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  1. #121
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    Another film I've seen many, many times and throughly enjoyed.

    I saw it in the cinema when it first came out and then bought it on VHS and DVD.

    I love the dialogue where the young pilot flies to join the Squadron for the first time and bounces the aeroplane all over the landing field. The two mechanics say "Booms-a-Daisy; it's enough to make you weep!!" and two of the pilots say "You could teach monkeys to fly better than that!"

    The senior officer (played by Robert Shaw) takes the pilot up to try to teach him some combat tricks before he gets himself killed.

    Also I love the bit with the Polish squadron!!!

    Wonderful film........I like war films and this is one of my favourites.

    Josie x

  2. #122
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain bvs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    They weren't that rare, even in fighter squadrons. But there was an artificial class distinction maintained between them. Sergeant pilots, even the best ones, were often excluded from the officers mess

    Steve
    I dont get on here very much and so apologies for late reply to this post,as Steve says sgt pilots were not unusual at all...just completely at randon - here is a pic from 118 sqn showing 11 sgt /flight sgt pilots...



    Sqn commanders/Officers attitude to non commisioned aircrew varied considerably - at times of heavy losses - in some sqns the most experienced pilot would lead the flights or even on occasion would lead the sqn regardless of rank whereas on other sqns the sqn/flight leader would always be a commissioned officer regardless of experience.
    The RAF was very pragmatic during WW2 and a high proportion of sgts were commissioned - some attaining very high rank (one got to the very top !)

    Link to 118 sqn history

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...mMY-iYzCXthIoA

    As I said it was a random linkjust from a wildcard google search - it was the first photo to appear

    It even has some stills from 'First of the Few'
    Last edited by bvs; 13-05-12 at 10:25 AM.

  3. #123
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    I Love this film and have it on DVD. The dialogue with Ralph Richardson and Curt Jurgens always gets me to my feet with a mixture of defiance and pride! A most wonderful scene.

    The 'lost' William Walton score is inferior to that written by Ron Goodwin IMO, it just doesn't fit right (and I say that as a fan of Walton's music in general). The glorious exceptions to this are Walton's 'March Introduction & BOB March' and the reprise 'BOB March', which stir my soul to its very roots.

    The only thing I don't like about the film is the final credit sequence which includes what can only be described as a 'scoreboard' of fatalities listed by nationality. I appreciate that the makers wanted a definitive account with 'everything in', but it really does seem slightly crass to me.
    Last edited by Andy H; 24-05-12 at 12:16 PM.

  4. #124
    Senior Member Country: England woody123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
    I Love this film and have it on DVD. The dialogue with Ralph Richardson and Curt Jurgens always gets me to my feet with a mixture of defiance and pride! A most wonderful scene.

    The 'lost' William Walton score is inferior to that written by Ron Goodwin IMO, it just doesn't fit right (and I say that as a fan of Walton's music in general). The glorious exceptions to this are Walton's 'March Introduction & BOB March' and the reprise 'BOB March', which stir my soul to its very roots.

    The only thing I don't like about the film is the final credit sequence which includes what can only be described as a 'scoreboard' of fatalities listed by nationality. I appreciate that the makers wanted a definitive account with 'everything in', but it really does seem slightly crass to me.
    Can't agree,the "scoreboard" I think is a valid way of pointing out that while the battle was the R.A.F.'s Finest Hour,many of the pilots who fought and sadly in many cases died defending this country were from countries across the globe.Not to mention them,I think,would have been an injustice.The film though is one of maybe half a dozen that I've seen into double figures.Great.

  5. #125
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    Hi,
    Unless I have missed it, I do not appear to have contributed this article to Britmovie. If I have, blame it on my age. It appears both on my film and video club's website in my blogspot. www.hemelmoviemakers.org.uk and Herts Memories, of which I have copy pasted it from. Hope you enjoy it.

    Alan French.


    World War 2 Battle of Britain Aeroplanes at Bovingdon.1960's Display.
    By Alan French
    Whilst in a blog mood, I recall a few years ago seeing an article together with some photographs in a certain local publication. Someone had submitted pictures taken at Bovingdon of some genuine WW2 aeroplanes. The aircrafts had been utilized for a major film titled THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN. The subscriber/publication also wanted to know if anyone else remembered the public dislpay and had any photos. I responded by website and e-mail. But for reasons to fiddely to detail, something appeared to go wrong with the communication. I copied my e-mail and promptly submitted it personally to the reception area pertaining to the annonymous publication. It was to be passed on to whoever.

