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Battle Of Britain, The (1969)

The air is thick with screen stars and 27 restored Spitfires flown by genuine WWII veterans defending Britain from the rampant Luftwaffe in the dark days of summer 1940.

Laurence Olivier directs operations as Commander-in-chief Hugh Dowding, whose shrewd strategy with his limited fighter command induced the Luftwaffe to make fatal errors that led to its destruction.


The aerial sorties involve a vast number of big-name stars that prove a distraction from the actual story; including Michael Caine, Robert Shaw, Kenneth More, Christopher Plummer et al who relentlessly take to the air despite being exhausted.

With such momentous events, Guy Hamilton‘s colourful big-budget spectacular should have been an epic war movie.

The visually stunning aerial photography vividly recreates the London blitz and the fighter dogfights are impressive but Hamilton fails to get the story off the ground.

The German military advisor for Battle of Britain was Adolf Galland.

A Major-General in the Luftwaffe before he was 30, Galland recorded 104 kills of Allied aircraft during WWII and was considered one of the world’s greatest fighter pilots.

Squadron Leader Canfield
Michael Caine
Air Vice Marshal Keith Park
Trevor Howard
Baron von Richter
Curd Jürgens
Sergeant Pilot Andy
Ian McShane
Group Captain Baker
Kenneth More
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Laurence Olivier
Group Captain Hope
Nigel Patrick
Squadron Leader Harvey
Christopher Plummer
Air Vice Marshal Evill
Michael Redgrave
Sir David Kelly
Ralph Richardson
Squadron Leader Skipper
Robert Shaw
Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory
Patrick Wymark
Section Officer Maggie Harvey
Susannah York
Warrant Officer Warrick
Michael Bates
Mrs Andy
Isla Blair
James Cosmo
Wing Commander Willoughby
Robert Flemyng
Squadron Leader Edwards
Barry Foster
Pilot Officer Archie
Edward Fox
Feldmarschall Kesselring
Peter Hager
General Fink
Wolf Harnisch
Major Falke
Manfred Reddemann
Hein Reiss
Rolf Stiefel

Guy Hamilton