In 1940, the Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle against the might of the Luftwaffe for control of the skies over Britain, thus preventing the Nazi invasion of Britain.
|Release Date||:||September 15, 1969|
|Genres||:||Action, Drama, History, War|
|Production Company||:||Spitfire Productions|
|Production Countries||:||United Kingdom|
|Writers||:||Derek Dempster, Wilfred Greatorex, James Kennaway, Derek Wood|
|Casts||:||Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curd Jürgens, Ian McShane, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Kenneth More, Nigel Patrick, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Robert Shaw, Patrick Wymark, Susannah York, Michael Bates, Robert Flemyng, Edward Fox, W.G. Foxley, Barry Foster, James Cosmo, Jack Gwillim, Wilfried von Aacken, Karl-Otto Alberty, Helmut Kircher, Paul Neuhaus, Dietrich Frauboes, Malte Petzel, Peter Hager, Hein Riess, Rolf Stiefel, Manfred Reddemann, Alexander Allerson, Alf Jungermann, Jean Wladon|
|Plot Keywords||:||world war ii, nazis, winston churchill, aviation, royal air force, air battle, luftwaffe|
Perhaps not many new viewers of this gigantic recreation are aware of the fact that this movie was filmed almost 30 years after the actual events took place.
The efforts to put History on screen were huge. Everything in this account of the facts, comes directly from those who were actually involved in it: from the British and German fighter aces to private Londoners, they all contributed to make this not just another "war movie", but rather a dramatized documentary with accurate precision.
This by no means signifies that it is just that. The sky battles were very carefully choreographed, in accordance to rules of combat, which were followed in the 1940s. Some planes were flown by the same veterans, so that when you see a Messerschmitt Bf-109 followed by Spitfire Mk 1, you know it's for real.
The technical efforts were immense and although the Messerschmitts have reworked engines and even the Heinkel He.111s have different aerials and engine specs, because they were updated by the Spanish Air Force for later use after World War Two, the difference is barely noticeable when one watches one of those spectacular aerial battles.
On the whole, this is a history lesson about how a people, isolated from the rest of the world, and in a minority position, withstood the overwhelming crushing machine of the Axis: the Luftwaffe.
More than a movie, this is a celebration to those brave people, both civilian and military, who did commit themselves against all odds, to resist and fight back a very aggressive and dangerous enemy.
This, together with "The Longest Day", "Sink the Bismarck!", "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "A Bridge Too Far" is one of those rare examples to make history come to life again and should be considered as didactic material for schools.
An excellent multi-national cast and a skillful direction, make this a masterpiece of its genre.