    Unfortunately, in the wake of this submission, for the next few weeks, I could not find any reference to not only my response, but also to anyone else who may have contacted the journal. So it means that unless I did not spot something, the poor member of the public never had a published response.

    At risk of me being incorrect, I feel that my unpublished article could qualify as a blog for our website. Despite the fact that I see an area of improvement to some of the phraseology, the rest of this blog consists of my original believed to be unpublished reply.

    Here goes:-

    Dear Sirs,
    It was with interest that I saw the photographs of WW2 aeroplanes in your history section. In fact it pleases me. I have read and heard some people omit this area's involvement concerning some of this film's location work. I gather some was also done in Spain. Hemel Hempstead may not be so exotic, but it still played its part for the film, The Battle of Britain. And the location is more authentic.

    I seem to recall reading something in your paper, stating that we should not be surprised if we see WW2 aeroplanes in the sky. Even in battle or on fire. I don't recall seeing anything that spectacular, but every so often I saw these 'planes flying in the local skies of 1968.

    I believe that the display on the ground at Bovingdon Aerodrome, was one Saturday during early or mid October. By coincidence, the previous Monday, I joined The Hemel Hempstead Cine Society, now Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers.(I am still a Member.) I say coincidence, for I visited Bovingdon that Saturday and took some home movies with my first cine camera. It was an 8mm Kodak Brownie. A few years later, this guage became known as standard 8. Also referred to on occasion as normal 8 or even regular 8. This was due to the introduction of the super 8 and single 8 guages. Whilst on my very modest production, I met someone from my new film making club.

    I remember returning home and watching a rock 'n' roll show on television. Modern movie making enthusiasts may wonder why I did not watch my cinematic pictures on my television set as well. The reason for this is that the four minutes worth of film I took, on this short roll of Kodachrome II film stock, then had to be posted to the Kodak laboratory, also by coincidence, in Hemel Hempstead. It was then I had to wait until it was developed, and then subsequently returnd for me, with excited curiosity, load, thread, and project onto a screen.

    A few years later, in October 1971, I commenced working at Lucas Aerospace. I was now part of the aircraft industry. But it was an interesting, and possibly unique experience, for me to actually be able to go close up to these aircraft, both British and German. When I was born, their pilots were enemies. That Saturday at Bovingdon Aerodrome, the aeroplanes stood beside one and other, no longer utilised as flying foes in opposition, but now in welcomed peace.

    Alan French. November 1st 2006. And December 2010.

    Copyright Alan French.

    This page was added by Alan French on 14/12/2010.

  6. #126
    Member Country: Great Britain
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    Saw this film on a German TV Channel back in the early eighties. The ending was slightly different to the UK version in that the results of the BOB were shown as an honourable draw!

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johned View Post
    Saw this film on a German TV Channel back in the early eighties. The ending was slightly different to the UK version in that the results of the BOB were shown as an honourable draw!
    How awful...we gave Jonny Hun a dam good thrashing !

  8. #128
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johned View Post
    Saw this film on a German TV Channel back in the early eighties. The ending was slightly different to the UK version in that the results of the BOB were shown as an honourable draw!
    Sounds like the same sort of re-writing of history that the Americans always do!

  9. #129

  10. #130
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    An interesting documentary. They spent an absolute fortune on the film making sure that everything was as authentically 1940 looking as possible,
    but somehow managed to have all the women in the film, including Susannah York and Isla Blair (below) sporting modern, 1969 hairstyles. I wonder who goofed on that one?


  11. #131
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    [CENTER]An interesting documentary.
    The Documentary (featured in post 129 on this Thread), is one of the special features on the following 2 DVD set - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Battle-Brita...tle+of+britain

    Battle of Britain (1969) is one of my all time favourite films.

    A great film with a great cast.

    And a great soundtrack from Ron Goodwin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3idxKxRPSw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiOu6uJWpCw
    Last edited by billy farmer; 13-01-14 at 12:35 AM.

  12. #132
    Member Country: England KAR120C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    An interesting documentary. They spent an absolute fortune on the film making sure that everything was as authentically 1940 looking as possible,
    but somehow managed to have all the women in the film, including Susannah York and Isla Blair (below) sporting modern, 1969 hairstyles. I wonder who goofed on that one?

