of the best British wars films ever made and with a soundtrack that
still has young British lads humming it at rugby games… it clearly is
destined to endure. The Dam Busters tells the tale of the flying heroes
with Richard Todd playing the VC-winning commander Guy Gibson. Todd
is just ultra cool as Gibson and takes everything thrown at him with
courage, style and acceptance. It should be noted that Todd served with
distinction during the war and parachuted into France during D-Day.
other major character in the film was not an airman at all, but rather
a bespectacled scientist by the name of Barnes Wallis played brilliantly
by Sir Michael Redgrave. A lot of time is spent in the movie on Barnes
Wallis' battle to develop the bomb and the training of the air crews,
however, there is never a dull moment and when the action comes it is
very exciting indeed. Sir Michael does a superb job in one of those
roles that was made for the actor. His frustration in trying to get
authority to develop the bomb is well done. The final moments when he
resolves not to develop weapons that cause so many allied men to die
in the delivery of them is really well portrayed.
terms of realism the film is true to source. From Wallace’s pain at
the end, to Gibsons stiff upper lip in the face of danger - all the
components are there. This was not a minor operation. It was a highly
technical operation for the day, no radar, flying at 100 feet across
the channel and over Holland and Germany, and the 60 feet over the lakes
to the dams. Recently the feat was recreated using RAF pilots they just
managed to deliver the bomb under peaceful conditions. Throw in anti-aircraft
flak and the thought you could die at any moment truly show the heroism
of these men.
actual bomb explosions were hard to re-create at that time and whilst
now they would have under slow mo exploding sand – they did not have
that technology. This only detracts slightly from the final sequences
which during bomb delivery are really well put together.