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The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 16 July 1955 (USA)
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2:42 | Trailer

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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
Basil Sydney ...
...
Captain Joseph (Mutt) Summers, C.B.E.
Ernest Clark ...
Derek Farr ...
Group Captain J. N. H. Whitworth, D.S.O., D.F.C.
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
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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

Scenes of indoor testing of the model bomb were shot at the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington in the tanks where the actual tests took place. See more »

Goofs

The "full size tests" show a de Havilland Mosquito dropping a Highball prototype from a height very much greater than the 150 feet mentioned in the script. See more »

Quotes

Official, Ministry of Aircraft Production: You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midsomer Murders: Birds of Prey (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dam Busters
March
by Eric Coates
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Some Dam fine flying
18 September 2004 | by (Cheshire, England) – See all my reviews

Just like to respond to Howard Morley's comments. The dam's raids were urgently needed, and it took only a few months to form 617, train them and attack the dams. Quite a feat I'm sure you'll agree. The film nicely conveys the struggles and the friendships of the crews, put together from the best of the Commonwealth fliers. Even if the screenplay does take some rather large liberties with the story.

As to Guy, he was killed in 1944 on his way back from acting as Master Bomber on a raid over Germany. His Mosquito crashed in Holland, killing him and his navigator. To this day there are no explanations for the crash. Guy should not have been flying at all, but he was so desperate to get back in the air that Bomber Harris gave in and let him. A tragedy. Of the crew of G-George (Guy's ship on the raid) none of them survived the war. The crew crashed whilst trying to bomb the Dortmund-Ems canal later in 1943.

The film is a fitting tribute to the raid, and the massive losses of 617. Of the 19 ships to go out, 11 came back. Of the 77 crew lost on the raid, only 1 survived. This is why the dams were not bombed again. And the problem with the Sorpe was that it was an earth damn, the bombs were not very effective as with the Eder and Moehne.

How do I know all this? My Great-grandmother was a Gibson.

Watch the film and marvel.


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