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Monday, February 15, 2016

Battle Of Britain (1969)

In 1940, the British defeats in France cause them to retreat to England. Outnumbered by the Germans, the British prepare to defend their homeland against the imminent attack on London by the Germans. Directed by Guy Hamilton (GOLDFINGER), the film is a fairly accurate account of the British defeat of the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940. This isn't a story with much character development and the film's weakest link is the domestic scenes between a married couple played by Christopher Plummer and Susannah York. The movie is crammed with major stars playing small roles which is probably the only way we can keep the characters straight as there isn't enough time for us to get to know them as people. The real "stars" of the film are the remarkable aerial sequences, beautifully shot by Freddie Young (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA). As meticulously choreographed as a musical dance number, the air battles are thrilling. I watched the film with the original underscore by Sir William Walton which was replaced when released in 1969 with a score by Ron Goodwin. The massive cast includes Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Robert Shaw, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Kenneth More, Ian McShane, Harry Andrews, Curt Jurgens and Edward Fox.

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