7.0/10
18,433
145 user 34 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
Popularity
4,502 ( 54)

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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

This movie was received very badly in India, which had been under British occupation during World War II. See more »

Goofs

Many of the female extras have 1960s hair styles. See more »

Quotes

[Narration]
Winston Churchill: Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some TV prints of the film retain the Transamerica/UA production logo, which is now frequently edited out of other UA films of that period. 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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Favorite Personality WW II Movie
21 February 2005 | by adamsys-1See all my reviews

This is my favorite WW II movie and I have seen and liked flicks like "Saving Private Ryan". The kind of War Movies I like are that ones that focus on both sides with personalities and details although most of the personality is on the Allied side. Other War movies that I loved are like this such as "Gettysburg", "Tora, Tora, Tora" and "The Enemy Below". In "The Battle of Britain" everything is realistic except for some special effects which is forgivable since this movie was made in 1969. The French speak French. Poles speak Polish and so on!!! I especially liked watching the Poles who relay this sense of 'payback' on the Germans now that they fly in excellent warplanes. There is this sense of admiration for them as well since they could have sat out the War but chose instead to keep fighting the Nazis. They probably were not even sure that Poland would be liberated from the Nazis. The Poles are still like that today. They gladly help us in Iraq compared to other Europeans. I liked watching the Germans, too, even though they are 'the bad guys' so to say. Just to let everyone know, I myself am Jewish. I watch the hordes of Nazi aircraft swarm over England like a wave of great Evil. I shudder to think what if Hitler really conquered England. Then in the scenes of dogfights, I see the Spitfire blast away a Nazi plane and I cheer. "Die you Nazi !@#$%"!!!" Movies have a way of taking your mind in certain directions especially when you are already pre-disposed. Then right after the Nazi bomber catches on fire, a very contrary camera shot happens. I see the German crewmen want to live. I know that even bad guys want to live, but then you see something else transpire with the German crewmen. These German men think. They feel. They care for each other. They see that combat against a non-pushover European is terrifying and they take no pleasure bombing cities full of civilians. You get the sense that they are only men born into the wrong generation of Germans. In five close up shots I saw these guys courageously help each other. They make sure everyone bails out. They comfort their wounded. Seeing a friend in deep trouble or dead makes them still. In the beginning they were cocky, but that comes after fighting the French, Belgiums, Danes and so on. I rather liked watching Goering with the Staff meeting in the woods fly off the handle at his executive commanders and immediate subordinates. They tell him that they are doing the best they can with what they have. "Nobody is suggesting cowardice!!!!!!" one of them replied to Goering. I was thinking of MGM telling the prospective German Actors that they have an opportunity to show that most Germans are not robots. I myself got to know a lot of Germans in my 45 years on Earth, and I must agree. Now, to the Allied side. Naturally, most of the focus in the movie are on the British characters as it should be. After all, the British must win. Must!!!! I see English wives, children, marital spats, failure and success. A pilot gives his two boys toy Spitfires. But one expects a WW II War movie to show that the allied troopers are more like yourself except for the 1957 movie "The Enemy Below". The 1993 movie "Gettysburg" equally showed personalities on both sides, too, but both sides were American really. The music is also tops. I often hum that intro martial music to myself as well as the British victory tune. This movie is clearly my favorite War Movie.


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