IMDb > The Battle for The Battle of Britain (1969) (TV)

The Battle for The Battle of Britain (1969) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
1969 (UK) See more »
User Reviews:
Oft-Told Tale. See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Michael Caine ... Himself - Host

Winston Churchill ... Himself, prime minister of the United Kingdom (archive footage) (voice)

Harry Saltzman ... Himself
Benjamin Fisz ... Himself, WWII fighter pilot (as Ben Fisz)

Guy Hamilton ... Himself

Ralph Richardson ... Himself

Curd Jürgens ... Himself

Robert Shaw ... Himself

Trevor Howard ... Himself

Michael Redgrave ... Himself

Laurence Olivier ... Himself
Hugh Dowding ... Himself, chief of Britain's air defences in 1940
Hamish Mahaddie ... Himself, group captain
Erhard Milch ... Himself, field marshal, Nazi war criminal
Hermann Göring ... Himself, commander-in-chief, Luftwaffe (archive footage)
Stanford Tuck ... Himself, wing commander
Adolf Galland ... Himself, general
Ben Bowring ... Himself, flight lieutenant
Jeff Hawke ... Himself, pilot
Santa Cruz ... Himself, comandante, test pilot
John Verney ... Himself (as Lord Willoughby de Broke)
Clara Legge ... Herself - Wing Commander
Hein Riess ... Himself
Peter Townsend ... Himself - Group Captain
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Christopher Plummer ... Himself

Edward Fox ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Annett 
Christopher Doll 
Produced by
Christopher Doll .... producer
Film Editing by
Hugh Newsam 
Sound Department
Tony Anscombe .... dubbing mixer
Bob Foley .... sound assistant (as Robert Foley)
David Geen .... sound
Frank Minton .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
John Maskall .... assistant camera
Charles Parnall .... camera operator
Pat Wood .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Tim Lewis .... assistant editor
Other crew
Ed Bishop .... script advisor: Vancouver (as Edward Bishop)
Geraldine Lawton .... continuity
William Sansom .... script advisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
51 min
Color | Black and White (archive footage)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Features Battle of Britain (1969)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Oft-Told Tale., 3 May 2015
Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA

It's a promotional film sketching in the making of the feature film "The Battle of Britain," the kind of hour-long video you're likely to find under "Special Features" on the "Collector's Edition" of the film. In some ways it's as interesting as the feature film itself.

For one thing, there are brief interviews with survivors from both sides, British and German, and they're only in middle or late-middle age! Now, as I write this, from the perspective of 2015, the interviewees in 1972 look youthful. It's a bit eerie to realize that that entire generation is almost gone. O, memento mori! But the making of the feature was covered widely in the press at the time. It was, after all, a great victory for the Allies, and the picture did cost a lot of money. It was mostly shot on Spanish locations and many of the pilots were Spanish.

There are some points made that I think of as mistakes or, let's say, lapses. The high-level British staff are arguing over tactics. One wants a "big wing" (ie., a lot of fighters assembled in the air before attacking the German bombers) and the other complains that it takes too long for a big wing to get organized. By the time they're ready, the bombers have finished their job and are on the way home. But in this argument over tactics, no mention is made of the fact that the British "vic" formation proved ineffective against the Luftwaffe's "finger four", and so the British copied the German formation.

It's a small point but it reflects the attitude of the production and direction, which consistently leaves out the disadvantages that the German fighters were operating under. They had about 25 minutes of combat time over England before their fuel ran out. Much was made of this same problem when we faced it during the Allied bombing campaign over German.

The sense of witnessing history is a little tainted by the appearance of the Me-109s. The Messerschmidt fighters we see have a large air intake just behind the spinner, giving them a pregnant appearance and costing them the sleek outlines of the originals.

The director, Guy Hamilton, is heard musing about his conflict over whether or not he should add his own point of view to objective historical facts. He decides that he should, that it's his moral duty. I'm not so sure because the more subjective a narrative plot becomes, the more it resembles propaganda.

There's a very readable story in an issue of Esquire Magazine that was published about the time of this release. Among other juicy notes, it has all the other pilots laughing at the wild behavior of the Spanish flyers, who were hot-dogging it all over the sky.

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