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British War Collection (The Cruel Sea/The Ship That Died of Shame/Went the Day Well?/The Dam Busters/The Colditz Story) (1944)

Richard Todd , Michael Redgrave , Alberto Cavalcanti , Basil Dearden  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Went the Day Well? (1942)   -- --

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British War Collection (The Cruel Sea/The Ship That Died of Shame/Went the Day Well?/The Dam Busters/The Colditz Story) + The Best of British War Cinema: 10 Action Packed Movies + The Rank British War Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Mills
  • Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Dearden, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, Michael Anderson
  • Writers: Basil Dearden, Angus MacPhail, Diana Morgan
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 535 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00076YPBM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,110 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "British War Collection (The Cruel Sea/The Ship That Died of Shame/Went the Day Well?/The Dam Busters/The Colditz Story)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Experience all the explosive drama of a nation at war by land, sea and air. The five classic films in this collection – starring such screen legends as Michael Redgrave, Richard Attenborough, John Mills, Jack Hawkins, Stanley Baker, Robert Shaw and more – are now presented uncut and fully restored, depicting the men and women of Great Britain at their most compassionate and courageous. These are British war movies’ finest hours.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain At War. August 8, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As someone who was born in Britain and spent his childhood there in the fifties, I remember being taken by my parents to see several of these films when they were released, particularly "The Dam Busters" and "The Colditz Story". So I do appreciate this collection of British World War II films by Anchor Bay, and the memories that came flooding back.

All five films are a crisp black and white, full-screen, mono sound, but--apart from a nice booklet--the DVDs have no extras. As of this writing, Richard (now Lord)Attenborough, Sir Donald Sinden and Richard Todd are still "with us", so their comments would have been fascinating. Some extras--comments on these films and the British war film genre in general--would have been a "nice touch", to say the least.

"The Cruel Sea"--quite simply one of the finest and most realistic films about naval warfare ever made. As the captain of a corvette assigned to protect supply convoys from German U-boats, Jack Hawkins gives one of his best performances--you will not forget the scene where he must decide the fate of some stranded sailors--this is real war, where good people must make heart-breaking decisions. Mr. Hawkins receives fine support from Donald Sinden and Denholm Elliott. A real classic.

"The Dam Busters"--that superb actor, Michael Redgrave, stars as British scientist/engineer/inventor Barnes Wallis, who fought an uphill battle with the British military (and far too much "red tape")with his innovative plan to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley, and cripple Hitler's industry. After various setbacks, he proves that his "bouncing" bomb does indeed work.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Superior British WWII Films March 2, 2005
Went the Day Well? (1942) is probably the least known of the movies in this collection. It is one of the British war movies made during WWII that were meant to strengthen morale and inspire steadfastness.

The little English village of Bromley End welcomes a large number of Royal Engineers who are to work on a secret project. However, the Royal Engineers in reality are English-speaking German soldiers in British uniforms, parachuted into England to set up a counter radar apparatus which will disrupt England's radar network. Gradually the villagers begin to suspect things aren't right, and then realize what they're dealing with. The Germans cordon off the village, show their true colors and prepare to set up their equipment. The villagers need to break through the cordon to alert authorities and get help. They also decide they must take action themselves to stop the Germans. This is complicated because the village houses a traitor. The climax is the Battle of Bromley End, with British Home Guard troops arriving while the Germans, attacking the manor house where they must set up their stuff, are held off by the men and women of the village.

If you're fond of older British movies you'll recognize some fine actors: Leslie Banks, David Farrar, Thora Hird, Basil Sydney, Mervyn Johns. The film is a well-constructed piece of stirring, patriotic wartime propaganda. The DVD I've seen has a good transfer, especially considering the age of the film.
The Colditz Story (1955) was one of a number of movies the British made during the Fifties which relived the victories and bravery of their armed services during WWII. Often these movies starred John Mills. The Colditz Story is based on fact.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About the Anchor Bay DVDs... April 2, 2005
By Tryavna
As other reviewers have noted, these are excellent movies, worthy to be savored by fans of WWII films or British cinema. Four are genuine classics, and The Dam Busters and The Cruel Sea are masterpieces of documentary-style realism. The Ship That Died of Shame is an odd choice, since most of its action takes place after the war. I'd have preferred something like The Captive Heart or The Way Ahead, but I've grown used to the curveballs that Anchor Bay usually throw into their boxsets. My personal favorite is Went the Day Well?, which is remarkably violent and stylish for a 1940s propoganda picture. And by the way, only three of these films were made at Ealing: Went the Day Well?, The Cruel Sea, and The Ship That Died of Shame. The Dam Busters and The Colditz Story were made by Associated British and Britsh Lion, respectively.

The transfers are excellent. They're clean and crisp, much like the discs in Anchor Bay's earlier Alec Guinness Collection (also recommended). There are occasional scratches and scenes with heavy grain, but nothing distracting. Even Went the Day Well?, the oldest in the set (1942), looks beautiful. I hope Anchor Bay maintains a good relationship with Studio Canal, the company that owns the rights to these and other superb British films, because they make a good team. Studio Canal keeps their film stock in great condition, and Anchor Bay's remastering jobs and transfers are solid.

The real let-down is the lack of extras, especially considering the high price. I'm not the kind of person who demands a commentary on every DVD; I'm more concerned about getting a good transfer. But these are such key films in the history of British cinema that I expected more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
just plain great,a movie that is undersung
Published 2 months ago by Bob R PS
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Picture of Wartime England
What made this film interesting to me was the view it gave me of wartime England early in WW II. The film was made early in the war when there was a real possibility of a German... Read more
Published on July 24, 2011 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings
To me, the best movies in this collection are "Dam Busters", "Cruel Sea", and "Went the Day Well?" All are excellent. Read more
Published on July 3, 2011 by Anne B. Goodwin
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful and rare British war movies!
Great collection of rare, hard to find, really wonderful British war movies. Best of the lot is "The Dam Busters" but all are really good. Read more
Published on April 27, 2009 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great WWII era British War Movies
This is an outstanding collection of B&W British WWII movies. It's cheaper to order this collection rather than buy the movies individually.
Published on January 29, 2009 by M. Cowan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Value
This collection brings together five of the older British war stories and is excellent value for anyone who enjoys such movies.
Published on January 26, 2007 by J. F. Nasmyth Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars British War Stories
This set of very British movies deserves viewing. While in B&W, the restored copies are clear and look good on HDTV.
Published on January 9, 2007 by Joe Engineer
4.0 out of 5 stars British War Collection
Excellent collection of the early black and white british movies. some excellent british actors
Published on March 9, 2006 by B. Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars A sterling collection of several excellent British WW II films
Over the years I have with effort to see a large number of British films and had seen four of the five films in this collection. Read more
Published on October 17, 2005 by Robert Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Great great movies

The movies are all very nice indeed and very well transferred to DVD. All of them. Read more
Published on March 31, 2005 by Raghuram Krishnaswamy
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