Review: Battle of Britain

UK, Guy Hamilton (1969)

: Battle of BritainI’d probably recommend this film only to people who love war dramas (especially the historical reenactment kind) or who like to get their WWII history from the movies. The aerial dog fight sequences are cool, and the action moves along quickly enough, but other than that, it’s just kind of by the numbers.

I have to admit that I didn’t know very much about the actual Battle of Britain before this movie. The events take place in 1940, before the U.S. had entered the war, hence the lack of Hollywood films that have been made on this subject. The Germans are bombing the heck out of England as they rampage over Europe, and it’s up the British air force to hold them off and save the empire from invasion. It’s a British who’s who of acting–Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Laurence Olivier, Kenneth More, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson and Susannah York all turn up wearing various military uniforms, but no one stands out above the others. I actually put it on my Netflix queue because Ian McShane is in it and I wanted to see what Al Swearengen (from Deadwood) looked like thirty years ago. [*** out of 5]

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