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Battle of Britain film.

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Tom Sharp 226/05/2019 21:20:29
3554 forum posts
18 photos

Battle of Britain film, Bank Holiday Monday, 2.15 pm Channel Five.

Make sure you don't miss Susannah York in her flimsies.

Edited By Tom Sharp 2 on 26/05/2019 21:38:14

Cliff Bastow26/05/2019 21:44:11
829 forum posts
427 photos

You can teach monkeys to fly better than that!

Cuban826/05/2019 21:51:27
2771 forum posts
13 photos

See the special edition dvd with the director's commentary. Fascinating snippets of background info.

Tom Sharp 226/05/2019 22:12:00
3554 forum posts
18 photos

A noble effort to show how it was, this film was basically made to defray the unexpected vast profits the company made on the first three James Bond films.

Edited By Tom Sharp 2 on 26/05/2019 22:13:24

Trevor Crook27/05/2019 07:43:47
868 forum posts
65 photos

I watched about half of "Hurricane" on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, before giving up. It made me appreciate how good The BoB is.

David Ashby - Moderator27/05/2019 08:50:25
10918 forum posts
1674 photos
609 articles

The awful CGI BoB sequences in Pearl Harbour are another that make you realise just how good the 1969 film was.

Cuban827/05/2019 09:38:13
2771 forum posts
13 photos

I can always spend a couple of hours watching 'Battle of Britain', indeed, I've often  just had the DVD playing on my laptop while I'm building, so I follow the dialogue and music. As an eleven years old back in 1968 when my dad took me to the little flea pit cinema in Cromer to see the film, it was quite simply a revelation to see and hear those aircraft up on the (no so big) screen, probably also did wonders for Airfix sales figures. The 'Big Wing' formation sequence and music never fails to move me.

Mind you, the film is far from perfect and although what is glaringly obvious now, was quite unnoticeable to most members of the public at the time, including my eleven years old self. I hadn't noticed until the other day, that in one short sequence showing the Poles flying in formation, they must have been short of Hurricanes on the day and a couple of Bouchons were used - given away by the struts under their tailplanes.The other classic faux pas being the WAAF plotters' hairstyles that were typical mid 1960s cuts and nothing like what would have been seen 25 years earlier - didn't someone on set query that at the time? Obviously not.

Loads of other gaffs and continuity errors that I won't go into here, have fun spotting your own, but I think my favourite is simply the glaringly modern, white plastic Friedland bell push on the door frame of the house vacated by Robert Shaw and Ian McShane.

Still a good film that manages to hold its own despite its faults, with the magnificent flying sequences keeping everything together in a manner that CGI can never do. I do believe that the film was instrumental in sowing the seeds of the notion of aircraft preservation in the minds of the wider public and has helped us to the numbers of marvelous, classic machines that can be seen regularly on the airshow circuit. Moreover, our own hobby must have attracted so many new R/C flyers just itching to fly their own Spit after seeing the real stuff on screen.

Back in '68 you were lucky to see one or two Spitfires or Hurricanes at an airshow, but how things have changed now, in part due to the film's effect on so many of us both in and outside of avaition circles.



Edited By Cuban8 on 27/05/2019 09:47:28

Percy Verance27/05/2019 09:57:39
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Yes C8, I'd noticed that doorbell push too. It could easily have been covered up with a bit of black tape to make it less obvious, but it seems it was missed.....

I'm fairly sure I spotted a section of motorway or dual carriageway during one of the aerial sequences as well. Like you say C8 it's still a cracking film.


Yes Trevor, "Hurricane" isn't an outstanding piece of work by any means, but there is enough of a story to follow. I thought it was ok. I just watched Lancaster Skies last week. Now that isn't bad at all for a low budget movie. I'd recommend that one......



Edited By Percy Verance on 27/05/2019 10:07:40

ken anderson.27/05/2019 10:07:29
8454 forum posts
773 photos

on again today at 14.00,when the film was released and shown in Berlin the audience booed it and threw stuff at the screen …. because of its bias …. good bit when the German lad tell Goering he needs a spitfire....or two...

ken dept...