    I have a photo of my late mum with a very similar haircut to this. Taken in 1941 when she was 16. Not so much a goof in my opinion.

  13. #133
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    The main problem they had with the verisimilitude of the film is that many of the key protagonists were still alive, and in some cases litigious in varying degrees. Especially the special advisers. Adolf Galland, the German ace was a special adviser on the film but kept throwing his teddy out of the pram during filming at the portrayal of the Germans, which he often perceived as digs at him. So no-one could be actually connected to real figures. It's a party game amongst us military historians to identify who's playing 'really' who among the pilots. Robert Shaw, we think is Adolph (!) 'Sailor' Malan. Ian MacShane - F/Sgt 'Ginger' Lacey. The two Germans - Major Falcke and Major Foehn - are Galland and Molders. Not perfect fits, but close(-ish). Suggestions for Christopher Plummer and Michael Caine welcome...

    But I still love the film, could (can; do!) recite the dialogue... Love the crazy subtitles for the Germans on some broadcast versions..

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staffsyeoman View Post
    The main problem they had with the verisimilitude of the film is that many of the key protagonists were still alive, and in some cases litigious in varying degrees. Especially the special advisers. Adolf Galland, the German ace was a special adviser on the film but kept throwing his teddy out of the pram during filming at the portrayal of the Germans, which he often perceived as digs at him. So no-one could be actually connected to real figures. It's a party game amongst us military historians to identify who's playing 'really' who among the pilots. Robert Shaw, we think is Adolph (!) 'Sailor' Malan. Ian MacShane - F/Sgt 'Ginger' Lacey. The two Germans - Major Falcke and Major Foehn - are Galland and Molders. Not perfect fits, but close(-ish). Suggestions for Christopher Plummer and Michael Caine welcome...

    But I still love the film, could (can; do!) recite the dialogue... Love the crazy subtitles for the Germans on some broadcast versions..
    The exchange between Sir Ralph Richardson and Curt Jurgens is priceless.
    Ta Ta
    Marky B

  15. #135
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    "The engines are overheating and so am I... Either we stand down or blow up!"

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky B View Post
    The exchange between Sir Ralph Richardson and Curt Jurgens is priceless.
    Ta Ta
    Marky B
    "....so don't dictate to us until you're marching up White-hall*! And even then we won't listen!"

    * How Richardson pronounces it... those of us based in it tended to say "whiteull"

    Then.... "It's unforgivable... I lost my temper.. And the thing is... he's right... We need time... AND IT'S RUNNING OUT!"

    * A cynical wag of a friend of mine used to say "We need a script.... and it's running out..."

  17. #137
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    "....so don't dictate to us until you're marching up White-hall*! And even then we won't listen!"
    I always thought that the "even then we won't listen" part was trite, like a comedy add-on that took the edge off the tirade?

    Imagine hardened German paras and tank crews getting to Whitehall, only to see stubborn old English duffers with their fingers in their ears?

  18. #138
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    I watched this film first time around 10 years ago and it is beautifully made. About the "scoreboard" at the end of the film, I think it makes the film even better to show actual figures. There are scenes that make me shiver and also scenes that make me smile. Excellent film. Can't help it but when I thinking about this film, there is another war film immediately popping inside my head: Valiant.
    * "Across the nation and the globe, pigeons are taking wing in the fight for freedom. Delivering top-secret messages from behind enemy lines, these fine-feathered aviators are the pride of the Allied forces."
    * "Bug juice, shaken, not stirred."

  19. #139
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    All the talk about winners and losers and who "threshed" who; after all the reading and researching in which I have indulged, I have come to echo in my opinion, The Duke of Wellington's words after Waterloo when he said "It was a damn close run thing!"

  20. #140
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johned View Post
    All the talk about winners and losers and who "threshed" who; after all the reading and researching in which I have indulged, I have come to echo in my opinion, The Duke of Wellington's words after Waterloo when he said "It was a damn close run thing!"
    It was, but it wasn't the only one. There were various other events like D-Day or the Battle of the Atlantic which were also a damn close run thing which could easily have been lost, had they been lost they could have affected the outcome of the whole war in Europe. There are also some actions like Operation Market Garden which, had they succeeded, could have shortened things considerably. So many things went wrong in that one. Had just a few gone better then the whole operation could have succeeded. A damn close run thing

    Steve

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