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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 UK.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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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:
... Senior Civil Servant
... Squadron Leader Canfield
... Air Vice Marshal Keith Park
... Baron von Richter (as Curt Jurgens)
... Sgt. Pilot Andy
... Group Capt. Baker
... Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
... Group Capt. Hope
... Squadron Leader Colin Harvey
... Air Vice Marshal Evill
... Sir David Kelly - British Minister to Switzerland
... Squadron Leader Skipper
... Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory
... Section Officer Maggie Harvey
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

24 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Britain  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints) (French release)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Falke's adjutant, (elder man in white uniform), is seen carrying an Iron Cross and an older Flight Badge from World War I, indicating he was a pilot during that war. See more »

Goofs

All of the flying models of the Bf-109 were the version built under license to Spain with the upright Hispano-Suiza engine. It has the overhead cam covers on top of the cowling which would obscure some forward vision compared to the smooth-top cowling of the inverted array having the overhead cam mechanism on the lower portion. There were few flying versions of the original Bf-109s, likely too few to be deemed usable for the film at the time. See more »

Quotes

Communications man: It's a squadron scramble, sir.
Squadron Leader Skipper: Don't be wet. Get me the duty controller. We've just come down. We're still refueling.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wing Nuts (1997) 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

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User Reviews

A Historic event recreated with skill and wit.
10 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Perhaps not many new viewers of this gigantic recreation are aware of the fact that this movie was filmed almost 30 years after the actual events took place.

The efforts to put History on screen were huge. Everything in this account of the facts, comes directly from those who were actually involved in it: from the British and German fighter aces to private Londoners, they all contributed to make this not just another "war movie", but rather a dramatized documentary with accurate precision.

This by no means signifies that it is just that. The sky battles were very carefully choreographed, in accordance to rules of combat, which were followed in the 1940s. Some planes were flown by the same veterans, so that when you see a Messerschmitt Bf-109 followed by Spitfire Mk 1, you know it's for real.

The technical efforts were immense and although the Messerschmitts have reworked engines and even the Heinkel He.111s have different aerials and engine specs, because they were updated by the Spanish Air Force for later use after World War Two, the difference is barely noticeable when one watches one of those spectacular aerial battles.

On the whole, this is a history lesson about how a people, isolated from the rest of the world, and in a minority position, withstood the overwhelming crushing machine of the Axis: the Luftwaffe.

More than a movie, this is a celebration to those brave people, both civilian and military, who did commit themselves against all odds, to resist and fight back a very aggressive and dangerous enemy.

This, together with "The Longest Day", "Sink the Bismarck!", "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "A Bridge Too Far" is one of those rare examples to make history come to life again and should be considered as didactic material for schools.

An excellent multi-national cast and a skillful direction, make this a masterpiece of its genre.


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