Action / Drama / History / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Barry Foster Photo
Barry Foster as Don R - Dispatch Rider
Richard Attenborough Photo
Richard Attenborough as John Holden
Harry Landis Photo
Harry Landis as Dr. Levy
Liz Fraser Photo
Liz Fraser as Worker in Holden's Factory
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.22 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 15 min
P/S 0 / 3
2.26 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 15 min
P/S 1 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by malcolmgsw7 / 10

This gets closer to the people and events

The night before I went to see the 2017 film of the events I watched this film again.It was everything that the new film is not.A faithful retelling of events told in an involving but not over emotional way.The scale of production may not have been as large as the new film,but you learned a lot more.Peopled with many fine actors including Mills,Attenborough and Lee.It captures the mood of the times which the new film does not.

Reviewed by rmax3048237 / 10

Fine War Movie.

This is an above average account of the evacuation of almost half a million British and French troops from the beaches of France near the beginning of World War Two, when the German Blitzkrieg seemed unstoppable. There are good performances, nicely staged battle scenes, a well-written script, and impressive visual effects. A good job.

The story alternates between Corporal John Mills' confused attempts to get his squad from the front line back to his unit on the beach, and the growing realization across the channel that the English will need to muster more than a handful of destroyers to get their army home. Bernard Lee and Richard Attenborough are two civilian small-boat owners who are swept up in the massive effort.

It's really an impressive adult movie, free of heroics and flag-waving rhetoric. The Germans are not demonized. And when men die, they don't die Hollywood deaths, twirling around and collapsing. They die in pain, sometimes crawling helplessly before expiring. At the beaches, as the hordes of clumsily outfitted soldiers line up to board the motley fleet of dinghies, yachts, and ferries, they are shelled by artillery and bombed by Stukas. And when a shell or a bomb hits, the explosion is followed by hundreds of ululating howls of distress, a long collective moan of pain. Marvelously done.

Bernard Lee is the thoughtful civilian Londoner who is critical of both the generalship that allowed the Allied forces to be surrounded in a small pocket on the channel, and the citizenry that has never taken Adolf Hitler seriously. Attenborough keeps finding excuses not to join the rescue effort because his wife tells him, "Promise you won't leave me and baby." "Fools at the top and fools at the bottom," remarks Lee.

John Mills as the reluctant squad leader continued to surprise me. He's "Tubby" Bins, just one of the guys, until the sergeant is killed in action. One of the men points out that he now has the stripes. "I suppose I do," says Mills, surprised, uncertain, but not making a big deal out of it. He's not much at giving orders and having them followed. (He's the kind of non-commissioned officer I was.) But he gradually grows into the role and although the squad incurs casualties he manages to pull most of them through. Mills does everything possible with this character arc. A lesser actor would have played it as a stereotype -- stern from the start, adamantine and unchanging. It would have been easy.

There are some remarkable, sweeping shots of the cold, wet beaches showing hundreds of shivering, frightened men. At some moments they recalled the ligament-stretching efforts at gigantism of "The Longest Day." They're all the more strange for appearing in a movie that at all other times seems to have a limited budget.

The writing and editing slip towards the end. We see multiple attempts to get the men off the beach in fully loaded boats and ship. They all fail until Attenborough gets Mills and the others on his small yacht and takes off for Dover -- and they're among the last to go. The impression we're left with, until it's corrected by the narrated epilogue, is that hardly anyone escaped from the pocket. Some of the minor roles are less than well executed.

But none of that detracts from the overall impact of the movie. It has all sorts of incidental trouvees. A German grenade detonates near one of Mills' men and knocks him down. As time passes, it becomes clear that there's something wrong with the man. He's dizzy. His judgment is clouded. "It's just concussion," decides Mills, "and he'll be alright." Now, in a by-the-numbers war movie, we know this will not turn out to be the case. The man will continue to deteriorate before finally collapsing and gasping out a few last sentimental words before passing away from brain damage. But what happens here? Exactly what Mills says. The guy recovers after getting some sleep and is fine again. His temporary impairment could have been eliminated entirely from the script with nothing lost except a slight but incisive touch of realism.

Reviewed by Wakanohana8 / 10

What a WWII movie should be

A simple film, two stories, soldiers and civilians who did what needed to be done. None of the romance of "Mrs Minnever," but moving nonetheless.

I appreciated this film all the more for having seen "Pearl Harbor" a few months ago. I gave "Dunkirk" 8/10, maybe a little generous, because of the attention to detail and accuracy. The acting was better than adequate, and it was wonderful to see a youngish Bernard Lee. He was 49 when this film was released in 1958 -- there is a gap in his filmography from 41 to 45, so he probably served in the war... as did many of the other actors.

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