Dunkirk  -
Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):
Not spoken about enough! : An absolute classic war film starring John Mills, with many memorable scenes. In particular when leaving an English battery in a wood to be attacked by Stukas and the horrific scenes on the beaches of Dunkirk. This film does what many war films of the time didn't and looked from the other side of war: retreat. Always on the back foot Mills squad are under massive pressure to escape the stranglehold that Germany was implementing on the British Expeditionary Force. and accurately portrays the general feeling of panic throughout the film.
Dunkirk: A truly brilliant movie : This has to be one of the very best movies about WW2. There is an enormous sense of realism, almost docudrama, enhanced by the understated performances and the black-and-white photography.Intensely moving, it details how a small group of soldiers were caught up in a campaign that went disastrously wrong owing to a total lack of appreciation of Nazi power. The result was an ignominious retreat that threatened to wipe out the British army - only for it to be saved by a miraculous evacuation involving nearly a thousand naval and private vessels that turned defeat into something akin to a victory. The intervention of private boat owners sailing tiny craft into the maelstrom of bombs and shells to rescue the stranded army has become a legend. So atmospheric you believe you were there on those beaches. There has been some criticism that there were not enough big battle scenes, but they would have destroyed the pathos of individual human situations. Again, some have argued that the film should have shown more of what went wrong and what should have been done, but at the time no-one really appreciated this, and the period atmosphere is best served by this aura of disbelief and incomprehension.
Superb : This film is superb, a masterpiece of editing. I used to use it as an example of narrative and visual flow. The film bounces from Home front to "battle" front, merges newsreel with marvellous studio and outdoor filming. Vignettes concentrate on individuals (fleeing civilians, generals and doomed soldiers) arced by the tale of a group of normal, everyday men; soldiers lost in the chaos and confusion of withdrawal and retreat, and boatowners manning the "little ships" in a heroic attempt to pull an army off the beach. The scenes on the jetty in Dunkirk and on the beaches are memorable. The overall effect is of a film that has the feel of docudrama. It is a long overlooked masterpiece of British Cinema.
A really moving film : I saw this on TV years ago and have always wanted a copy on DVD. And, finally, it's here. The film in in excellent condition, in crisp clean B&W (don't be misled by the colour picture of John Mills).
They've handled the Dunkirk story from both the view of the troops trying to get home, and the small boats that went out to ferry them home and done a rather good job of it. The cast all act their pants off, and while some of the scenes do look a little artificial, others have a real air of 'being there'. The only major clunk is the mysterious transformation of a Blenheim into a Ju88 back to a Blenheim then, finally back to a Ju88...
My only disappointment is the complete absence of extra features on the DVD. Given the importance of the Dunkirk evacuation, a small documentary and some historical photographs would have been nice.
It's a wonderful film.
One of the best war films I've ever seen : I thought I knew the titles of just about all British war films (and had seen most of them), but for some reason I had never even heard of this one. This made me suspect that it wasn't very good, when I saw it advertised on Amazon, but I decided to buy it anyway, on the strength of the good reviews it seemed to be getting. How glad I am that I did! It is absolutely superb! It is brilliantly directed, so that it is gripping from first moment to last, and so utterly realistic and consistently interesting (it reminded me a little in that respect of the best parts of the recent "Band of Brothers"). I only ever bother to write reveiews of products that I think have been somewhat overlooked or under-appreciated, or which are surprisingly good, and "Dunkirk" falls into all those categories. It is, also, incidentally, educative, in that it deals with that part of World War II which has probably had least attention from film-makers, namely the early days leading up to the fall of France. What, precisely, was the British Expeditionary Force trying to do, and where did they get to before they were beaten back? You will get some idea of the answers to these questions from this film. You will, also, I think, get a pretty good idea of what it was like to be an infantryman at the time.
I must also mention the special effects. For a modern film they would be very good indeed, for a film made in the 1950s they are simply amazing - gunfire, bombs, explosions, ships sinking - all horribly realistic and terrifying. For anyone wondering whether or not to buy this film, hesitate no longer: it is simply one of the best war films ever made!
Buy "Dunkirk " now!