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The Battle of Britain (1969)

Battle of Britain (original title)
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
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 II 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the book written about the making of the movie, the production crew used more ammunition (blanks of course) to film the movie, due to the fact that directors re-shoot scenes numerous times, than were actually used in the real battle. See more »

Goofs

During the Stuka raid on the radar stations, the guidance wires are clearly visible as one Stuka crashes into the ground. See more »

Quotes

Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory: [protesting to Dowding] We were up, sir, trying to knock out the enemy air mass. It takes time to assemble forty or fifty aircraft at...
Air Vice Marshal Keith Park: [interrupting] It takes far too long! By the time your "Big Wing" is up, the enemies have already hit their targets and are on their way home.
Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory: All that matters is to shoot them down in large numbers. I'd rather destroy fifty after they've hit their targets than ten before.
Air Vice Marshal Keith Park: Don't forget, the targets are my airfields, Leigh-Mallory. And you're not getting fifty. ...
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Alternate Versions

The 2004 UK DVD issue also restore the "original" Maurice Binder Main Title credits. See more »

Connections

Edited into Das Boot (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Lyrics (unused) by Eric Maschwitz
Music by Manning Sherwin
Played on jukebox at the Jackdaw Inn and later on the radio at the hotel
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User Reviews

A Classic!!!
2 April 2003 | by sawyertomSee all my reviews

The Battle of Britain is a classic movie about one of the key battles of World War 2. It stands up there with the epics The Longest Day, Tora,Tora, Tora and a Bridge Too Far. The all-star cast has well known and lesser known English, Canadian, German and others actors who play their roles well. The movie does a good job of portaying both sides of the battle. The special effects and the air battles hold up well after well over 30 years. The criticisms that people have to me are quite unfair. As for charcter development, the movie is about the battle, much like the Longest Day was and there was no time to develop that part of the movie because it focused on the entirety of the battle. Also this is not like Cross of Iron that someone compared it to. Cross of Iron was a fictious story, while this is done in semi-docudrama style.It is an unfair comparison. The best comparison would be with the three previously listed movies. I liked that fact that some big stars characters did get hurt or died just like many of the better pilots did in the the battle and the war. The movie gives an excellent overview of the battle, much like the other movies listed here. I like the fact about the bit of English snobbery concerning the foreign pilots that they were training even if some were as good or better than they were.This is a four star war movie obout Britains Finest Hour. Where if it wasn't for the Brits holding off the German's, the Allies would not have been able to launch D-Day against the German's. The movie showed bravery and courage from both sides men and pilots. It is a great portrayal of young men in battle as knights of the early war skies. Rent it or buy it, because this is a classic.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

2.20 : 1 70mm, 2.35:1, 35mm
See full technical specs »

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