Battle of Britain (1969)

G  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  24 October 1969 (USA)
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In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle vs. the Nazi Germany Air Force for control of British air space to prevent a Nazi invasion of Britain.



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Senior Civil Servant
Baron von Richter (as Curt Jurgens)
Group Capt. Baker
Nigel Patrick ...
Group Capt. Hope
Air Vice Marshal Evill
Patrick Wymark ...
Warrant Officer Warwick


Historical reenactment of the air war in the early days of World War Two for control of the skies over Britain as the new Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force determine whether or not an invasion can take place. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | History | War


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

24 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Britain  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints) (French release)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character of Section Officer Maggie Harvey is based on Air Commodore Dame Felicity Peake, who was a young section officer at RAF Biggin Hill in 1940. The scene of Harvey being ordered to put her cigarette out, and Harvey yelling back Warrant Officer Warrick, was based on a real event. See more »


When ACM Dowding and the Air Minister are discussing relative aircraft numbers, the minister states, "We have radar". The term radar was not used in Britain in 1940. The term RDF was used. The term radar was invented by the US Navy in 1940 and held as secret until later in the war. See more »


Squadron Leader Canfield: The *engine's* overheating, and so am *I*! Either we stand down, or *blow up*! Now *which* do you want?
See more »


Referenced in BBC Proms: Prom 2: Music from Great British Films (2007) See more »


Battle in the Air
Composed by William Walton (as Sir William Walton O.M.)
Conducted by Malcolm Arnold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Historic event recreated with skill and wit.
10 July 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Perhaps not many new viewers of this gigantic recreation are aware of the fact that this movie was filmed almost 30 years after the actual events took place.

The efforts to put History on screen were huge. Everything in this account of the facts, comes directly from those who were actually involved in it: from the British and German fighter aces to private Londoners, they all contributed to make this not just another "war movie", but rather a dramatized documentary with accurate precision.

This by no means signifies that it is just that. The sky battles were very carefully choreographed, in accordance to rules of combat, which were followed in the 1940s. Some planes were flown by the same veterans, so that when you see a Messerschmitt Bf-109 followed by Spitfire Mk 1, you know it's for real.

The technical efforts were immense and although the Messerschmitts have reworked engines and even the Heinkel He.111s have different aerials and engine specs, because they were updated by the Spanish Air Force for later use after World War Two, the difference is barely noticeable when one watches one of those spectacular aerial battles.

On the whole, this is a history lesson about how a people, isolated from the rest of the world, and in a minority position, withstood the overwhelming crushing machine of the Axis: the Luftwaffe.

More than a movie, this is a celebration to those brave people, both civilian and military, who did commit themselves against all odds, to resist and fight back a very aggressive and dangerous enemy.

This, together with "The Longest Day", "Sink the Bismarck!", "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "A Bridge Too Far" is one of those rare examples to make history come to life again and should be considered as didactic material for schools.

An excellent multi-national cast and a skillful direction, make this a masterpiece of its genre.

89 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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