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
Air Vice Marshal Keith Park
Baron von Richter
Sergeant Pilot Andy
Group Captain Baker
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Group Captain Hope
Squadron Leader Harvey
Air Vice Marshal Evill
Sir David Kelly
Squadron Leader Skipper
Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory
Section Officer Maggie Harvey
Warrant Officer Warrick
Wing Commander Willoughby
Squadron Leader Edwards
Pilot Officer Archie