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Battle of Britain (1969)

Michael Caine , Trevor Howard , Guy Hamilton  |  G |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)

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Battle of Britain + Tora! Tora! Tora! (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) + Midway (Collector's Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, Curd Jürgens, Ian McShane
  • Directors: Guy Hamilton
  • Writers: Derek Dempster, Derek Wood, James Kennaway, Wilfred Greatorex
  • Producers: Benjamin Fisz, Harry Saltzman, John Palmer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008PC0Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,437 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battle of Britain" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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. Few defining moments can change the outcome of war. But when the outnumbered Royal Air Force defied insurmountable odds in engaging the German Luftwaffe, it may well have altered the course of history!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
387 of 406 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't throw out your VHS copy just yet May 29, 2003
By A Customer
The Battle of Britain is one of my favorite films. Great cast, classic flying scenes and a fascinating perspective on historical events.
However, I was disappointed with the DVD version. The image quality is great, but the DVD differs from the VHS version in some important ways.
First, the DVD version has different subtitles. Some are modified and some are added. If you read all of the newly added (and mostly unnecessary) subtitles, you can't keep up with the video in some scenes. I don't speak German, so I can't say whether the modified subtitles are more accurate, but I feel that some of the translations lost their dramatic edge in this release. The DVD producers also chose to overlap subtitles with the picture, when, at 2.35:1, there's plenty of room below the video for the subtitles.
Secondly, on VHS, the movie's final scene is boosted by Ron Goodwin's beautiful soundtrack. The DVD version drops the Ron Goodwin track and replaces it with a lifeless piece that saps the life out of the final scene. This was a major disappointment.
Lastly, just before the end credits, Winston Churchill's famous quote is replaced with a less notable one.
Overall, it's still a great movie, but the VHS version was nearly perfect. After waiting years for the DVD version, I'm now left hoping there will be a Special Edition version with the VHS subtitles and soundtrack restored.
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135 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
At long last fans of this great production have a DVD that won't disappoint. Those of us who saw the film when it was released in Theaters to this day, I believe, at every viewing of this movie recall and relive the significant impact it had. we have Heinkels and Me 109's with Merlin engines. Come on guys! I certainly prefer that to CGI planes that don't even exist. Remember...there's about as little chance that you'll ever see a gathering of warbirds like this on film again as there is of the Battle of Britain repeating itself. And the model Stukas? Well, think about it. Even if there were a few around, which there wasn't (flyable that is), they wouldn't be crashing them now would they. No, we'd still see models. Not one real airplane was destroyed making this film. All were mock-ups or models.
While the love story addicts are generally happier watching the likes of Pearl Harbor for obvious reasons, it must be remembered that films like Battle of Britain and Tora Tora Tora (easily the better Pearl Harbor depiction)are simply intended to tell a story. A little bit of documentary? You bet. A story of which we already know the begining, the middle and the outcome. There are no twists or suprises to be expected. No heroes walking out of the smoke in slow motion. The film is about the battle, not the individuals. It's about the RAF, not the one pilot that flies better than anyone else and has the prettiest girl waiting for him. It's about the country that against overwhelming odds came through. No. No individual heroes or loves...if that's what you're looking for quite simply you are watching the wrong movie. What? Did we see a review or two that complained of no plot? Geeez Loueeez...don't tell the Germans. You can teach monkeys to review better than that.
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204 of 226 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Battle of Britain - DVD version May 26, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was eagerly looking forward do the DVD version of this movie. I have had the old RCA disk version that dates back to the early 80's, the VHS, and laserdisc version. The laser disc version is in widescreen. When I received the DVD, my enthusiasm decreased when I started watching the film. I could not believe what had been done to this version of the film. The following items are what I have found to be faults with the DVD version:
1) This version does not include any references to the location or the time frame that the scenes are occuring (e.g. the opening shot takes place May 1940 in France, the scene with Sir Ralph Richardson and Curt Jurgens is at the British Embassy in Switzerland, the first scene with Goering is at Pas de Calis).
2) The opening credits are completely changed especially "The Battle of Britain" instead of "Battle of Britain".
3) No credit is given to Maurice Binder for Main Titles and Ron Goodwin for music. It is Ron Goodwin's music that is used for most of the movie.
4) The English subtitles were inaccurate at least on one occasion. The scene near the beginning that talks about Churchill refering to the battle of France is over. Churchill's quote says "[w]hat General Weygand called the battle of France...", but the subtitle says de Gaulle instead of Weygand.
5) Battle of Britain March by Sir William Walton was substituted at the end. This music was not appropriate because the end of the film paid tribute to those involved in the campaign.
6) The film used a quote that did not capture the essence of the battle. I think that his "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" sentiments are much more appropriate.
7) I also believe that the DVD left out the number of German planes, casualties, and missing.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
There are a plethora of reviews of the movie, but my review is mostly a comparison of the BD vs DVD version. I won't discuss its merits as a war film.

The BD version is fantastic, and is equal or superior to the theatrical release I vaguely remember as a child and beyond superior to the DVD version.

The audio is crisp and clear and makes good use of its uncompressed audio track. For a movie released in 1969, the sound is 21st century quality: the effects roar into your living room, the engines thunder and drone as if you were there, bombs thud with deep bass, gun fire are not only clear they are period accurate to the type of guns used. The vocal track is balanced and not drowned out by effects and background noise. There are several English alternative tracks, one gives more attention to Sir Walton's musical score used in the original theatrical release.

The BD transfer is up to the highest quality BD disks. The actors faces are all so well defined, and luckily show almost no trace of makeup. Texture in uniforms are so clear one could discern cotton from wool in the material, make out details in engines, rivets on planes, brush strokes of paint and even blades of grass on the fields. Most strikingly, the details reveal when stunts were done with real planes, or when props were substituted and animation were used, such as when planes exploded in mid-flight. There is a very striking difference in movements and maneuvers by real planes that is qualitatively different from the CGI, such as used for planes in the 2001 film, Pearl Harbor.

I do recall as child, the film did not receive high praise, due to a shallow script and editing, characters were not developed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by JOHNNY BROOK WARFORD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great World War II film
I am a fan of the great World War II movies. Having now seen this in Blu-ray I include it among the top films in that genre. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Wayne C. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the reviewers say it is!
Much better than I expected even with the great reviews I read. Gave this to my husband for a gift. He was thrilled to add it to his collection.
Published 7 days ago by Texas MaMa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent depiction of the battle for Britian.
Published 10 days ago by James I. Whalen
5.0 out of 5 stars As a "semi-expert" I see a few things that should have been added but...
This is an accurate documentary. As a "semi-expert" I see a few things that should have been added but what was included was VERY good. Read more
Published 12 days ago by A. B. H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great aerial sequences.
Published 28 days ago by foggy55
2.0 out of 5 stars incorrect region
unable to play due to incorrect region ,thought it was multiform
the movie is excellent as I have seen it before but not in blue ray
Published 1 month ago by henry ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch!
This film interests me as my British parents grew up in this era; my mother especially given that she is a Londoner and was evacuated to the countryside. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Malcolm Barr
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding film concerning the battle
This film clearly shows both side of the battle including the British concerns for defeat and conquest and the Nazi initial optimism of victory followed by invasion of Britain. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. D. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars KC
Second best aviation movie of all time with Blue Max being number one. Both UK films and the special effects are real rather than cartoons.
Published 2 months ago by FIREGURU
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Topic From this Discussion
Battle of Britain sound track
Musically - No - because the Walton soundtrack was never used
Feb 20, 2009 by Graeme J. W. Smith |  See all 2 posts
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