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  • Where Eagles Dare [1968] Where Eagles Dare | DVD | (01/06/2006) from £4.75  |  Saving you £9.24 (66.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Scorned by reviewers when it came out, Where Eagles Dare has acquired a cult following over the years for its unashamed and highly concentrated dose of commando death-dealing to legions of Nazi machine-gun fodder. In 1968 Clint Eastwood was just getting used to the notion that he might be a world-class movie star; Richard Burton, whose image had been shaped equally by classical theatre and his headline-making romance with Elizabeth Taylor, was eager to try his hand at the action genre. Author Alistair MacLean's novel The Guns of Navarone had inspired the film that started the 1960s vogue for World War II military capers, so he was prevailed upon to write the screenplay (his first). The central location, an impregnable Alpine stronghold locked in ice and snow, is surpassing cool, but the plot and action are ultra-mechanical, and the switcheroo gamesmanship of just who is the undercover double (triple?) agent on the mission becomes aggressively silly. --Richard T Jameson

  • Saving Private Ryan [1998] Saving Private Ryan | DVD | (06/11/2000) from £3.89  |  Saving you £12.10 (75.70%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Since its release in 1998, Steven Spielberg's D-Day drama Saving Private Ryan has become hugely influential: everything, from the opening sequence of Gladiator ("Saving Marcus Aurelius") to the marvellous 10-hour TV series Band of Brothers, has been made in its shadow. There have been many previous attempts to recreate the D-Day landings on screen (notably, the epic The Longest Day), but thanks to Spielberg's freewheeling hand-held camerawork, Ryan was the first time an audience really felt like they were there, storming up Omaha Beach in the face of withering enemy fire. After the indelible opening sequence, however, the film is not without problems. The story, though based on an American Civil War incident, feels like it was concocted simply to fuel Spielberg's sentimental streak. In standard Hollywood fashion the Germans remain a faceless foe (with the exception of one charmless character who turns out to be both a coward and a turncoat); and the Tom Hanks-led platoon consists of far too many stereotypes: the doughty Sergeant; the thick-necked Private; the Southern man religious sniper; the cowardly Corporal. Matt Damon seems improbably clean-cut as the titular Private in need of rescue (though that may well be the point); and why do they all run straight up that hill towards an enemy machine gun post anyway? Some non-US critics have complained that Ryan portrays only the American D-Day experience, but it is an American film made and financed by Americans after all. Accepting both its relatively narrow remit and its lachrymose inclinations, Saving Private Ryan deserves its place in the pantheon of great war pictures. On the DVD: Saving Private Ryan on disc comes in a good-quality anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer with a suitably dynamic Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix in which bullets fly all around your living room. Extra features are pretty minimal, with a standard 30-minute "making of" piece called "Into the Breach" and two trailers. There are text notes on the cast and crew as well as the production, and a brief message from Mr Spielberg himself about why he decided to make the movie. --Mark Walker

  • Desert Fox, The / The Desert Rats [1951] Desert Fox, The / The Desert Rats | DVD | (02/06/2003) from £4.99  |  Saving you £10.00 (66.70%)  |  RRP £14.99

