Swelling with patriotic pride, angered at the inclusion of an offensive term or just plain wanting a good war film, All three can contend for this re release. Charting the development of and use of the famed Barnes Wallis ‘Bouncing Bomb’, which destroyed 2 dams in the Ruhr valley. From low flying pilots, to tests of the explosive device. From the dispatch of the bombs to the deaths of many who tried to do their duty. The Dam Busters avoids easy conclusions and might just stir those who are ‘woke’ into resistance. Now I have little time for this business of woke. It is intellectual ego massage, self involved over reach. Worse still it is becoming nauseating. Those involved are often propelled by the ideology of the same people who they will replace. This film deserves better treatment than it will get or does get. It also deserves a frank appraisal of its production and position in the lexicon of war cinema.
Adapted by RC Sheriff from the non fiction account by Paul Brickhill’s book “Enemy Coast Ahead”. This was 1955’s box office heavyweight. The Dam Busters came at a time that was pivotal in British society. A time of intense national decline both economically and politically. The empire had crumbled under its own debt imbalance. Rightly states were given freedom and the modern position was one of reflection. However the war was a close memory for many and what had been done by so few, was often either ignored or separated from its actions by gusto and explosive action. Bar mid war films like ‘Dive Bomber’ which starred Erroll Flynn, you had little in the way of reflective cinema of the conflict. In The Dam Busters is about the intellectual effort and personal involvement it took to take on an ‘evil empire’. Director Michael Anderson directs the piece with enough emphasis on the latter but never avoids capturing the former. Anderson proves his skill with action, drama and balancing it for tone and pacing. It is always compelling. Often tense and even occasionally you might shed a tear for those amazing feats of brave men at war. Also look out for Star Wars inspiration in then flight scenes….
The 4K is exceptional. Utterly glorious in the night scenes and having seen it in the cinema, it almost hits the highs of that. This is why 4K can be a tool for good in cinema. The extras are very good. The disc is set to come packaged with extras galore. The disc features are good also but my top 3 are
THE TEST FOOTAGE – sometimes surreal dip into the footage that proved the weapon could work.
THE DAMBUSTERS TALK – Those who survived give us the full story of how they were chosen and what they did. It reveals a debt owed to many by so few.
SIR BARNES WALLIS – A documentary that talks to the man who made the bomb. Dated but still insightful.
A BRAND NEW RESTORATION – COMMEMORATING THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL WWII RAID
Includes a 64 page booklet with brand new essays, and photographs, plus a rare print of an ariel photograph of the Mohne dam post raid, signed by the original 617 squadron.
Includes the film in both 1.75:1 and 1.37:1 Aspect Ratios
RAF poster of the Chastise Lancaster’s
Its everything you expect and in all honesty, a lot more.