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Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain (2000)

In 1940, World War II was Britain's to lose. It did not.




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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Bradford ...


By mid-1940, Britain stood alone against Hitler's Germany - Belgium, Holland, and France had fallen, Russia and Italy were German allies, and America had not yet come into the war. This is the story of how Britain withstood the Nazi assault in the early years of the war. Written by yortsnave

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Release Date:

16 July 2000 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Probably the best documentary about the Battle of Britain.
18 October 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While there have been many documentaries about the Battle of Britain in 1940, this one for PBS is by far the most complete and well done you can find. I just can't imagine any better. The show is divided into two segment--each about 105 minutes. The first concerns the beginning of WWII and last just before the major German onslaught on Britain in the Summer of 1940. The second section, from the battle until the Germans let up--realizing that they cannot win such a battle.

The film consists of mostly interviews with survivors--and the youngest were about 80 at the time the film was made. In other words, these are recordings of various testimonies just before the voices would forever be silenced by old age. I liked how the interviews were quite varied. Not only soldiers and politicians, but newspaper reporters, kids, a remarkable woman who was in a torpedoed ship transporting children to Canada and many more. Their accounts are so very compelling--you can't help but be affected. And this is what makes this film different. It does NOT play like an episode of "World At War". There is little narration, no maps, charts and little discussion of the battle plans or politics. Instead, it's all individual stories--fascinating and a great piece of history. Well worth seeing.

By the way, although it's not a major problem, I thought the film spent too much time talking about the Spitfire fighter--especially since MOST used during the battle were the older but almost equally capable Hurricanes--the real plane that won the Battle of Britain.

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