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Target for Tonight Deluxe Edition featuring Target Germany!

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Mar 02, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most famous and celebrated Royal Air Force documentaries, Target for Tonight follows the crew of the Wellington bomber F for Freddie during a nighttime raid on Freihausen, Germany.

Starring a real-life R.A.F. crew, the film is a stirring portrait of heroism during the early days of the Allied air campaign. The film won an honorary Academy Award(tm) in 1942, and was voted Best Documentary by the National Board of Review in 1941.

While the British bombed at night, the American Eighth Air Force struck during the day. Exposed to German fighters and flak, the Mighty Eighth endured huge losses before victory was secured. The fight is chronicled in Target Germany! which features B-17s, B-24 Liberators and their P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning escorts.

Also included in this special edition DVD is a .pdf of the original Target for Tonight brochure from 1942. It can be accessed using any computer with a DVD drive.

Running time: Over 80 Minutes!

Please note: the films on this DVD come from original 16mm prints that have been digitally transferred. Due to the age and rarity of these films, sound and visual quality may vary. Please note: This DVD is recorded in the DVD-R format. It may not be compatible with first-generation DVD players. It will play normally on most computers and 99% of DVD player. Check your player's manual for more information.

Review

...powerful and gritty... --Screenonline.uk.org

Target for Tonight is another first-rate wartime documentary drama from the prolific writer-director Harry Watt. This 48-minute film details the experiences of a single Royal Air Force bomber and its courageous crew, all played by actual members of the RAF...the film's irrefutable authenticity is stamped on every frame...Target for Tonight was not only the film that "made" Harry Watt's reputation, but it also served as the prototype for all the British WW2 "semi-documentaries" to come. --Hal Erickson in the New York Times

This production is the latest and longest addition to the dramatic series made by the Crown Film Unit, of which North Sea and Merchant Seamen are typical examples. It dramatises reality and is very successful in conveying atmosphere. Suspense is built up to the start of the raid and culminates with the pictures of flak coming up at the 'plane until eventually it is hit, and then comes the agonising suspense of the voyage home both for the crew and for those waiting at the aerodrome. Harry Watt as the director has accom-plished his task very skilfully, but in a production of this nature praise must also be accorded to the producer, Ian Dalrymple, for his handling of his team of technicians which include B. Cooper on continuity, Jonah Jones on the camera and Ken Cameron on sound. It has not always been easy to match up the various sequences for density, but there is some magnificent realist photography, notably a full screen shot of a Wellington Bomber flying just above a cloud-bank. --British Film Institute Monthly Review 1941

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Leighton Lucas, Sir Richard Peirse, Percy Pickard, Ian Dalrymple
  • Directors: Harry Watt
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Periscope Film
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NO216O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

TARGET FOR TONIGHT (1941) Directed by Harry Watt.

Starring Percy Pickard.

Basically an early version if not the first... of ACT OF VALOR. A docudrama featuring genuine RAF pilots playing themselves as they go through a typical bombing attack on Nazi Germany. In this case, the oil yards of Kiel. Pickard was killed two years later during a mission much like the one shown here. This was remade by Dan Curtis during an ep of THE WINDS OF WAR. Not a documentary but a 50 min feature film. Definately worth a look if one is interested in this sort of thing. Warner Bros must have been involved as the film opens with the famous WB musical flourish.
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Wing.Co. Pickard "Pick", who stars in this film, "Target for Tonight" was my father's C.O. in 1942-2 at Dishforth in Yorkshire. He was a star, an ace, and everyone idolised him. I had the great fortune to be invited with my parents to Pick and his wife's house on the station once, for tea to meet Lord Londonerry - I forget what Lord L's RAF rank was, but Pick must have thought a lot of him because it was with him he left a letter about how he wished his son Nicholas to be brought up in the event of his not coming back from 'ops' one day.

I would love to know whether Nicholas is alive and well today. He was a baby when I was 12, so should be his late sixties.

Pick was totally unassuming, relaxed, a natural leader, very laid back and utterly charming. See the body language in the film as he slouches into the briefing and debriefing, hands in pockets of his flying jacket. I was 12 or 13 and had an enormous crush, obviously. But all the qualities that made him what he was in wartime might have made him quite a daunting father after the war, had he survived and not been killed after he had bombed Amiens prison to allow French Resistance people to escape. It was said afterwards that he was not really used to low level bombing such as that and may not have been a wise choice. But I believe the squadron achieved what they set out to do, albeit with inevitable loss of life in the prison as well as to themselves.

I found the film gripping. I had seen it about twenty years ago with my son and this time with my son and his partner. We were all sitting on the edge of our seats, although we knew this was not a real-life raid. However, "F" for Freddie was indeed the name of Pick's aircraft and the name used in the film and it came across as very real.
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Well, i bought this DVD as i wanted to see those historical propaganda, particularly "Target for Tonight" with "Pick" PICKARD who was later killed flying a Mosquito during the AMIENS Jail Raid. These films were isued in the 80's on VHS in Europe in the "After the Battle" serie. Now my VHS are more than 20 years old and i hoped to get an as good image as can be expected with a DVD. What a disillusion. These poeple from PERISCOPEFILM have allowed themselves to put a (as they say) Digitl Signal at the right low corner of the screen. It means that you've got a grey circle with a periscope during the whole show. How dare they deteriorating theses films this way? By the way, the film restoration is not as good as it could be done techically. Particularly, the beginning of "TARGET FOR TONIGHT", with cut frames and missing parts of the music. Where the hell did they find this horrible copy of the film. By comparison, the VHS version of "After the Battle" was more viewable!!

Should i have known all of this, i would have kept my money and tried to have a look and my old VHS
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this is a pretty nifty collection of films. frankly i enjoy watching this stuff better than watching the history channel since these were made during the war to show the public what was going on, and keep morale up. you cannot exactly expect them to show war in all of its dirty and dark aspects, but you still get a strong flavor of what it was like for these men. i highly recommend this and the companion film, target for today, and also there are many similar films that are much more famous like memphis belle and combat america.
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This is one of the all time great WWII combat films in the air, Target for Tonight. It is thrilling to see it again, as I had not seen it for over forty years. This is a classic, following the crew of the bomber "F for Freddie" as they fight for survival over Germany. The bonus film, which is called "Target Germany" is one I had never seen before, and which was also gripping.
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