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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
Lawrance of Arabia | DVD | (11/05/2011)
from £5.25 | Saving you £-0.16 (-2.70%) | 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.
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?
The Battle of Britain | DVD | (23/04/2007)
from £5.24 | Saving you £14.75 (73.80%) | 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!
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.
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
What's Eating Gilbert Grape | DVD | (06/10/2008)
from £5.25 | Saving you £6.30 (48.50%) | RRP
Life is a terrible thing to sleep through. Meet Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) a young man who lives in Endora Iowa population 1 091. Gilbert lives with his mother whose 36 stone frame is slowly destroying the fragile Grape homestead his brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) who was never expected to survive childhood and his two sisters. Gilbert's only excitement is his affair with Mrs. Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen). Besides that Gilbert's life is weird. And he doesn't seem to enjoy it. But one day a mysterious beautiful girl named Becky (Juliette Lewis) moves into town with her grandmother and Gilbert's world begins to change...
Black Hawk Down (Two Disc Set) | DVD | (16/09/2002)
from £4.25 | Saving you £19.94 (79.80%) | RRP
Beginning with a quote from T.S. Elliott--"All our ignorance brings us closer to death"--the hope that Black Hawk Down will offer an intelligent war film to a world after September 11, 2001 is high. Based on a true story which led to a bestselling book, the film focuses on the 1993 American mission to Somalia which went terribly wrong. To a certain extent it succeeds with its opening promise, but all too quickly falls under the spell of American national pride--possibly the reason why the film was brought forward from its original release date. One might hope that with a British director, Ridley Scott, and a high percentage of British and Australian actors on board, Black Hawk Down would present an outsider's view on the American politics of war, but produced by the team who brought us Pearl Harbor the end result is a traditional American-Heroic war movie, relying more on special effects, gore and gun battles than character, emotion and politics. In its favour Black Hawk Down does make an attempt to represent the views of the Somalian people. In one of its strongest scenes, a high-powered Somalian gun seller states; "This is our war not yours", but by the end of the film it's clear that this is merely a token gesture towards a non-Western perspective on the conflict. Many American soldiers lost their lives during this battle, and this movie is a fine tribute to these amazing men in one of the first big-budget films to expose modern Warfare. As far as top billing goes, Josh Hartnett and Ewan McGregor hold no greater role than the rest of the cast. The standout performance comes from Ewen Bremner, who offers an unexpectedly comic turn against the bleak backdrop; but otherwise the limited character development highlights one of the film's main issues--that although these men are fighting for their country, when on the battlefield they stand together and no man is more important than any other (unless you're on the wrong side!). --Nikki Disney
Sharpe's Peril/Sharpe's Challenge | DVD | (10/11/2008)
from £10.55 | Saving you £14.44 (57.80%) | RRP
Sharpe's Challenge: Two years after the Duke of Wellington crushes Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo dispatches from India tell of a local Maharaja Khande Rao who is threatening British interests. Wellington sends Sharpe to investigate on what turns out to be his most dangerous mission yet. When a general's daughter is kidnapped by the Indian warlord the tension mounts leaving Sharpe with no option but to pursue the enemy right into their deadly lair. Deep in the heart of enemy territory Sharpe also has to keep the beautiful but scheming regent Madhuvanthi at bay. The fate of an Empire and the life of a general's daughter lie in one man's hands... Sharpe's Peril: It's India 1818 and Lt Col Richard Sharpe and Sergeant Major Patrick Harper are travelling across India escorting the beautiful Marie-Angelique Bonnet to meet her fianc''e. While in bandit-plagued badlands they come across the very dregs of the Crown's troops; an ill disciplined rag-tag unit led by boy soldier Beauclare. As Sharpe and company sit down to have dinner with their hosts the camp comes under attack by the notorious bandit Chitu. As the dust settles it becomes apparent there have been many casualties and Sharpe realises that he is the only person now capable of getting this wagon train to the safety of the next army garrison. Little does Sharpe know that the adventure has only just begun and that he has inadvertently stumbled across a massive opium trafficking ring...