    James Mason plays Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in both The Desert Fox (1951) and The Desert Rats (1953), a WWII double-bill on DVD. The Desert Fox, released six years after the end of the War, is a solemnly respectful tribute to Erwin Rommel, Germany's most celebrated military genius. James Mason's portrayal of this gallant warrior became a highlight of his career iconography. The film itself is oddly disjointed, though: a pre-credit commando raid to liquidate Rommel is followed by a flashback to the field-marshal's lightning successes commanding the Afrika Korps--a compressed account via documentary footage and copious narration (spoken by Michael Rennie, who also dubs Desmond Young, the Rommel biographer and one-time British POW appearing briefly as himself). The dramatic core is Rommel's growing disenchantment with Hitler (Luther Adler), his involvement in the plot to assassinate the Fuhrer, and his subsequent martyrdom. The Desert Rats stars Richard Burton in only his second Hollywood role (between Oscar-nominated turns in My Cousin Rachel and The Robe), as a Scottish commando put in charge of a battalion of the 9th Australian Division defending Tobruk. The Aussies don't like him, and with a year of grim North African duty already under his belt, he's not too crazy about his new responsibilities either. The outfit is charged with staving off the battering assaults of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel for two months, to give the British Army time to regroup in Cairo and prepare for a counterattack. In the end, the "desert rats" play hell with the Desert Fox for 242 days, during which time they and their commander develop some mutual respect. This is a solid, workmanlike World War II picture that, having been made in 1953 rather than 1943, can acknowledge a degree of eccentric humanity and soldierly professionalism in the enemy. Featured guest star James Mason reprises his Rommel from The Desert Fox, playing all his scenes in German except for a scene of ironical repartee with Burton. Another distinguished Brit, Robert Newton, gets costar billing as a boozy, self-confessed coward who used to be Burton's schoolmaster. However, a goodly number of Australians--including Chips Rafferty and Charles "Bud" Tingwell rate at least as much screen time. Robert Wise directed, with a trimness that reminds us he started out as an editor, and the pungent black-and-white cinematography is by Lucien Ballard. --Richard T. Jameson

  • All Quiet On The Western Front [1930] All Quiet On The Western Front | DVD | (05/05/2008) from £4.49  |  Saving you £5.50 (55.10%)  |  RRP £9.99

    A devastating story of war and a generation destroyed. In 1914 a group of German schoolboys idealistic and inflamed with youthful patriotism set off to fight in the ""glorious"" war. During their brutal basic training disenchantment begins. Then boarding a train for the front they see the wounded being rushed back to the hospitals and they begin to grasp the grim reality of war. On their first night in action they come under heavy attack. In the trenches they begin to fall. Thei

  • Inglourious Basterds [DVD] [2009] Inglourious Basterds | DVD | (07/12/2009) from £2.96  |  Saving you £17.03 (85.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

  • Fame [1980] Fame | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £3.77  |  Saving you £10.00 (71.50%)  |  RRP £13.99

    This early effort by director Alan Parker is lively but jagged as it follows four students through their years in the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. Rather predictably, the kids fall into four clearly defined stereotypes: brazen, gay and hypersensitive, prickly, shy. Fame makes up for a disjointed presentation with a lot of heart and a great soundtrack (for which it won two Academy Awards). The hopes and disappointments, failures and successes of these teens are fodder for emotional scenes and exuberant dancing in the streets. It also turned out to be the first of many imitators and spawned a popular television series. (It was the breakout film for the short-lived feature-film career of Irene Cara, who sang the title song.) --Rochelle O'Gorman

  • The Heroes Of Telemark [1965] The Heroes Of Telemark | DVD | (28/02/2008) from £4.79  |  Saving you £8.20 (63.10%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Physics Professor Dr Pederson (Kirk Douglas) and underground leader Straud (Richard Harris) must convince British Intelligence that the Nazis are planning to build the A-bomb. The Norse Hydro Plant at Telemark is central to enemy strategy and the Allies decide to send in a task force to destroy it. Legendary director Anthony Mann (Winchester 73 El Cid The Fall of the Roman Empire) tells the story of nine courageous and indomitable Norwegians without whom the Second World War may ha

  • In Darkness [DVD] In Darkness | DVD | (09/07/2012) from £3.03  |  Saving you £16.96 (84.80%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A dramatization of one man's rescue of Jewish refugees in the Nazi-occupied Polish city of Lvov.

