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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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(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

When Air Marshal Göring asks what the two German officers needed to win the battle, the second officer says, "A squadron of Spitfires." That scene was based on Adolf Galland's request to Hermann Göring during the actual event. See more »

Goofs

The bombsight on the German 'Heinkel' is misrepresented. The open sights with the wire crosshairs shown were indeed used for rough aiming to steer the aircraft towards the target. But once over the target the bombardier switches to a regular monocular optical bombsight located in a compartment underneath the open sights. In the movie the bombardier dropped his bombs using the open sight. See more »

Quotes

[British pilots in France are listening to a French officer talking about the German advance]
Pilot Officer Archie: For the benefit of the uneducated among us, I shall now translate.
See more »

Connections

Edited into First Light (2010) 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

Their Finest Hour
17 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

This has some of the best aerial fight scenes ever - 'Top Gun' nothwithstanding. If it has faults it is that it can sometimes be a bit dull as it is very historically accurate, as it was a very well documented battle and presumably because when it was made many of the participants were still alive (and some still are).

It might have been better if like the 'Dam Busters' it had adopted a rather more documentary style, rather than having ground based ficticious sub-plots.

There are no particular stars (save the aircraft) but many cameos and it is even handed to the Germans as well, who lost many brave men.

The bits I liked were, as one other has commented, British diplomat Ralph Richardson telling German Curt Jurgens (over tea of course) that we wouldn't be dictated to and the scene in the RAF command bunker as one of the biggest daily air battles develops, where Churchill (suggested only by a puffing cigar but very much a hands on war leader), on surveying the plotting board showing hundreds of attacking German aircraft, orders more reserves into the battle only to be told there are none left, everything we had was in the air or on the ground being refuelled.

If the technology looks dated now, we must not forget that at the time radar was ultra secret and definitely cutting edge - this was the start of electronic warfare.

I believe I am correct in saying the film opened on 15th September 1969, celebrated in the UK as Battle of Britain day and the actual anniversary of the Churchill incident above.

This was truly the finest hour of those young pilots and we did it all without American help or even a Yank guest star..........

PS Christopher Plummer is Canadian!


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