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The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 16 July 1955 (USA)
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The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (based on Wing Comdr. Gibson's own account in "Enemy Coast Ahead") (as Wing Comdr. Gibson) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.
...
Mrs. Wallis
Charles Carson ...
Doctor
Stanley Van Beers ...
Sir David Pye, C.B., F.R.S.
Colin Tapley ...
Doctor W. H. Glanville, C.B., C.B.E.
Frederick Leister ...
Committee Member
Eric Messiter ...
Committee Member
Laidman Browne ...
Committee Member
Raymond Huntley ...
Official, National Physical Laboratory
Hugh Manning ...
Official, Ministry of Aircraft Production
Patrick Barr ...
Captain Joseph (Mutt) Summers, C.B.E.
Edwin Styles ...
Observer At Trials
Hugh Moxey ...
Observer At Trials
Anthony Shaw ...
R.A.F. Officer At Trials
Basil Sydney ...
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Storyline

The British are desperate to shorten the length of WW2 and propose a daring raid to smash Germany's industrial heart. At first the objective looks impossible until a British scientist invents an ingenious weapon capable of destroying the planned target. Written by Dave Jenkins <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the "bombs that had to bounce" - and the air-devils who had to drop 'em! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dambusters  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of the films that George Lucas used clips from to edit the rough cut of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) (which utilizes many features of the finale of this film quite closely, notably the briefing, the ground staff waiting for news, the troika formation of the attacking aircraft and so on). In Addition, the following exchange from this film is reproduced almost verbatim (with the exception of the characters' names) in "Star Wars": Gibson: "How many guns d'you think there are, Trevor?" Trevor: "I'd say there's about 10 guns - some in the field and some in the tower". See more »

Goofs

When testing the use of spotlights to determine the aircraft height, a crew member is giving instructions to the pilot to carefully fly lower, but in the middle of the sequence the aircraft is seen to turn sharply to the left, which would mean the spotlights would no longer be pointing downwards and giving instructions at this point would be useless. See more »

Quotes

Bomber Harris: [Wallis and Summers have come into his office] Hello, Mutt. Wallis.
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: Good morning.
Bomber Harris: What is it you want?
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: I've got an idea for destroying the Ruhr Dams. The effects on Germany would be enormous.
Bomber Harris: I know all that. I've read the report.
[thumps file folder on his desk]
Bomber Harris: But, do you *really* think you can knock down a dam with *that* thing?
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: Yes.
Bomber Harris: Well, it looks clever enough on paper. But that goes for *all* of these wheezy ideas. When you try to make them work, they fall down *flat*.
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: This one doesn't.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dam Busters
March
by Eric Coates
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classic Untouchable War Film
1 July 2004 | by (Grimsby, England) – See all my reviews

The Dambusters is a true story in which the men of 617 Squadron (originally Squadron X) are sent to bomb three key dams in the Ruhr Valley with the famous bouncing bomb. The film shows the young bomber crews training and eventually the mission itself. Many people have said that this raid was a waste of human life and resources but war IS a waste of human life and resources and these men gave the UK a boost in morale and made the Germans realize we weren't beat yet. Apparently Mel Gibson wanted to recreate this movie some years ago but did not get the backing of the MoD,the BBMF or 617 Squadron. With fantastic performances from Richard Todd as Guy Gibson and Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis this is a classic film.


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