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The Dam Busters
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The Dam Busters (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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The Dam Busters -- True story of how the British attacked German dams in WW2 by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Paul Brickhill (book)
Guy Gibson (based on Wing Comdr. Gibson's own account in "Enemy Coast Ahead")
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Dam Busters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 July 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The dramatic true-life story of the men who broke the Nazis' back! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Some Dam fine flying See more (89 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Redgrave ... Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.

Ursula Jeans ... 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 ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris (now Marshal of the Royal Air Force) G.C.B., O.B.E., A.F.C.
Ernest Clark ... Air Vice-Marshal The Hon. Ralph Cochrane (now Air Chief Marshal) G.B.E., K.C.B., A.F.C.
Derek Farr ... Group Captain J. N. H. Whitworth, D.S.O., D.F.C.
Laurence Naismith ... Farmer
Harold Siddons ... Group Signals Officer
Frank Phillips ... B.B.C. Announcer

Richard Todd ... Wing Commander Guy Gibson, V.C., D.S.O., D.F.C.
Brewster Mason ... Flt / Lt. R. D. Trevor-Roper, D.F.C., D.F.M.
Tony Doonan ... Flt / Lt. R. E. G. Hutchison, D.F.C. (as Anthony Doonan)

Nigel Stock ... Flying / Off. F. M. Spafford, D.F.C., D.F.M.
Brian Nissen ... Flt / Lt. A. T. Taerum, D.F.C.

Robert Shaw ... Flt / Sgt. J. Pulford, D.F.M.
Peter Assinder ... Plt / Off. G. A. Deering, D.F.C.
Richard Leech ... Squadron Leader H. M. Young, D.F.C.

Richard Thorp ... Squadron Leader H. E. Maudslay, D.F.C.
John Fraser ... Flight Lieutenant J. V. Hopgood, D.F.C.
David Morrell ... Flight Lieutenant W. Astell, D.F.C.
Bill Kerr ... Flight Lieutenant H. B. Martin, D.S.O., D.F.C., A.F.C. (now Wing Commander)

George Baker ... Flight Lieutenant D. J. H. Maltby, D.S.O., D.F.C.
Ronald Wilson ... Flight Lieutenant D. J. Shannon, D.S.O., D.F.C. (later Squadron Leader)
Denys Graham ... Flying Officer L. G. Knight, D.S.O.
Basil Appleby ... Flight Lieutenant R. C. Hay, D.F.C.
Tim Turner ... Flight Lieutenant J. F. Leggo, D.F.C.
Ewen Solon ... Flight Sergeant G. E. Powell
Harold Goodwin ... Wing Comdr. Gibson's Batman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Breslin ... Crew member (uncredited)
Edward Cast ... Crew Member (uncredited)
Richard Coleman ... RAF Officer (uncredited)
Peter Diamond ... Tail Gunner (uncredited)
Gerald Harper ... Mocking RAF Officer (uncredited)
Arthur Howard ... RAF Pay Clerk In NAAFI (uncredited)
Lloyd Lamble ... Collins (uncredited)
Philip Latham ... Flight Sergeant (uncredited)

Patrick McGoohan ... Guard on Door (uncredited)
Jack McNaughton ... Waiter (uncredited)
Nina Parry ... Barnes Wallace's Daughter (uncredited)
Edwin Richfield ... RAF Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Anderson 
 
Writing credits
Paul Brickhill (book)

Guy Gibson (based on Wing Comdr. Gibson's own account in "Enemy Coast Ahead") (as Wing Comdr. Gibson)

R.C. Sherriff (screenplay) (as R. C. Sherriff)

Original Music by
Leighton Lucas (music score)
 
Cinematography by
Erwin Hillier (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Richard Best 
 
Casting by
Robert Lennard 
G.B. Walker 
 
Art Direction by
Robert Jones 
 
Makeup Department
Hilda Fox .... hairdresser (as Hilda Winifred Fox)
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Robert Clark .... director in charge of production
Gordon Scott .... production manager
W.A. Whittaker .... production supervisor (as W. A. Whittaker)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Street .... assistant director
Frederic Goode .... assistant director: location (uncredited)
Jeremy Summers .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Bill Beavis .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Peter Glazier .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Wallis Smith .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Leslie Hammond .... sound recordist
Harold V. King .... recording director (as H. V. King)
Arthur Southgate .... dubbing editor
Eric Bayman .... boom operator (uncredited)
H. Blackmore .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Len Shilton .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Hugh Strain .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Jim Whiting .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
George Blackwell .... special effects
Gilbert Taylor .... special effects photography
 
Visual Effects by
Ronnie Wass .... optical effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Erwin Hillier .... aerial photography
Norman Warwick .... camera operator
Steve Birtles .... electrician (uncredited)
Bob Penn .... still photographer (uncredited)
Kelvin Pike .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Kelvin Pike .... focus puller (uncredited)
Ronnie Pilgrim .... still photographer (uncredited)
Val Stewart .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Brian West .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Tony White .... focus puller: second unit (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Philip Barnikel .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Joan Warwick .... assembly cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis Levy .... musical director
 
Transportation Department
Eddie Frewin .... unit driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Thelma Orr .... continuity
J.N.H. Whitworth .... technical adviser (as Group Captain J. N. H. Whitworth D.S.O. D.F.C.)
Daphne Paice .... production secretary (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • A.V. Roe Ltd.  the producers wish to acknowledge also the valuable help received from (as Messrs. A.V. Roe & Co. Ltd.)
  • Air Ministry, The  the producers wish to acknowledge the extensive facilities accorded by (as the Air Ministry)
  • Associated British Studio Orchestra  music score performed by (as The Associated British Studio Orchestra)
  • IMS Film & Media Insurance  insurance
  • Members of 617 Squadron  they wish also to record their appreciation of the approval willingly given to the telling of this story by all those represented in it and by the next of kin of, who, from this or later operations, did not return (as the many members of 617 Squadron)
  • Members of the Royal Air Force  the producers wish to acknowledge the extensive facilities accorded by (as members of the Royal Air Force)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
124 min | USA:105 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:G (DVD rating) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:L | Norway:12 | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #17528)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The RAF supplied most of the aircraft, at a cost of £130 per hour. This expense consumed 10% of the film's budget.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: The Lancaster shown flying over the Derwent Reservoir is not a Dam Busters aircraft, in that it has bomb-bay doors and a mid-upper turret, both missing from the AVRO Lancaster Mk.IIIs Type 464 (Provisioning) aircraft used in Operation Chastise.See more »
Quotes:
Flight Lt. A.T. Taerum, DFC:[Taerum consults his charts] Skipper, groundspeed two-zero-three. We'll be there in one hour and ten minutes. We'll be over the Dutch coast in two minutes.
Flying Officer F.M. Spafford, DFC, DFM:[Sees Dutch coast approaching] There it is now. Stand by front-gunner, we're going over.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Dam BustersSee more »

FAQ

How heavy were the RAF's casualties?
How important was the raid?
What happened to the characters afterwards?
See more »
66 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
Some Dam fine flying, 18 September 2004
Author: Lucinda Dutton (lucindadutton@yahoo.co.uk) from Cheshire, England

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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