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Saving Private Ryan | DVD | (06/11/2000)
from £3.89 | Saving you £12.10 (75.70%) | RRP
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
The Dam Busters | DVD | (14/06/2010)
from £6.99 | Saving you £9.00 (56.30%) | RRP
Dr Barnes Wallis was possessed with a seemingly crazy idea - the creation of a bouncing bomb designed to destroy the Ruhr dams and paralyse the enemy's industrial nerve centre. He fought persistent scepticism and disbelief that such a feat was possible though even with the matchless skill of RAF Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his squadron could such a mission succeed?
Lawrance of Arabia | DVD | (11/05/2011)
from £5.25 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
This remarkable film follows the struggles of T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O'Toole - My Favourite Year The Last Emperor) in uniting the hostile Arab factions during the First World War and leading them to victory over the ruling Turkish Empire. The film was released originally in 1962 to huge critical acclaim winning 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean.
The Battle of Britain | DVD | (23/04/2007)
from £4.99 | Saving you £15.00 (75.00%) | RRP
Featuring a stellar cast, including Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Michael Redgrave, Robert Shaw and Susannah York, Battle of Britainis a spectacular retelling of a true story that shows courage at its inspiring best. Few defining moments can change the outcome of war. But when the outnumbered Royal Air Force defied insurmountable odds in engaging the German Luftwaffe, they may well have altered the course of history!
Inglourious Basterds | DVD | (07/12/2009)
from £3.10 | Saving you £16.89 (84.50%) | RRP
Platoon | DVD | (18/09/2000)
from £4.95 | Saving you £11.04 (69.00%) | RRP
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
Where Eagles Dare | DVD | (01/06/2006)
from £4.75 | Saving you £9.24 (66.00%) | RRP
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
The World At War | DVD | (20/09/2010)
from £22.09 | Saving you £57.90 (72.40%) | RRP
The World At War: The Ultimate Restored Edition (11 Discs)
Colditz | DVD | (15/11/2010)
from £21.99 | Saving you £28.00 (56.00%) | RRP
This classic series deals with Allied prisoners of war imprisoned at the supposedly escape-proof Colditz Castle during World War II and their many attempts to escape captivity as well as the relationships formed between the various nationalities and their German captors. One memorable episode portrays the attempts of a prisoner Wing Commander Marsh (Michael Bryant) to get out of Colditz by feigning insanity. He succeeds but is pushed to the limits of his sanity in the process...
Beneath Hill 60 | DVD | (11/10/2010)
from £3.89 | Saving you £9.10 (70.10%) | RRP
Beneath Hill 60
The Battle Of Midway | DVD | (02/05/2005)
from £3.89 | Saving you £2.10 (35.10%) | RRP
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...
Das Boot | DVD | (12/12/1998)
from £4.19 | Saving you £15.80 (79.00%) | RRP
Wolfgang Petersen's harrowing and claustrophobic U-boat thriller Das Boot was released as both a theatrical film and a six-hour mini-series, and remains the most expensive production ever made by a German studio. The expanded "Director's Cut" of the movie was re-released 1997 and it is this version that is available for home viewing. This epic story became an instant classic on its first release, provoking critical and audience acclaim worldwide for its sympathetic and entirely truthful portrayal of a German U-boat crew. Faithfully adapted from the bestselling novel by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, Petersen and his committed cast (led by the amazing Jürgen Prochnow) were concerned to ensure that every detail was rendered with painstaking accuracy--both physical and psychological--and the result is not only the best submarine drama ever made but also arguably the finest cinematic portrait of men at war and the terrible madness they must endure. On the DVD: The 200-minute "Director's Cut" version of the movie not only has several major scenes restored that were not in the theatrical release but also has been digitally remastered with significantly improved sound (new sound effects have been added) and anamorphic picture. (The six-hour TV version has yet to be released.) Here, the viewer can watch the movie in the original German, with or without subtitles, or in an English dubbed version that uses the voices of many of the original cast. On the utterly engrossing commentary track, director Wolfgang Petersen and star Jürgen Prochnow talk animatedly and in great detail about every aspect of making this epic story--from model shots using Barbie dolls to meeting the Captain of the original U-boat. This is one of the most consistently rewarding commentaries on disc. Also included is a five-minute featurette that promotes this new version. --Mark Walker
The Longest Day - Single Disc Edition | DVD | (06/10/2003)
from £4.75 | Saving you £13.00 (72.30%) | RRP
