Friday night movie: The Dam Busters (1955)

Here’s tonight’s movie:

IMDB mean rating: [7.6/10]

IMDB median rating: [8/10]

Description:

The Dam Busters is a 1955 British Second World War war film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd and directed by Michael Anderson. The film recreates the true story of Operation Chastise when in 1943 the RAF’s 617 Squadron attacked the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany with Wallis’s “bouncing bomb”. The film was based on the books The Dam Busters (1951) by Paul Brickhill and Enemy Coast Ahead (1946) by Guy Gibson.

The film falls into two parts. The first part involves Wallis struggling to develop a means of attacking Germany’s dams in the hope of crippling German heavy industry. Working for the Ministry of Aircraft Production, as well as doing his own job at Vickers, he works feverishly to make practical his theory of a bouncing bomb which would skip over the water to avoid protective torpedo nets. When it came into contact with the dam, it would sink before exploding, making it much more destructive.

WARNING: the Lancaster pilots have a dog for their mascot and the dog has a name that may be offensive to some viewers. (It’s the n-word). So, don’t watch the movie if you can’t handle that. But this is a World War 2 classic.

Map:

Ruhr dam raid map: click for larger image
Ruhr dam raid map: click for larger image

The Lancaster bomber:

AVRO Lancaster Heavy Bomber
AVRO Lancaster Heavy Bomber

AVRO Lancaster specifications:

General

  • Length: 69 ft. 5 in.
  • Wingspan: 102 ft.
  • Height: 19 ft. 7 in.
  • Wing Area: 1,300 sq. ft.
  • Empty Weight: 36,828 lbs.
  • Loaded Weight: 63,000 lbs.
  • Crew: 7

Performance

  • 4 × Rolls-Royce Merlin XX V12 engines, 1,280 hp each
  • Range: 3,000 miles
  • Max Speed: 280 mph
  • Ceiling: 23,500 ft.

Armament

  • Guns: 8 × .30 in (7.7 mm) machine guns
  • Bombs: 14,000 lbs. depending on range, 1 x 22,000-lb. Grand Slam bomb

It’s one of my favorite war movies about the best-regarded heavy bomber of the war, on either side. (The B-17 is a close second)

Happy Friday!

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