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Thread: The Dam Busters

  1. #1
    Stuartieboy
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    Surely, this is the quintessential british movie: black and white; war; lot's of dead chaps; serious questions; good music; under-stated heroism; a bumbling hero; a dead dog being more important than dead people; and visual beauty.

    See the alarm clock, the empty set breakfast places, the pilot so worn out he falls onto his bed with his boots on, was there ever a more truly moving sequence in cinema?



    We under-rate the british war movie of the 1940s and 1950s, yet it includes our greatest artists: Powell and Pressburger; Carol Reed; David Lean and, dare I say, Lewis Gilbert. The Dam Busters by Michael Anderson surpasses all in its eloquence and its refusal to slip in to easy flag-waving. Tell you what, I'll debate it further if you wish. Coming close are Great Expectations, 39 Steps, Lawrence of Arabia, The Third Man, and A Matter of Life and Death, but none of them quite make it.

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    Richard Todd was never as still upper lipped as when he marched away at the end having told Michael Redgrave (Barnes Wallis) that the men who died would've still gone even if they'd known the outcome..."and I knew them".



    I still wouldn't rate it as the best British war movie though...it seems too dated and too reliant on British characterture. I though John Mills was way more heroic and believable in "Ice Cold In Alex".

    The best British war move ever is still probably a tie between "Bridge on the River Kwai" & "The Cruel Sea".



    Jack Hawkins & Alec Guiness act the pants off Richard Todd I'm afraid.

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    Stiff upper lip is one of the reasons I enjoy English movies about the War. I would have to agree that "Dam Busters" is, if not THE best, ONE of the best of the 'Men-in-Training' movies. Do you remember the scene when the Lancasters are approaching the coast, shot from above, and lit by moonlight reflected off the water? Absolutely beautiful.



    Did you know that the sequence when the bombers follow the canal on the way to the target was the inspiration for the StarWars scene in which the fighters attack the DeathStar through the equator channel?

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    Brian



    Stiff upper lip is one of the reasons I enjoy English movies about the War. I would have to agree that "Dam Busters" is, if not THE best, ONE of the best of the 'Men-in-Training' movies. Do you remember the scene when the Lancasters are approaching the coast, shot from above, and lit by moonlight reflected off the water? Absolutely beautiful.



    The Dambuster squadron (617 squadron) was formed from experienced pilots and after the missions were retained as an elite precision boming unit - they were later to take part in the sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz.



    The movie was shot around Ladybower resovoir in Derbyshire near to where my father lives - it was also where the real squadron trained for the mission. There are many excellent walks around the resovoir with magnificent views and a tradional pub (the Dambuster pub) - I took my American wife there once and she was impressed.



    British war movies, unlike their American counterparts, like to recreate history and show it how it was. Some poetic licence is allowed but not too much.



    Did you know that the sequence when the bombers follow the canal on the way to the target was the inspiration for the StarWars scene in which the fighters attack the DeathStar through the equator channel?



    No I didn't but then again Star Wars I (or rather Star Wars IV as the cable channels refer to it as now) contains a great many movie reference points and influences from the droid Laurel & Hardy routine to Tarzan swinging with Jane on a rope.



    I always thought the final attack on the Death Star remined me of 633 Squadron where the whole squadron gets wasted attacked down a narrow fjord (complete with enemy Messerschmidts/Tie fighters lurking above them and for the final bomb to destroy the mountain/Death Star.



    Were the producers of 633 Squadron on drugs the day they cast George Chakaris as a Norwegian naval officer complete with a nordic blonde sister?



    The best training war movie I ever saw was Full Metal Jacket. Awesome first half, awful second half. Kubrik should've scrapped the war movie section and just focussed on a study of the de-humanisation and automation of the individual during the basic training process.

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    Polynikes is right about KWAI or CRUEL SEA, perhaps followed by ICE COLD IN ALEX. Nevertheless DAMBUSTERS is a damn fine film.



    George Lucas drew a lot of inspiration from war movies for Star Wars including DAMBUSTERS, BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI and 633 SQUADRON.



    Annakin Skywalker was named after Ken Annakin, BTW.

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    Quite agree; DAM BUSTERS is deserving of a restoration and extra-packed DVD release. Not sure where it fits on the 'greats' list but certainly a keeper. And there's always THE FIRST OF THE FEW (Leslie Howard, David Niven 1942) but I assume that's been discussed already; DAM BUSTERS is more subtle and deft with the point, though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    I watched The Dambusters on Granada a few years ago and couldn't believe it when they dubbed over the times that "nigger" his dog's name was called to simply "boy"or went to the adverts.

    regards

    Freddy

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    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Freddy

    I watched The Dambusters on Granada a few years ago and couldn't believe it when they dubbed over the times that "nigger" his dog's name was called to simply "boy"or went to the adverts.

    regards

    Freddy
    What did they do when they broke the dam?

    That was also the codeword sent back when the dam burst.



    I do dislike the re-writing of history like that.



    Steve

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    Can't answer that one I'm afraid Steve, I had turned off by then. Like you fact is fact and should not be tampered with.

    regards

    Freddy

  10. #10
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    It's a sign of the times,Freddy. I haven't a racist bone in my body,but I am seriously of setting up my own political party STUFF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (or the FPC for short) wink .

    Fact is fact:Nigger was the name of Guy Gibson's dog and Nigger was the call sign that the dam(s) had been breached.

    It is a shame that censorship will allow four letter words,sex scenes etc,but when it comes to a word which was once innocent,never looked upon as being blasphemous,the PC brigade call red alert.

    Our language as stood by us for centuries,generations and has awarded us posts in seminal literature. Yet,now we have to watch what we say. It's fascism on words :mad: .