Lima Hotel Foxtrot27/05/2019 11:37:00
353 forum posts

I don't know why some of you guys are so against CGI, it allows the camera to get much closer into the action with a greater variety of possible shots than live filming ever can. It's also much cheaper and safer to do, so there can be more of it.

Battle of Britain was an okay film for it's time, but things have moved on in how these things are produced. I think one of the more un-noted parts of the film is that, due to there not being any American money involved in the production, there was no shoehorning of yankee warriors into the story. Not even with the Eagle squadron as an excuse.

Percy Verance27/05/2019 11:53:50
8108 forum posts
155 photos

There were some (pre Eagle Squadron) Americans involved in the real BoB though Lima, along with others whom you may not necessarily have expected to see. Brendan *Paddy* Finucane for one, from the Republic of Ireland which of course was neutral. Allegedly, Paddy liked a good scrap....... And another example would be Adolf Gisbert "Sailor" Malan, from South Africa. A high scoring RAF ace, "Sailor" was a Merchant Seaman prior to WW2 breaking out.....

Sadly Paddy did not survive the war, and Sailor Malan died in South Africa in the 60's as a result of serious health issues. 



Edited By Percy Verance on 27/05/2019 12:11:07

Jon - Laser Engines27/05/2019 13:56:03
4846 forum posts
180 photos
Posted by Lima Hotel Foxtrot on 27/05/2019 11:37:00:

I don't know why some of you guys are so against CGI, it allows the camera to get much closer into the action with a greater variety of possible shots than live filming ever can. It's also much cheaper and safer to do, so there can be more of it.


the problem with cgi is its over use and the belief that more fantastic effects make for a better product.

In reality, a great deal of cgi action is implausible and this detracts from the overall effect they are trying to give.

The original 1993 Jurassic park is a prime example with large animatronic dinosaurs used for most of the close up work. The details in the models and the interactions with the cast members made it totally believable where as the modern day cgi filled JP lost so much of this realism.

My american girlfriend's reaction to BOB was interesting too as she watched pearl harbour in history class at school (yes, thats how they teach history in america) and didnt see anything wrong with it so was surprised when i said i thought it was rubbish. Watching BOB then a trip to duxford later she understood my point of view as it was then clear how inaccurate the pearl harbour version was as, simply put, planes cant do that.

The on board footage from 'einkels, messerchmitts, no they aint they're 'einkels, from rear gunner positions with spitfires all around again gave a great sense of realism.

Even if you take the dambusters, complete with its 'meanwhile back in the studio' cockpit scenes, could it be improved with cgi? sure you could replace the hornby oo getting washed off its rails with cgi or the airfix lancaster crashing in flames, but would it actually improve the story or realism of the film?

I could go on about this forever i think, but my final example would be the sequence in Star Trek the motion picture where Kirk and Scotty are flying out to the new Enterprise after refit. The scene is immensely long by modern standards and the detail on the model of the Enterprise, its space dock and all the lighting is quite remarkable and i am yet to see a CGI scene go to those lengths in terms of detail.

My simple rule would be that if you can tell its CGI then you did it wrong

Edited By Jon - Laser Engines on 27/05/2019 13:57:00

Paul Marsh27/05/2019 14:53:26
3727 forum posts
1057 photos

I've got it remastered Blu-ray

One big gaff is where the HE-111 is going down the rx aerial goes out, but they saw that and filmed a small cut scene where the control cables snap, giving providence to the scene.

Edited By Paul Marsh on 27/05/2019 14:57:08

Tom Sharp 227/05/2019 17:06:43
3554 forum posts
18 photos

Ken Anderson.

The German lad who asked for a squadron of Spitfires was Adolf Galland, who was one of Germany's top Aces and went on to command the German jet fighters.

Percy Verance27/05/2019 19:08:20
8108 forum posts
155 photos


After the war Adolf Galland and Douglas Bader became good friends, often pleasure flying together....... 

I think both were advisors for the 1968 BoB film......

