Piece of Cake
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A Masterpiece Theatre Presentation
Piece of Cake follows the adventures, heartaches and rites of passage of the fighter pilots of RAF Hornet Squadron during World War II.
Piece of Cake marks the coming of age of young men prepared to die for their country. Whatever their own personal qualities, there are heroes in abundance and a rich cross-section of characters from the pilots-to the back-up team at base. The other heroes are the planes themselves. Under ex-Red Arrows aerobatics team leader Ray Hanna (Flyboys), this series features some of the most exciting aerial photography and special effects ever seen.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not your usual squadron of movie heroes. For starters, the squadron commander seems to spend more time working on the wine list than thinking about strategy. As for flying, he wants them to fly into battle in straight, wingtip-to-wingtip formations like a marching band. The pilots are for the most part upper class elites happy with the leader's 'fox and hounds' demeanor. Some of the pilots are not especially likeable, particularly "Moggy" , a boarding-school bully who, it turns out, is an ace killer. The one "Yank", a Canadian socialist and veteran of the Spanish Civil War, gets to smirk at the upper crust poseurs.
It's a good mix, and for the first six months of the war, there's not a lot of go at the Boche, and what is great about the series is the shock and surprise when the war begins in earnest. The battle scenes are as well done as the big screen "Battle of Britain", except we really know these characters by the time the real war hits. Some excel, some crack, and some pack it in. One character starts to speaking exclusively in quotes from Churchill speeches, unnerving the squadron adjutant. The final two episodes are very, very intense, and unlike Hollywood, the movie does not play favorites with who lives and who doesn't.
The Spitfire was the most beautiful plane ever flown, and we get good long looks at the real thing. The flying scenes are a treat. Great for grognards, but the story is well rounded and a good time should be had by all.
This in no way detracts from the film and surprisingly they actually get most of W.W.2 aviation history right, including the battle of barking Creek where in reality the victim of friendly fire was a Hurricane and not a Blenheim, still at least they put it in.
My Uncle who flew Spits and Hurries in the battle of France and the Battle of Britain has seen the film and says that its one of the most realistic films that he has seen of squadron life and certainly surpasses the 1969 film the Battle of Britain for historical realism.
They did use real Spitfires, Heinkels. M.E. 109's and even a Rapide in the film but clever use is also made of some outstanding models( Only pointed out to me by my uncle)
The Flying sequences are superb! there is nothing quite like a Spitfire in flight.
A really good film and a must for every aviation Fan, Buy It you wont regret it
Bob Yeoman (England)
The film includes a very interesting set of characters. The most interesting are: (1) Squadron Leader Rex, an arrogant, aristocratic leader who tries to run the squadron like a feudal village. Rex exemplifies the British warrior of the 19th Century whose confidence exudes from his sense of class and cultural superiority, rather than his actual military talents. As a combat leader, Rex is a disaster.
(2) "Moggy" is one of the original pre-war members who, aside from being a good pilot, is a virulent socio-path. When Churchill praises the bravery of the RAF pilots on the radio, "Moggy" mocks him and swills his beer. He enjoys telling replacements how quickly they are likely to die.Read more ›
"Piece of Cake" takes the viewer from Chamberlain's broadcast, through the so-called phony war, the fall of France and finally, the Battle of Britain. "Cake" tells the story of these historic events, not on the grand scale of a "The Longest Day", but on a small, intimate scale. Life and death, love and war, sorrow and joys are told through the stories of the men (boys in many cases) of this squadron - individually and collectively.
"Piece of Cake" is an example of what British television does so well - the ensemble production. There are no stars in this series, except perhaps the half-dozen or so antique Spitfires rounded up to perform the aerial sequences. The cast assembled were relative unknowns, although some have subsequently became familiar faces to viewers of PBS series such as "Masterpiece Theater" and "Mystery". Certainly the absence of big-name stars contributes to the realistic feel of the series. You are meeting each actor and the character he portrays for the first time.
Another factor contributing to authenticity of the series was the way "Piece of Cake" was filmed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outstanding ensemble cast depicting life in a British squadron from the beginning of WWII to nearly the end of the 'Battle of Britain'. Read morePublished 4 months ago by HistoryNut
As a huge Spitfire fan from childhood it was wonderful to see this dvd. Good quality and well packaged.Published 6 months ago by Kevan Cleaver
Very good British movie. It is several episodes and is slow in spots. More than makes up for these shortcomings with the aerial photography.Published 9 months ago by Mary Ellen Anderson