On June 6 1944 the Allied Invasion of France marked the beginning of the end of Nazi domination over Europe. The attack involved 3 000 000 men 11 000 planes and 4 000 ships comprising the largest armada the world has ever seen. Presented in its original black & white version 'The Longest Day' is a vivid hour-by-hour re-creation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast and told from the perspectives of both sides it is a fascinating look at the massive
Kelly's Heroes | DVD | (01/06/2006)
from £5.49 | Saving you £8.50 (60.80%) | RRP
Kelly's Heroes reunited Clint Eastwood with his Where Eagles Dare director Brian G Hutton, then added The Dirty Dozen star Telly Savalas in MGM's quest to turn WWII movie celluloid into box office gold three times running. The result, a sprawling adventure about a group of soldiers led by Kelly (Eastwood) on a private mission behind enemy lines to recover a cache of Nazi treasure, echoed its predecessors but wasn't as successful. While Where Eagle's Dare was somewhat tongue in cheek, Kelly's Heroes went for a cynical comic amorality with many plot parallels to 1969's The Italian Job, written by screenwriter Troy Kennedy-Martin the year before. Donald Sutherland, who also starred in the big-screen M*A*S*H (1970), plays a hippie tank commander decades before his time, and it's hard not to see both movies as more commentaries on Vietnam than on the wars in which they were ostensibly set. Though it is intermittently very funny, and despite some expertly staged action, Kelly's Heroes never really convinces as satire or adventure. On the DVD: Kelly's Heroes is presented on disc in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer which is immaculate and taken from a virtually perfect master. The images are so clean and sharp they look brand new, outclassing many current theatrical prints. The three-channel sound concentrates most of the action to the centre speaker but does an excellent job of capturing the often turbulent soundtrack. The only real extra is the original trailer, presented anamorphically at 1.77:1.--Gary S Dalkin
Soldier Soldier; The Complete Series | DVD | (27/02/2006)
from £31.99 | Saving you £28.00 (46.70%) | RRP
This amazing box set features all seven series of the classic ITV military drama Soldier Soldier spread over 23 discs. For individual episode listings please see the individual series.
Full Metal Jacket (Delux Edition) | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £5.99 | Saving you £11.00 (64.70%) | RRP
Full Metal Jacket begins by following the trials and tribulations of a platoon of fresh Marine Corps recruits focusing on the relationship between Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and Privates Pyle and Joker. We see Pyle grow into an instrument of death as Hartman has foreseen of all of his recruits. Through Pyle's torment and Joker's unwillingness to stand up against it the climax of part one is achieved with all three main characters deciding their fates by their action or inaction. The second chapter of Full Metal Jacket delves into Joker's psyche and the repeated referral to the fact that he joined the Corps to become a killer. When his mostly behind the scenes job as a combat correspondent is interfered with by the Tet offensive he is thrust into real combat and ultimately must choose if he really is a killer.
Glorious 39 | DVD | (29/03/2010)
from £3.89 | Saving you £14.10 (78.40%) | RRP
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.
A Bridge Too Far | DVD | (29/07/2005)
from £3.99 | Saving you £7.60 (58.50%) | RRP
This massive 1977 adaptation by director Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) of Cornelius Ryan's novel features an all-star cast in an epic rendering of a daring but ultimately disastrous raid behind enemy lines in Holland during the Second World War. A lengthy and exhaustive look at the mechanics of warfare and the price and futility of war, the film is almost too large for its aims but manages to be both picaresque and affecting, particularly in the performance of James Caan. The impressive cast includes Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde, Sean Connery, and Liv Ullmann among others. While not a classic war film, it nevertheless manages to be a consistently interesting and exciting adventure. --Robert Lane, Amazon.com
The Heroes Of Telemark | DVD | (28/02/2008)
from £4.79 | Saving you £8.20 (63.10%) | RRP
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
The Complete Roots Collection: Original Series 30th Anniversary Edition / Roots The Gift TV Special / The Next Generation (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) | DVD | (29/10/2007)
from £7.95 | Saving you £50.00 (80.70%) | RRP
His name was Kunta Kinte. Kidnapped from Africa enslaved in America in 1767 he refused to accept his slave name Toby. Heirs kept his heroic defiance alive passing on his tale across generations until it reached a young boy growing up in Tennessee. His name was Alex Haley. Through the lineage of one family Haley and his Pulitzer Prize - winning Roots told a story for all America and the world. Seen by 130 million viewers during its premiere telecast and the winner of dozens of awards the David L. Wolper production remains an engrossing entertainment 30 years later. Embark on an unforgettable DVD journey.