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The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 16 July 1955 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer
The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writers:

Paul Brickhill (book), Guy Gibson (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:
Richard Todd ... Wing Commander Guy Gibson, V.C., D.S.O., D.F.C.
Michael Redgrave ... Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.
Ursula Jeans ... Mrs. Wallis
Basil Sydney ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris (now Marshal of the Royal Air Force) G.C.B., O.B.E., A.F.C.
Patrick Barr ... Captain Joseph (Mutt) Summers, C.B.E.
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.
Charles Carson ... Doctor
Stanley Van Beers 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 Laidman Browne ... Committee Member
Raymond Huntley ... Official, National Physical Laboratory
Hugh Manning Hugh Manning ... Official, Ministry of Aircraft Production
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Storyline

The British are desperate to shorten the length of World War II 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 dramatic true-life story of the men who broke the Nazis' back! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Apart from a few very short pieces when the dams are breached, there is no musical score between the mission take-off and the mission completion, as this movie used the "ambient" aircraft and crew dialogue. Notably on the destruction scenes, the music is a more serious underlying of the vastness of the destruction, rather than a triumphant "gotcha" style. See more »

Goofs

When Barnes Wallis starts to pull the blackout across it is clearly daytime outside. He stops and walks through the French windows and suddenly it's night time and dark. See more »

Quotes

Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: Do you know how much water it takes the Germans to make a ton of steel?
Doctor: I haven't the least idea.
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: One hundred tons. Now just look at this.
[gestures to a map on his desk]
Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.: The whole of this great arsenal of war factories in the Ruhr depends for its water on three enormous dams. The Moehne. The Eder. And, the Sorpe. They control the level of the canals and supply a lot of hydroelectric power as well. When those are full they hold four hundred *million* tons of water. Just think of the chaos if we ...
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Alternate Versions

Prints distributed in the United States by Warner Brothers added a shot from Desperate Journey showing an early model B-17 Flying Fortress crashlanding in a forest. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Return of 'Allo 'Allo! (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dam Busters
March
by Eric Coates
See more »

User Reviews

Some Dam fine flying
18 September 2004 | by lucindaduttonSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dambusters See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$75,478
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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