The Bridge At Remagen | DVD | (05/05/2003)
from £5.24 | Saving you £6.75 (56.30%) | RRP
Fine casting, rugged characters and authentic military detail make The Bridge at Remagen one of the best World War II action films of the 1960s. Based on actual incidents during the final Allied advance on Germany in March 1945, the story focuses on the US Army's exhausted 27th Armoured Infantry, assigned to seize the bridge at Remagen, on the Rhine river, to prevent 50,000 German troops from retreating to safety. Lt Hartman (George Segal) leads the mission, while a Nazi major (Robert Vaughn) defies orders by attempting to hold the bridge instead of blowing it up. With strong emphasis on war's harsher realities, the film's compelling characters illustrate the camaraderie of survivors and the heroism of mavericks in the thick of battle. Segal and Ben Gazzara effectively convey a hard-won friendship, and the film's dynamic action (filmed in Czechoslovakia and Italy) never overwhelms the story's emotional impact. This is highly recommended. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Desert Fox, The / The Desert Rats | DVD | (02/06/2003)
from £4.99 | Saving you £10.00 (66.70%) | RRP
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
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)
All Quiet On The Western Front | DVD | (05/05/2008)
from £4.49 | Saving you £5.50 (55.10%) | RRP
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 | (07/12/2009)
from £2.96 | Saving you £17.03 (85.20%) | RRP
The Bridge On The River Kwai | DVD | (04/12/2000)
from £5.98 | Saving you £17.01 (74.00%) | RRP
Based on the true story of the building of a bridge on the Burma railway by British prisoners-of-war held under a savage Japanese regime in World War II, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of the greatest war films ever made. The film received seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Performance (Alex Guinness), for Sir Malcolm Arnold's superb music, and for the screenplay from the novel by Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Monkey Planet, the inspiration for Planet of the Apes). The story does take considerable liberties with history, including the addition of an American saboteur played by William Holden, and an entirely fictitious but superbly constructed and thrilling finale. Made on a vast scale, the film reinvented the war movie as something truly epic, establishing the cinematic beachhead for The Longest Day (1962), Patton (1970) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). It also proved a turning-point in director David Lean's career. Before he made such classic but conventionally scaled films as In Which We Serve (1942) and Hobson's Choice (1953). Afterwards there would only be four more films, but their names are Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984). On the DVD: Too often the best extras come attached to films that don't really warrant them. Not so here, where a truly great film has been given the attention it deserves. The first disc presents the film in the original extra-wide CinemaScope ratio of 2.55:1, in an anamorphically enhanced transfer which does maximum justice to the film's superb cinematography. The sound has been transferred from the original six-track magnetic elements into 5.1 Dolby Digital and far surpasses what many would expect from a 1950s' feature. The main bonus on the first disc is an isolated presentation of Malcolm Arnold's great Oscar-winning music score, in addition to which there is a trivia game, and maps and historical information linked to appropriate clips. The second disc contains a new, specially produced 53-minute "making of" documentary featuring many of those involved in the production of the movie. This gives a rich insight into the physical problems of making such a complex epic on location in Ceylon. Also included are the original trailer and two short promotional films from the time of release, one of which is narrated by star William Holden. Finally there is an "appreciation" by director John Milius, an extensive archive of movie posters and artwork, and a booklet that reproduces the text of the film's original 1957 brochure. --Gary S Dalkin
Apocalypse Now | DVD | (01/01/2001)
from £5.99 | Saving you £7.00 (53.90%) | RRP
Francis Ford Coppola's stunning vision of man's heart of darkness revealed through the madness of the Vietnam War. Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) receives orders to seek out a renegade military outpost led by the mysterious Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Willard's mission: ""Terminate with extreme prejudice."" One of the most powerful films of all time Apocalypse Now was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won Two for Best Sound and Best Cinematography. Based on the novel 'Heart of
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
633 Squadron | DVD | (05/05/2003)
from £5.78 | Saving you £7.21 (55.50%) | RRP
With the fate of Europe still hanging in the balance a disparate bunch of brave Mosquito pilots are ordered on a near suicide low-level mission to destroy a Nazi rocket fuel depot in Norway... To make the film which was based on a true story a squadron of legendary de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers was resurrected from near extinction. Dazzling flying sequences bone-shaking sound and superb special effects help to make this one of the most realistic air combat films ever to
In Darkness | DVD | (09/07/2012)
from £3.03 | Saving you £16.96 (84.80%) | RRP
A dramatization of one man's rescue of Jewish refugees in the Nazi-occupied Polish city of Lvov.