1969's Battle of Britain is a star-studded, action filled and sadly confusing mess of a war picture.
With very fond memories of seeing this with my Dad and brother Mark back in the day, I was surprised by how muddled the story is to follow.
Certainly the British defense and defiant stand against the Nazis is a compelling part of history and a testament to the bravery of the few rising above a massive, non-stop onslaught.
Director Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever) knows action and he knows class and there is no shortage of either in the film, but after watching hundreds of planes crash into the ocean and battle with no concept of the objective of any dogfight or mission, it just becomes a blur.
Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and Susannah York give their all, but each role is so interchangeable that characters come and go with little regard for storyline.
Producer Harry Saltzman wanted to top his James Bond franchise and spent millions of his own money to film real dogfights in the air using real, refurbished planes from the Battle of Britain. To that end, its spectacular, but just think how much more the audience would care about that dogfight if they could actually follow the action with some investment in the pilots and their mission.
A HUGE, costly misfire that visually packs a punch, but goes on forever. Repetitive, silly music score also detracts from the flow.
We'll give it a C.