  • Battle Of The Bulge [1965] Battle Of The Bulge | DVD | (05/06/2006) from £4.39  |  Saving you £11.60 (72.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    The last desperate fight that changed the course of history. Five months after D-Day most American soldiers think the German army is broken. The Germans think otherwise. In an attempt to buy time to fill the skies with their invincible new jets they launch one fast furious offensive: the Battle of the Bulge. For this epic recreation of one of World War II's most crucial confrontations director Ken Annakin (The Longest Day) captures the explosive action of massive f

  • Battle Of The River Plate [1956] Battle Of The River Plate | DVD | (11/06/2007) from £4.69  |  Saving you £8.30 (63.90%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Something of a swan song for the legendary Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger partnership, 1956's The Battle of the River Plate is their penultimate film together (the following year's Ill Met By Moonlight was the last). Shot in a semi-documentary style that stands apart from the "magical realism" of much of their previous work--Canterbury Tales, A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes--the film tells the story of the pursuit of the German pocket battleship Graf Spee by three British cruisers off the River Plate in Uruguay during November 1939. Incorporating actual wartime footage adds to the authentic air, albeit one that sits uneasily with the obviously studio-bound look of the rest. Among the solid cast Peter Finch stands out as the beleaguered Captain Langsdorff of the Graf Spee, while John Gregson is his counterpart, the stalwart British hero type. Things get a bit odd when Christopher Lee pops up in the unlikely role of a Latin-American nightclub boss. It's an atypical Powell and Pressburger picture and not exactly their best, but still a fine World War II picture that documents an important incident in the opening salvos of the war. --Mark Walker

  • The Eagle Has Landed [1977] The Eagle Has Landed | DVD | (19/07/2007) from £4.25  |  Saving you £1.20 (20.00%)  |  RRP £5.99

    This 1976 adventure story set in World War II concerns a Nazi plot to kidnap Churchill from his retreat--or murder him if need be. The large, great cast and a director, John Sturges, who's been down this road of ensemble action before (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape) make this project exciting if not as memorable as Sturges' more famous works. The weak ending doesn't help. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

  • The Battle Of Midway [1976] The Battle Of Midway | DVD | (02/05/2005) from £3.99  |  Saving you £2.00 (33.40%)  |  RRP £5.99

    A star-studded World War II drama about the great air and naval battle in which the underdog Americans - outnumbered by the huge Japanese flotilla - won American military supremacy in the Pacific. Leading them to their heroic victory is Admiral Nimitz and Captain Matt Garth (Heston) the latter a junior officer whose life is complicated by his son's romance with a Japanese-American girl...

  • Platoon [1987] Platoon | DVD | (18/09/2000) from £4.95  |  Saving you £11.04 (69.00%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Winning a raft of awards, not least of which four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, Oliver Stone's Platoon was a box-office smash heralding Hollywood's second wave of Vietnam war films. Where predecessors The Deer Hunter (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979) were elaborate epics, Platoon simply showed the daily reality of the war from the point of view of ordinary soldiers. Stone's own service in Vietnam gives his work a unique authenticity. Charlie Sheen gives his best performance to date, enduring a series of increasingly large-scale and bloody battles which retrospectively make one wonder why Saving Private Ryan was hailed as so new. Against this gruelling verity the film falters over the symbolic conflict between good and evil sergeants played by Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger. Even though this was also based in real life, it strikes a too conventionally Hollywood-like note in a film which otherwise maintains much of the raw power of Stone's other film from 1986, Salvador. Johnny Depp fans should look out for an early appearance by the star. Stone would return to Vietnam with the more sophisticated Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993). On the DVD: The 50-minute documentary "Tour of the Inferno" goes beyond the usual "making-of" to present a personal account both of the film and of Stone's own time in Vietnam. Likewise the two audio commentaries--one by Stone, the other by Captain Dale Dye, fellow veteran and military technical advisor--range between the making of the film and the degree to which the actors came to inhabit their parts, to their own wartime experiences. Both commentaries bring a fresh level of appreciation and understanding to the film. Also included is the original trailer and three TV commercials, together with well-presented stills galleries of behind-the-scenes photos and poster art. Following a credit sequence marred by dirt on the print, the anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 image is sharp and clear. The many night scenes are very dark but remain easily comprehensible. The three-channel Dolby Digital sound is suitably raw and powerful, though an early sequence featuring rain in the jungle suffers from very distracting repeated drop-outs in the left channel. --Gary S Dalkin

  • Up The Junction [1968] Up The Junction | DVD | (18/08/2008) from £4.79  |  Saving you £5.20 (52.10%)  |  RRP £9.99

    A girl from a rich family in Chelsea is bored and decides to go slumming in depressed Battersea. She gets a flat and starts working in a factory and makes some friends there. One of her friends is pregnant but abortion is illegal...