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  11. #11
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    I was pleased when C4 broadcast The Dambusters so I could can ITV's censored version, although I haven't watched since I taped it, so I hope C4 didn't do the same thing.

  12. #12
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    Marky B:

    It's a sign of the times,Freddy. I haven't a racist bone in my body,but I am seriously of setting up my own political party STUFF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (or the FPC for short) wink .

    Fact is fact:Nigger was the name of Guy Gibson's dog and Nigger was the call sign that the dam(s) had been breached.

    It is a shame that censorship will allow four letter words,sex scenes etc,but when it comes to a word which was once innocent,never looked upon as being blasphemous,the PC brigade call red alert.

    Our language as stood by us for centuries,generations and has awarded us posts in seminal literature. Yet,now we have to watch what we say. It's fascism on words :mad: .

    Ta Ta

    Marky B
    Couldn't agree more marky b where do i sign up, violent i had a black labrador called nigger when i was 10yrs old could you imagine calling him to you over the local park now eek!

    cheers Ollie.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    When I caught the film about 7 years ago on ITV the dog's name had been dubbed out but during a more recent airing on the same channel it was restored.





    My own border collie happens to be named Monty after a film; Montmorency in Three Men in a Boat.

  14. #14
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    Brian Brandt:

    Stiff upper lip is one of the reasons I enjoy English movies about the War. I would have to agree that "Dam Busters" is, if not THE best, ONE of the best of the 'Men-in-Training' movies. Do you remember the scene when the Lancasters are approaching the coast, shot from above, and lit by moonlight reflected off the water? Absolutely beautiful.



    Did you know that the sequence when the bombers follow the canal on the way to the target was the inspiration for the StarWars scene in which the fighters attack the DeathStar through the equator channel?
    Right on there Brian Brandt! I recall one of the flying moonlit scenes of a Lanc coming over a body of water with some trees to the right of the plane on the shore, and the plane lifts up and banks away to the left! Hairs on the back of the neck time!



    I can't imagine the guts those blokes had - having to risk ALL every night for 30 missions (a tour).



    Some have said, unkindly, that it was fruitless mission and didn't make much difference to the German munitions industry. What do others think?

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    ollie:

    Couldn't agree more marky b where do i sign up, violent i had a black labrador called nigger when i was 10yrs old could you imagine calling him to you over the local park now eek!

    cheers Ollie.
    Just you wait brothers and sisters - come the revolution, there will a politically correct prannie hanging from every lamp-post!! These damded people have made the extreme right popular.



    I work with Asians and Negros and they absolutely cringe when they hear of the ideas dreamed up by these pc idiots. :mad:

  16. #16
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    JIM:

    Right on there Brian Brandt! I recall one of the flying moonlit scenes of a Lanc coming over a body of water with some trees to the right of the plane on the shore, and the plane lifts up and banks away to the left! Hairs on the back of the neck time!



    I can't imagine the guts those blokes had - having to risk ALL every night for 30 missions (a tour).



    Some have said, unkindly, that it was fruitless mission and didn't make much difference to the German munitions industry. What do others think?
    After Dresden and postwar there began a trend to run down the effectiveness of the bomber offensive, it seemed rather 'inconvenient' to be responsible for over half a million civillian deaths.



    Held against it was it didn't win the war alone like Arthur Harris had claimed it could, and that the Germans still managed to maintain and increase production through 43-44.



    It needs to be remembered though that the Germans invested a phenomenal amount of resources countering the offensive with radar, nightfighters, flak guns and their crews etc, you could go on and on and on.



    Also, away from the city raids, vital for it's attacks on the Normandy defences, transport infrastructure and V weapons sites.



    Personally I think Bomber Command has been very unfairly maligned, but it's one of those debates you could go on about for both sides for an age.



    As for the crews, it's scandalous they were never given a campaign medal after their corageous effort and appalling losses, but unfortunately they became a victim of politics and were particularly betrayed by Churchill.



    Sorry to waffle on, but you did ask wink and it's a bit of an interest.



    :)

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    Correct MDD, that reply was pretty much as I had heard it elsewhere. Thanks for the reply.

    thumbs_u

  18. #18
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    Spot on,Jim

    I think a majority of Asians and negroes who work in this country despise political correctness. Councils stop places celebrating Christmas because "it might offend ethnic minorities". Where I buy my beer from is run by a nice family from India,who obviously look forward to Christmas as they will make plenty of money and also they go to Nottingham on Christmas Day to celebrate the festival with their family.

    Political correctness has never been elected,so it shouldn't govern :mad: :mad: violent violent

  19. #19
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    Marky B:

    Spot on,Jim

    I think a majority of Asians and negroes who work in this country despise political correctness. Councils stop places celebrating Christmas because "it might offend ethnic minorities". Where I buy my beer from is run by a nice family from India,who obviously look forward to Christmas as they will make plenty of money and also they go to Nottingham on Christmas Day to celebrate the festival with their family.

    Political correctness has never been elected,so it shouldn't govern :mad: :mad: violent violent
    CORRECT MarkyB! Can't add any more to that!

  20. #20
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    Right now,back to The Dambusters :)

    Glancing through my Halliwell's Film Guide to look up its critique on The Maggie,I thought I'd have another look at The Dambusters. According to Halliwell,the music for The Dambusters was written by Leighton Lucas and Eric Coattes. What contribution did Leighton Lucas give to the famous march?

    When is it out on DVD?

    Watch out for a young Robert Shaw as Flight Sergeant Pulford and note Patrick McGoohan standing guard outside the briefing room. Also Richard Thorpe (Alan Hunter in Emmerdale) is also in the 617 squadron.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B thumbs_u

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