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The Immortal Battalion


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Product Details

  • Actors: David Niven, Stanley Holloway, Peter Ustinov
  • Directors: Carol Reed
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007WMMHVE

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
be careful if you buy the american version of this movie. It has significant cuts in content by comparison with the British version. I bought the american DVD to replace my VHS tape and was disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Granville Lee on February 5, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
At this writing, I am watching this movie on the History Channel.
And what memories it brings back to me of basic training, terrible fitting uncomfortable uniforms that did'not fit and chafed your groins because the material was so course. I did my National Service as it was called, not long after this Movie was made and what you see are not really typical of the "National Servicemen" . There are no north country or Irish, one Scottish accent that typified the groups that served. The movies does show a typical officer (David Niven) with that typically foppish south of England accent that was the main class division in British society. It is almost painful to watch this Movie without some anger and sorrow, and an overwhelming sense of meloncholly. None the less, it should be seen more widely as a partial lesson as to why Britain has struggled so long with it's class based system of Governing. Still a good, almost semi documentary on the "Great Struggle " to save civilization from the Nazi(Nationalische Deutsche Sozialistische Arbeiters Partei)terror.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger Kennedy VINE VOICE on July 15, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
A young David Niven leads a homeguard battalion to its first action in North Africa in 1943. Considering the time this movie was made (1944) the propaganda is pretty subtle, as compared to some other Hollywood epics of the time. This is a classic British movie, and the emphasis is more on the social relationships of the soldiers making up this "Immortal" battalion, than on the combat itself. In fact the unit seems modeled on the Light Infantry regiments with battle honors mentioned from the Napoleanic times when the Light Division first made its name in the British army.
The movie shows the early training stages of the men as they are transformed from civilians into astute fighting men. The film is careful to show that in the process these men do not lose thier innate qualities as citizens of a democracy. They question the authority over them, and that authority has to show reason to them. This is to show no doubt that these men are not automatons like their supposed facist enemies are. David Niven is in classic character as a caring and perceptive officer. He is their commander, but he must earn their respect, not demand it.
A previous reviewer mentioned the film notes the deconstruction of classism in British society. I never noticed this before, but I suppose one could make a point of that. The film ends a bit abruptly, and is almost anti-clamatic. The battalion fights well and stubbornly in its fight encounter against the enemy, and there are some pretty good street fighting scenes as well. Unfortunately, the sudden end I found a little disappointing. The men advance with fixed bayonets into the smoke of war and we envision how they shall defeat the forces of darkness having proved themselves under fire for the first time.
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