  • Glorious 39 [DVD] [2009] Glorious 39 | DVD | (29/03/2010) from £3.89  |  Saving you £14.10 (78.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This tense psychological thriller is set betweet present day London and the idyllic British countryside around the outbreak of the Second World War. Anne a budding young actress stumbles across secret recordings of a sinister Nazi appeasement plot that will stop at nothing to achieve its aims. As close friends die in suspicious circumstances she finds herself in extreme danger and finds out how badly she has been betrayed.

  • Anzio [1968] Anzio | DVD | (13/09/2004) from £4.62  |  Saving you £1.37 (22.90%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Available for the first time on DVD! Robert Mitchum Peter Falk and Arthur Kennedy star in the rivetting war drama Anzio a vivid portrait of one of the bloodiest WWII battles ever fought. After landing with Allied troops at Anzio Italy in 1944 war correspondent Dick Ennis (Mitchum) and buddy Corporal Rabinoff (Falk) tell Anzio commander General Lesley (Kennedy) that the road to Rome is wide open. But instead of heading to Rome Lesley attempts to build a coastal stronghold only

  • Beneath Hill 60 [DVD] [2010] Beneath Hill 60 | DVD | (11/10/2010) from £4.49  |  Saving you £8.50 (65.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Beneath Hill 60

  • Tora! Tora! Tora! [1970] Tora! Tora! Tora! | DVD | (04/06/2001) from £4.68  |  Saving you £15.31 (76.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Here is just one of the many mishaps chronicled in Tora! Tora! Tora!: "Sir, there's a large formation of planes coming in from the north, 140 miles, 3 degrees east." "Yeah? Don't worry about it." The epic film shows the bombing of Pearl Harbour from both sides in the historic first American-Japanese coproduction: American director Richard Fleischer oversaw the complicated production (the Japanese sequences were directed by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, after Akira Kurosawa withdrew from the film), wrestling a sprawling story with dozens of characters into a manageable, fairly easy-to-follow film. The first half maps out the collapse of diplomacy between the nations and the military blunders that left naval and air forces sitting ducks for the impending attack, while the second half is an amazing re-creation of the devastating battle. While Tora! Tora! Tora! lacks the strong central characters that anchor the best war films, the real star of the film is the climactic 30-minute battle, a massive feat of cinematic engineering that expertly conveys the surprise, the chaos and the immense destruction of the only attack by a foreign power on American soil since the Revolutionary war. The special effects won a well-deserved Oscar, but the film was shut out of every other category by, ironically, the other epic war picture of the year, Patton. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com

  • Whale Rider [2002] Whale Rider | DVD | (11/08/2008) from £4.19  |  Saving you £8.80 (67.70%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Love rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfil a destiny her grandfather steadfastly refuses to recognize... This beautiful and enchanting film was just awarded the the Feature Film Children's BAFTA award. Keisha Castle-Hughes earned an Oscar nomination for her outstanding performance.

  • Cockleshell Heroes [1954] Cockleshell Heroes | DVD | (20/12/2004) from £4.18  |  Saving you £1.81 (30.20%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Available for the first time on DVD! In World War II Royal Marine Major Stringer (Jose Ferrer) and Captain Thompson (Trevor Howard) chose volunteers for an unknown job. They trained the volunteers intensively in top secrecy for more than a year and then embarked with them on the most dangerous mission of the war - the canoe invasion of an enemy-held French port for the purpose of blowing up the giant battleships. The ten ""canoe commandoes"" were carried to their jump-off point by s

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