7.0/10
18,644
145 user 35 critic

Battle of Britain (1969)

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.

Director:

Guy Hamilton

Writers:

James Kennaway (screenplay), Wilfred Greatorex (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Andrews ... Senior Civil Servant
Michael Caine ... Squadron Leader Canfield
Trevor Howard ... Air Vice Marshal Keith Park
Curd Jürgens ... Baron von Richter (as Curt Jurgens)
Ian McShane ... Sgt. Pilot Andy
Kenneth More ... Group Capt. Baker
Laurence Olivier ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Nigel Patrick ... Group Capt. Hope
Christopher Plummer ... Squadron Leader Colin Harvey
Michael Redgrave ... Air Vice Marshal Evill
Ralph Richardson ... Sir David Kelly - British Minister to Switzerland
Robert Shaw ... Squadron Leader Skipper
Patrick Wymark ... Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory
Susannah York ... Section Officer Maggie Harvey
Michael Bates ... Warrant Officer Warwick
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Polish | French

Release Date:

24 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Britain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Spitfire Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (French release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over sixty percent of R.A.F. Fighter Command aircraft, during the Battle of Britain, were Hawker Hurricanes. Due to the lack of Hurricanes in flying condition, when this movie was filmed, the bulk of the air-to-air combat scenes use the more famous (and better fighter) Supermarine Spitfire. During the actual battle, whenever possible, squadrons flying the Spitfire, would engage the German fighters, escorting bomber formations, while the lower-performance (but better gun platform) Hurricanes engaged the bombers. Shooting down German bombers was the critical key, since the bombers were attacking R.A.F. airfields in the first phase of the battle, and cities after the Luftwaffe changed target priorities. This movie accurately depicts the British need (and desire) to destroy bombers, to protect their air defense infrastructure, and later protect civilian targets. For similar reasons (the lack of working aircraft of the right type), Spitfires and Hurricanes are shown flying together in tactical formations, whereas in reality, R.A.F. squadrons flew one or the other type of fighter exclusively. Due to different performance characteristics, the two aircraft would not fly and fight together. See more »

Goofs

When Air Vice Marshal Park visits Canfield at the latter's airfield, the designation of the squadron, "188", is shown on the door to the main office. No. 188 Squadron RAF did not exist during World War 2. No. 188 Squadron RAF was a World War 1 squadron that was active between 1917-1919. It has never been re-activated. See more »

Quotes

[Sgt Pilot Andy is reading a letter, while the pilots are waiting for the call to scramble]
Sgt. Pilot Andy: Silly Bitch!
Pilot Officer Archie: He's calling you names again, Arnold!
Sgt. Pilot Andy: I spend half my leave getting her settled in the country, and now, "I'm bored", she says!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In some prints of this film, the scenes involving Hitler and the Nazis (not to mention other scenes in Polish) are not subtitled at all, and the audience watching the film has no idea what the Germans are planning. See more »

Connections

Edited into Das Boot (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Very good.
5 February 2002 | by magellan333See all my reviews

Never knew this movie existed until I happened upon it at the local video store. I decided to give it a chance. This movie can be compared to "Tora! Tora! Tora!" in that it gives one the factual perspective of the Battle of Britain and not some love story or "shoot'em up" action adventure set around the Battle of Britain. It is the absence of such elements that makes some viewers not enjoy this kind of film. However, if you are interested in seeing history played out on the screen, or are a history buff like me, you will enjoy this movie. The characters are not deep or complex and there is little character development, but in a movie like this, it is not necessary. There is a pretty useless subplot involving a man and his wife, but other than that, this film is not to be missed by those who enjoy WWII history.


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