Edited By Percy Verance on 27/05/2019 19:16:00

Trevor Crook27/05/2019 23:02:52
868 forum posts
65 photos

As was Bob Stanford Tuck, Percy. One of the reasons the film still looks good is that it was shot in 70mm.

I've nothing against CGI if it's the only practical or affordable way of doing things, but the way the aircraft moved in "Hurricane" was unrealistic. The same is true of the sequences in "Red Tails", although the rendering of the aircraft was better in that, and the story kept me watching until the end.

I also saw "Dunkirk" recently, and thought it was quite good, despite the unfeasably long Spitfire glide. No CGI used in that, and the R/C He111 was well flown. Superb dead stick landing sequence on the beach by Paul Bonhomme and an American pilot whose name I've forgotten.

Martin Harris28/05/2019 00:36:37
8888 forum posts
221 photos
Posted by Jon - Laser Engines on 27/05/2019 13:56:03:

My american girlfriend's reaction to BOB was interesting too as she watched pearl harbour in history class at school (yes, thats how they teach history in america)

It's not that new a concept Jon - the highlight of my O level history course was the afternoon that our class was released from the chalk dust filled dingy confines of the school to spend the afternoon at the local cinema watching the BoB as part of our education.

Did it help much with our results? I'm sure I wasn't the only 14/15 year old boy who left the cinema with a lasting memory of Susannah York's bedtime scene in her questionably historically correct nether garments but I don't recall any questions relating to them in the exams! This may be a good thing as I do now know from a qualified expert that WAAF's even in the late 50s were issued substantial blue serge airman resistant passion killers...

FilmBuff28/05/2019 09:23:54
254 forum posts
28 photos

Always a very watchable film - as long as we don't think it's a documentary...

Good earlier spot about the girls' hairs styles.

And I always chuckle that whenever we cut to a scene featuring German airmen - the sound track punctuates it with imperial triumphalist music - just in case we forget they are German.

Cuban828/05/2019 09:33:43
2771 forum posts
13 photos

A recent Battle of Britain documentary on History Channel or perhaps Yesterday, clearly used a lot of excellent BoB film footage and what appeared to be out takes that never made it into the 1968 final film's cut. There must be hours of similar footage stored away (hopefully) and perhaps if another big BoB film for TV or cinema was made, use could be made of this resource, even if it was tweaked with sympathetic CGI or enhancement.

When one goes to see WW2 fighters at Duxford or elsewhere, they're piloted by experts (quite rightly) who by virtue of that experience are usually in their 50s or even older. I'd like to see a film made that confronts and explores the fact that our pilots were often in their late teens or early to mid 20s. This should be reflected in using actors of the correct age and might well resonate with a contemporary younger audience, who for various reasons are increasingly unaware of the exploits of their same age predecessors.

Even the excellent 'First light' had a thirty years old actor at the time of the film's production in 2010 (Sam Heughan), I think the film would have been all the more powerful and thought provoking had an actual eighteen years old got the part of Geoffrey Wellum, along with actors of similar correct ages taking the other parts. There must be stacks of young and possibly unknown talent just waiting for a chance. Somehow we expect crusty older types to be flying the Spits and Hurricanes (not forgetting Bomber Command and others) but the reality was that so many were only just making it into manhood with very little experience of the world outside of their home and school life. A good story that needs to be explored.



Edited By Cuban8 on 28/05/2019 09:48:38

DIGGER28/05/2019 09:41:16
133 forum posts
4 photos

I was a drayman at the time working in Cambridge, and part of my delivery was Duxford airfield, the Spitfire bar and the Hurricane bar, as the stars and crew called them , so I had alot of time watching the flying scenes, the camera plan was a converted B25 Mitchell. I well remember the day back in the yard when a Polish chap called Frances was helping me to unload my lorry with empty crates, when a formation of He 111 came over, farly low, Frances started throwing bottles in the air shouting nazi barstard and was getting very upset to say the least, we all jumped of the trucks and loading bay to get out the way of the blitz coming down. Poor Frances, it took a good few drinks to calm him down and reassure him it's only a film, but it wasn't for him , he remembered what had happened to his family in Poland. And no he didn't get the sack that was in the days when we had understanding bosses.

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