTUNATE. SHOULD BE REMADE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago