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Customer Review

405 of 426 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
This review is from: Battle Of Britain, The (DVD)
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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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 24, 2008 6:33:26 PM PST
What is the name of the VHS version is he talking about. That is the version I would like to buy?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2009 3:42:23 PM PST
The Battle of Britain. What else?

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 9:48:24 AM PST
J. A. Dinkla says:
Quote: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.
Thats right.it kills the mood

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 10:49:57 AM PDT
David McMinn says:
If you read the review of the movie soundtrack at soundtrack.net the reviewer clearly state that the piece was from William Walton's original score not some piece that's just dropped in like on some TV DVD's for example "The Greatest American Hero". Yes, it does sound abit out of place; but, at least part of the original score is there unlike the score for 2001 A Space Oddesy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 7:46:28 AM PST
Totally agree.
When I bought and watched my copy, that last scene and moment was the one I was looking forward to see and hear decades after I saw the film in the theater.
I was absolutely flabbergasted when I heard the altered soundtrack, I would advise not to buy this version and pray that someday someone does his job right and puts the original soundtrack back in.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 6:19:04 AM PST
Guys, I have the special edition (2-disc set?), and it offers the entire film with William Walton's score as an alternate track. Walton scored many of Olivier's Shakespeare films, and is/was revered in England as John Williams was here for many years. But ... his score was shorter, and a bit drier. Late in production, the producers decided to get the more "action movie" score by Goodwin, which includes that marvelously building crescendo of the film's theme as Olivier looks up at empty skies and the "honors" credits roll.

That you can watch the movie with either soundtrack in place is a rare treat. It's not a detractor. ;)

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 9:03:24 AM PDT
baker says:
Now all this is moot, as this is the #1 review for the blue ray too. Amazon should separate new products from the old.
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