Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dam Busters

First shown in 1955, Dam Busters is the story of Barnes Wallis' 'bouncing bomb', its development, the politics surrounding it and the Lancaster crews whose job it was to drop it onto the German hydro-electric dams.

It must be over 30 years since I last saw this film, and I was struck by just how fresh it has remained. Yes, the special effects are laughable. Yes, they picked an unfortunate name for the black labrador. And yes, there is little attention given to the German casualties that resulted from the breaching of the dams.

But for all this, it manages to portray a very human side to the war, the frustrations suffered by Wallis as he struggles to make his invention work, and get funding approved by the authorities. The ingenuity and bravery of the air crews. And the efforts of the hard-working 'ordinary people' who fed and watered them.

I rented it in Blu-ray format, but the (monochrome) image-quality is average, and the picture sits in the middle of a large black surrounding border. Despite this, it is a very watchable film, the music is as stirring as I remembered, and some of the scenes had me doing the 'I've got something in my eye' routine.


Mr Gnome said...

Great poster. Great film.

I particularly remember the 'eureka' moment in the theatre - the two spotlights. Wonderful.

brett jordan said...

yes, although i always associate those two light rings with the Mysterons from Captain Scarlet... i wonder if they were inspired by the Dam Busters film?