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The Dam Busters


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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Basil Sydney, Patrick Barr
  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Writers: R.C. Sheriff
  • Producers: Robert Clark
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 2 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H1RFSM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,041 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dam Busters" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A much-loved British classic, Michael Anderson's 1954 drama captures the tension and bravery of an audacious raid on the centre of Nazi Germany's industrial complex, and the quintessentially English combination of inventiveness and dogged determination. Split into two distinct sections, the film deals first with the fraught, but ultimately successful development of a new weapon by Dr. Barnes N. Wallis (Michael Redgrave). The second and pacier section deals with the mission itself during the British raid on the Ruhr Dams, and its associated costs for the enemy and for the British airmen. Adapted by R.C. Sherriff from Paul Brickhill's book Enemy Coast Ahead and featuring superlative special effects photography by Gilbert Taylor (to say nothing of Eric Coates' stirring theme tune), The Dam Busters was Britain's biggest box-office success of 1955. Shot in black and white to allow the integration of original footage of the bomb trails, the film boasts a 'gritty', documentary-style reality.

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Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Opinions" 31
  • "Acting" 15
  • "Story" 11
  • "Production" 6
  • "Writing" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Sure Thing on March 16, 2007
Format: DVD
Anchor Bay Entertainment did an excellent job of transferring this British WWII classic to DVD. Scratches and blemishes in the picture are virtually nonexistent. And it IS Region 1, so it WILL play in just about any DVD player in the US and Canada (for those of you in the US and Canada).

If all you care about is having a good copy of this movie, then I highly recommend this DVD. If you also want special features like trailers, "Making of" documentaries, deleted scenes, etc., then you may want to wait until someone puts out a "special edition." All this DVD offers apart from the great transfer is scene selection (that missing star is actually half a star for not having more in the way of special features).

In the meantime, I recommend also getting Paul Brickhill & Guy Gibson's books ("The Dam Busters" and "Enemy Coast Ahead," respectively) upon which the movie is based along with the DVD of the PBS documentary "Secrets of the Dead: Bombing Nazi Dams" (which incidentally uses footage from this movie though uncredited). If you can find it, you might also want the audio cassette version of Brickhill's book read by the film's co-star, Richard Todd.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on October 27, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As with the Congress Entertainment DVD, this is a straight dub of the 1954 British film, including all the original video and audio. The story is very interesting, historically important, and well acted. I saw it not very long after its original release and enjoyed it then, and still do.

Given the very high regard the British have for Wing Commander Gibson, who was awarded Britain's highest military honor (Victoria Cross) for this raid and died in action just over a year later, I'm sure that - in 1954 - they were being very careful about accuracy, and left in historically accurate details which some will find offensive.

By "modern" (pre computer graphic animation) standards, the special effects are a bit primitive, but quite well done for 1954. Unlike the Congress Entertainment DVD, the audio and video quality are excellent, and the presentation is quite professional. Both may have been taken from the same original, as they both have a momentary frame freeze at one point.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Seen Them All on August 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a review of the movie only but past experience with Anchor Bay tells me the quality will be pretty good. This is the story of the planning and execution of the raid that led to the destruction of the Ruhr Valley Hydroelectric Dams during WW2 by the RAF. Very well acted and details the incredible engineering that went into the design of the bombs and the flying skill of the aircrews to be able to complete the mission. Outstanding WW2 movie. Semi-documentary in style but none the less a great piece of history. Don't miss this one.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir VINE VOICE on June 20, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was exciting when I saw it in 1956 in Holland, and it is just as exciting now. How can one miss with the superb talent of Michael Redgrave, the stirring music of Eric Coates, and a gripping yarn that happens to be true? Much of the fascination of this film stems from its depiction of Barnes Wallis's process of planning and perfecting the bouncing bomb, and persuading Whitehall to go along with his eccentric idea. Equally interesting are the various makeshift devices, such as the range-finding lights and the home-made bombsight.

"The Dam Busters" tells the story of ingenuity and courage during wartime. In the wrong hands, such a topic might be heavy handed, but one of the things that British filmmakers of the 1950s did so well was to deliver their patriotic messages with a touch of wry humor mixed with just the right amount of pathos. The camera may not focus on exploding planes or dwell on the devastating effects for the inhabitants of the Ruhr valley, but in leaving such details to the collective imagination of the audience, the director has developed cinematic understatement into a fine art.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Georg R. Benz on June 29, 2004
Format: DVD
This story has been a favorite of mine since I first saw the movie on TV in the 50's. I've since researched this event and am pleased to say that the movie is extremely accurate with few exceptions for dramatic license. The attack and destruction of two of the great dams of the industrial Ruhr Valley in Germany during World War Two is beautifully filmed, even in black & white. The special effects during the attack are hair-raising, even by today's standards. The details of how the special bombs used, and the technique to use them were developed move the story along nicely culminating with the intense attacks and the bitterswet aftermath- aircrew and bomber losses were over 40%. The musical score compliments the action very well and the "Dam Buster March" is a tune that can be whisteled all day long. This movie is a stirring tribute to Wing Commander Guy Gibson who led the raid, his courageous squadron, and Barnes Wallace, the genius who developed the bombs. For sheer daring, courage, and determination, this movie ranks tops along with "The Great Escape" and "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo". A note to those who have seen the TV version- the video is unedited from the original and Guy Gibson's dog's name was NOT Trigger.
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