Made in 1955, The Dam Busters takes its place among a post-war wave of stiff-upper-lipped battle flicks instrumental in shaping the mythology of Blighty’s finest hour.
A huge box-office success on its original release, later to be affectionately spoofed in the Carling Black Label adverts, it’s a film very much of two parts. The first concentrates on the eccentric figure of Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) as he strives to develop an ingenious ‘bouncing bomb’ for an assault on Germany’s Ruhr dams. Part two deals with the raid itself, lead by stoically courageous Wing Commander Guy Gibson (Richard Todd). While the bombing sequences still dazzle, careful attention’s paid to the terrible human cost of combat.