The World At War: The Ultimate Restored Edition (11 Discs)
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
Odette is the story of a brave woman who volunteered to join SOE (Special Operations Executive) during WWII.
The story of one of World War II's most famous sea battles is brought to the screen in this exciting semi-documentary style movie.In the Spring of 1941, Nazi Germany's greatest battleship- the Bismarck, scourge of Atlantic shipping, is pinned down at her anchorage in Norway. Making a break for freedom and the safety of air cover from the Luftwaffe, the great ship is chased by the Royal Navy.Kenneth More stars as Captain Shepard- the Admiralty's Director of Naval Operations who, embittered by the death of his wife in an air raid, is assigned to this post just as the Bismarck makes its escape.Excellent special effects make this tense, exciting sea drama one of the finest British war films ever made.
Seven classic films from acclaimed director Luc Besson are available on Blu-ray for the first time, including: "Leon" (Director's Cut)and "Nikita". Released on September 14.
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
Two feisty, free-spirited women are connected by the brilliant and charismatic poet Dylan Thomas who loves them both. Released Nationwide on Friday 27th June.
British comedy at its best Please Sir is fondly remembered by an entire generation of TV viewers. Starring John Alderton as the idealistic teacher Bernard Hedges who is put in charge of the worst class ever come back to school and relive the hilarity with Please Sir!.
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
An angel in Berlin decides to become human after falling in love with a mortal. One of Wim Wenders' biggest commercial successes and arguably his most accessible film to date Wings of Desire (aka: Der Himmel uber Berlin) centres around two trench-coated angels Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander) wandering the streets of post-war pre-unification Berlin. Invisible to humans they listen to the tortured thoughts of the mortals occasionally dispensing heavenly solace to those in need. An encounter with a beautiful circus trapeze artist Marion (Solveig Dommartin) sees Damiel falling in love and longing to give up his immortal state in order to experience the simple joys of human experience. Damiel is assisted in his transformation by an American actor (Peter Falk) filming on location in the city himself a former angel who has traded in his wings for a mortal existence. Scripted by Wenders and respected German playwright and novelist Peter Handke the film is impeccably shot by legendary cinematographer Henri Alekan (Jean Cocteau's cameraman on La belle et la bete) blossoming from the monochrome perspective of the angels to colour following Damiel's eventual transmutation. As ever with Wenders music plays an important part and the film features rare on-screen performances by the bands Crime And The City Solution and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. Multi-award winning (including the Best Director prize at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival) and hugely acclaimed Wings Of Desire is a delightfully poetic celebration of the human condition. It famously inspired Brad Silberling's 1998 hit film City of Angels starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. In 1993 Wenders reunited with Ganz Sander Dommartin and Falk along with Nastassja Kinski and Willem Dafoe for a sequel Faraway So Close!.
The Timeless Epic from Francis Ford Coppola In a pristine new transfer supervised by Francis Ford Coppola Presented in the original (2.35:1) theatrical aspect ratioOne of the most iconic films ever made and one of the most disturbing dramatisations of the Vietnam War ever seen, Francis Ford Coppolas Apocalypse Now is cinema at its most epic and unforgettable. Traumatised soldier Captain Benjamin L. Willard has been chosen for a highly classified mission. He must journey along the notorious Nung river and into the savage depths of war torn Cambodia in search of the mysterious Colonel Kurtz. Deemed insane and a danger to the war effort, Kurtz must be terminated with extreme prejudice. But the closer he gets to Kurtz the closer he gets to his own heart of darkness.
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...
Hard hitting and controversial classic BBC drama series, based on real life experiences. Tenko is the powerful story of a disparate group of women whose lives are changed forever when they are taken by the Japanese as prisoners of war after the fall of Singapore in 1941.This twelve disc set contains all thirty episodes from Series One to Three plus the feature length Reunion Special.
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
A tense engrossing adventure set in the 1942 Libyan war zone in the hot Western Desert. A British ambulance officer (John Mills) escapes the siege in Tobruk and tries desperately to get his passengers to safety in Alexandria where he dreams he will have the luxury of an 'ice cold' glass of beer. His passengers include a stranded hospital nurse a Sergeant-Major and a stray South African Officer trying to return to his unit. Despite saving the group from the Germans something is not quite right about the last passenger. As he begins to undermine the group's stamina using psychological tactics the British officer begins to suspect he might be a German spy...
Based on a true story this shockingly controversial film is an unflinching portrayal of the criminal depravity of Nazi Germany and the ruthless use of sex to destroy opponents. Now presented fully uncut for the first time in UK in high definition showcasing the stunning production design of Ken Adams (designer of most James Bond sets and twice Oscar winner for Barry Lyndon and The Madness Of King George).
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
A model for dozens of action films to follow, this box-office hit from 1967 refined a die-hard formula that has become overly familiar, but it's rarely been handled better than it was in this action-packed World War II thriller. Lee Marvin is perfectly cast as a down-but-not-out army major who is offered a shot at personal and professional redemption. If he can successfully train and discipline a squad of army rejects, misfits, killers, prisoners, and psychopaths into a first-rate unit of specialised soldiers, they'll earn a second chance to make up for their woeful misdeeds. Of course, there's a catch: to obtain their pardons, Marvin's band of badmen must agree to a suicide mission that will parachute them into the danger zone of Nazi-occupied France. It's a hazardous path to glory, but the men have no other choice than to accept and regain their lost honor. What makes The Dirty Dozen special is its phenomenal cast including Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, Jim Brown, Clint Walker, Trini Lopez, Robert Ryan, and others. Cassavetes is the Oscar-nominated standout as one of Marvin's most rebellious yet heroic men, but it's the whole ensemble--combined with the hard-as-nails direction of Robert Aldrich--that makes this such a high-velocity crowd pleaser. The script by Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller (from the novel by E.M. Nathanson) is strong enough to support the all-star lineup with ample humour and military grit, so if you're in need of a mainline jolt of testosterone, The Dirty Dozen is the movie for you. --Jeff Shannon
Oliver Stone give us his take on the life of rock star Jim Morrison whose life came tragically to an end in a haze of drug abuse. The movie captures the psychedelic atmosphere of the Doors work and particularly Jim Morrison's life - who is played by a very convincing Val Kilmer.
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...
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